THE SUN could soon be cooking your dinner for you as a sunshine powered oven has just been invented.
The futuristic oven could save people money on their electricity bills and ‘dramatically reduce the world’s carbon footprint’.
The solar oven could reduce the world’s carbon footprint[/caption]
A video demonstrating how the solar cooker successfully poached an egg has been released by Nottingham Trent University.
The oven is essentially a small insulated box that is placed at the edge of a much larger structure that traps sun rays.
It works by capturing and concentrating sunlight with ridged lenses, called Fresnel lenses, which are often used in lighthouse lamps because they help to focus beams of light in certain directions.
The concentrated sunbeams are reflected through channels in the structure and into a small space in the centre of a highly-insulated aluminium oven, surrounded by thermal bricks.
The oven was recently tested to cook an egg[/caption]
Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh looks through the oven’s reflective channels[/caption]
A sensor inside the oven can tell users what temperature it is and heat levels can be controlled by reflecting away some of the sunlight.
In hot countries, the researchers say the special lenses could provide an oven temperature of around 200˚C.
A clear summer’s day in Britain has the potential to provide the same temperatures with just 10 Fresnel lenses.
The prototype of the oven, which was used to cook the egg, has three Frensel lenses and is said to reach 60˚C on a typical summer’s day in the UK.
The main aim of the project was to create an oven that people living in poor hot countries, with sun all year round, could use to cook indoors without the need for gas, electricity or wood burning.
Frensel lenses would allow them to do this because they could be placed on the outside of a property while the rest of the oven can be submerged indoors.
Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh led the project and said: “This is a very exciting project as this technology has the potential to change the way millions of people cook at home and could dramatically reduce the world’s carbon footprint.
“In hot countries which have sunshine all year round, there really is no need for people to cook using electricity, wood or gas.
“We have proved that it’s possible to cook food inside the home by harnessing the power of the sun. Until now other solar cookers have been designed only for use outdoors.”
Researcher Bubaker Shakmak added: “Not only is this technology better for the environment, but it can help people in developing countries who don’t have access to electricity or gas.
“By providing this technology at an affordable price, people would be able to heat food more quickly, easily and sustainably than ever before.”
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In other news, Nasa has funded some wacky Space projects including plans to create a moon mining outpost, floating power orbs and self-healing spacesuits.
Another research project recently discovered a bizarre new form of matter that’s not a solid, liquid or gas.
And, China is said to be on course to finish building an “artificial sun” before the end of the year.
Would you like to use the solar oven? Let us know in the comments…
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