Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Solar Range

A solar powered range for energy concious Home owners
  [vote for,

This solar range is heated by a high efficiency solar collector dish that heats working fluid and then circulates it through the heating coils of the range. In appearance it is very similar to a standard oven/range except that the control knobs open and close valves to control the flow of the liquid. For night or inclement weather use an electrical backup heater can be installed in line with the solar heater.
jhomrighaus, Jul 24 2006

Heat Transfer Fluids http://www.radcoind.com/TechTips2.html
Info on fluids to do this. [jhomrighaus, Jul 24 2006]

Eco-it http://www.pre.nl/eco-it/default.htm
Ecofriendly? Prove it. [moomintroll, Jul 26 2006]


       Please specify a fluid by means of which solar heating can maintain a stove at 350 degrees.
angel, Jul 24 2006

       any fluid that is likely to work for this probably won't be something you'd want near your food.
tcarson, Jul 24 2006

       See link for info in Heat Transfer Fluids. For those concerned about food compatibility(which only matters if you have a rupture) Silicone based fluids are available. The required heat ranges are very low so any of the fluids discussed would be viable. Even presurized steam would work, though not as effeciently as an oil product.
jhomrighaus, Jul 24 2006

       I'm sure jhomrighaus can find something suitable - engine oil or some such.   

       Given that frying eggs on hot vehicles has long been a staple of army fun, I'm sure this is feasible. Except maybe in the UK.
DrCurry, Jul 24 2006

       so it's really bake fluid ?
xenzag, Jul 25 2006

       But would it be able to attain such a temperature by virtue of solar heating, and would it be able to transfer adequate heat to a cubic foot or more of air in a stove cavity, at anything approaching reasonable efficiency? (I'm not saying it wouldn't; just wondering.) Incidentally, the local TV weather presenter here cooked an egg on the bonnet of a car last week.
angel, Jul 25 2006

       Sincerely doubt that this would be any more efficient than a standard hob. So, no prizes for claiming energy efficiency. On the other hand, a quintessentially halfbaked invention, which I guess I'll therefore have to bun. Sigh.
moomintroll, Jul 25 2006

       I didnt say the entire system was efficient, just the solar collection Dish to heat the Fluid. Think Like Satelite dish shaped Mirror with small heat exchange chamber at the Focal Point.   

       Per Link many common Heat transfer oils can achive temperatures in excess of 700 degrees Centigrade(much much higher than Im cooking my food at like 400 F) so heating should not be a big issue. Solar collectors can easily achieve temperatures at a focused point of over 1000C.   

       May not be as efficient but is much more environmentally friendly.
jhomrighaus, Jul 25 2006

       Also far more half-baked, which is kinda the point.
angel, Jul 25 2006

       Finally got [Xenzag]'s joke! ;-)
jhomrighaus, Jul 25 2006

       What's all this about heat transfer fluids?
Simply use the sun (with collector mirrors) to heat a black metal oven box (or a glass box depending on the how you like it).
I saw instructions on how to build a solar oven in a book years ago.
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 26 2006

       [shadow] that's basically what this is, the method of use is just a bit different.
tcarson, Jul 26 2006

       [neutrinos_shadow] The point is that this is a retrofitable solution to a solar oven. This can be in your kitchen in the existing space and it would look and work the same as your normal oven.
jhomrighaus, Jul 26 2006

       Okay, I looked up some figures. apparently a parabolic collector can plausibly reach 400ºC, so I retract my previous comment - it may well be as efficient to run as a conventional hob (if you live in New Mexico). However, the complexity of such a system (compared to a hob, which is easy to manufacture and simple) means the environmentally friendly claim looks dubious to me. Sorry to be so humourless, but ecofriendly stuff is an area where my sense of humour wears thin.
moomintroll, Jul 26 2006

       Why does eco friendly look dubious? Its an oven that runs on the Sun, Not your neigborhood Coal burning power station. Add a small generator, or solar cell and you have a completely off grid device. Is it more complex than just plugging in to the wall, of course it is, but it is more evironmentally sound than any other food cooking option I can think of.
jhomrighaus, Jul 26 2006

       Yah, but a significantly more complex device, even if it is better while in service, can still be less ecofriendly. It takes a lot of embedded energy to make stuff, and the disposal of a system like you describe would be problematic too - not many of those heat transfer fluids are particularly biodegradable. Add to that the fact that with all the moving parts (pumps etc.) it's likely to have a much shorter lifespan, and the eco-credentials start to look a little flaky to me. An electric hob is a very simple piece of kit; this system would be very complicated. If you want to run the figures I'd suggest a tool such as Eco-it (I'll post a link). On mature reflection, I'd guess that for an electric hob, the running costs are significant, so I guess I'll have to climb down even on this, but my point is that running something in an envrionmentally friendly way does not always produce the best environmental result. Look at hybrid cars, for example - the benefits to the environment are pretty minimal when you take into account the complexity of the machine, diposal of the exotic materials in the batteries, etc.
moomintroll, Jul 26 2006

       So, we're back on the whole-of-life cost debate? Cool, that's another opportunity for someone to mention what is the true cost of solar panels to the environment.
methinksnot, Jul 26 2006

       // So, we're back on the whole-of-life cost debate?//
Well, if you're going to claim it's good for the environment, that's what you have to take into account.
moomintroll, Jul 26 2006

       How is it any more of a cost than manufacturing the normal oven in the first place, there are no real exotic materials, everything is non toxic or recyclable. You seem to imply that making regular ovens is a costless proposition.
jhomrighaus, Jul 26 2006

       Don't get me wrong [moom]. I believe the whole-of-life cost is too seldom overlooked. You have no idea how many discussions I have at work trying to convince people to look beyond the first few years.
methinksnot, Jul 26 2006

       //The point is that...//
Point taken.
Now I understand it better. Some thermal storage (of transfer fluid) would extend the working time of the oven (typically it's getting dark when dinner is cooking).
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 27 2006

       I agree with the moomintroll's sentiments. I think a well designed wood or charcoal fired oven/stove would be far more practical while still being environmentally friendly (since wood and charcoal are essentially stored solar power).
xaviergisz, Jul 27 2006


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