Exceptional Features Make It a User Friendly Solar Appliance
This innovative solar cooker, the Blazing Tube Solar Appliance was developed in Hawai‘i and incorporates the highest efficiency solar components available from around the world.
Please note: the Photos and the technical specs for the BTSA used in the tests from December 2008 are for the prior model. It features a square insulated cook box and is larger than the next generation prototype. Since 2008 the original design was improved, with a round cook box, based on field-testing feedback, making it lighter and smaller, without compromising efficiency.
Vacuum tube technology
The core element of this unit is the 5-inch diameter, all-glass, selectively coated, triple-cavity solar vacuum tube. An outdoor aluminum, mirrored reflector (97% reflectivity) surrounds the tube in a compound parabolic shaped metal frame. Atop the unit is a highly insulated heat retention cook box, with hinged cover, which houses a custom designed steel cook pan.
How does it cook food?
5.6 liters (six US quarts) of high temperature vegetable oil fills the tube and bottom section of the cook pan (which are tied together using a silicone hose coupling). The solar heat generated by the reflector and vacuum tube, is convected upward into the heat retention cook box pan. The normal operating temperature within the cook box of 350 degrees F (177˚C), allows food to fry, bread to bake, water to boil and even autoclave to sterilize. Cook times are normally comparable to what gas or electric stove appliances require.
Designed to last for years
The unit is readily assembled using hand tools, and is designed to be stable in an outdoor environment. Front wheels are incorporated in the frame structure allowing easy mobility.
The cook box pan is positioned 40 inches (1.1 meter) above ground level, giving the user comfortable access. Since the reflector is formed in a long, trough shaped compound parabola, there is no blinding bright focus to endanger the users. In addition, the vacuum tube exterior glass tube is cool to the touch. Safety is assured to the users; although the cook box interior temperatures will demand cook mittens be utilized when removing hot cooked foods in pots or pans (same precautions as with wood or gas fired cooking equipment is required).
Maximizing sunlight – even when cloudy
The compound parabola acts as a light funnel, and does not require constant tracking of the sun's position. However, it is recommended that the unit be oriented somewhat towards the east for early cooking, and reoriented toward the west when preparing dinner meals. The thermal conservation characteristics of the entire device allow heat energy to accumulate, even from short solar inputs.
Cooking temperatures will be maintained even as clouds pass by and short rains ensue. In addition, this heat retention capability allows cooked foods within, to stay very hot as late as 11 pm.
Overall, it appears that the Blazing Tube Solar Cooker appliance successfully deals with the various issues and concerns of dedicated solar cooks worldwide. The unit accommodates all different cooking methods, including stir-fry, steaming, grilling, baking, pasteurizing, etc. The long life-cycle of this durable design assures that it will readily be acculturated by users everywhere