Our Technologic Design Process

Build Day: 1/24/16 – 1/26/16
Beginning of the design phase. Three of our members came up with an initial design of the solar panel stand for our cooker. This was done in Solidworks. The plans were then used the following day when our other two members began the building process. By the end of this phase we have a set design and half of our solar panel stand in place.

Presentation: 1/27/16
First presentation about the project. We discussed our problem statement, the audience and our solution in the form of a powerpoint presentation. From this experience, we found that our presentation would be enhanced with some form of a physical model to show the class. This is important for the class to know that we are moving forward with the project, and to give them an understanding of how our technology works.

Build Day: 2/8/16

New Technology Design Concept: 2/9/16:
Our group is really excited about our new idea for what we want our technology to be. We plan to use straw bales
as the housing structural/ insulation material for the heating element and pot (see drawing below). Straw is accessible, cheap, and great insulation material!
Essentially, we will use one straw bale for height (user comfort) and the second one stacked on top as the house for the heating element and pot. We will cut a circle into the top of this straw bale to be the size of the pot (plus a little extra for structural materials). Then we will line the pot hole with chicken wire, cob, or cement so that the integrity upkeeps after multiple uses. The heating element will go at the bottom of this hole (with a place for the wires to be run below the hole, in between the two straw bales and connect to the solar panel as shown). The pot will be placed in the hole (directly atop the heating element) and one more straw bale will be placed on top for insulation. We will play around with different ideas of re-routing the steam from the boiling water to prevent the straw from molding.

Workday 2/9/16:
We were able to stack the bales on top of each, dig a hole in the straw so that the pot and heating element fit, and create space for the wires of the heating element to run below the hole, between the two bottom straw bales, and out to the solar panel connection.
Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 5.43.33 PM.png
Next steps will be: providing structure for the hole with chicken wire (may use another material in later developments), connecting the heating element to the solar panel and…cooking some food!

Solar Cooker Testing Day: 2/22/16
Location: Student Experimental Farm

The wires connected to the burner run out in between the gap of the straw bales. We connected the Solar Panels to the Burner using these connectors:

Placed the Burner in the cob hole that is dug out in the straw bales.

Working towards the finished product. The solar panel is connected outside in the direct sunlight. In the future, we would like to make a mount for the solar panel to sit on that you can adjust for the different seasons and sun paths.

Using the cob to line the straw and create an air gap in between the pot and the straw bale for better insulation.


A third straw bale is placed over the pot to create another layer of insulation.

Final Product Layout 3/14/16:

PVE Solar Cooker AXON.png
SOLAR COOKER SECTION [Section through the center of the hay bale and pot]
PVE Solar Cooker Section [Converted].png