Dave Oxford’s Solar Cooker

Tilty McTiltface is a parabolic-trough evacuated tube solar cooker.  Solar cookers work by focussing sunlight on a dark absorber.  The resulting heat is used to cook food.  CNC laser cutting at Makerspace enabled very accurate manufacturing of the parabolic trough reflector guides.  The reflector allows the evacuated tube oven to receive about eight times the amount of sunlight as it would if the reflector was not fitted.  This 8-sun cooker is able to bake a 300g loaf in about 40 minutes, using only sunlight, making it comparable with a domestic oven.  Obviously, the oven only works when the sun is shining.

Tilty was developed for use at an off-grid Summer-school just outside Truro called Camp Kernow.  The next step is to provide the Camp with three Tilty ovens, attached to the side of their camp kitchen.  They will provide the capacity to cook part of each meal for children who attend the Camp, replacing the bottled gas they usually use for cooking.  Each year, hundreds of Cornish schoolchildren will be able to see a solar cooker in action and sample the food it can produce.

Tilty recently took part in an ambitious project at the Green Gathering, an offgrid summer festival held each year at Chepstow.  The aim was to cook a loaf with the lowest possible carbon footprint.  Wheat was ground into flour using windpower from a Cretan Windmill.  The flour was then used to make a loaf cooked in Tilty.  No fossil fuels were used at all, just a combination of windpower and solar power.  We are claiming that this was the UK’s lowest carbon loaf.

 

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