Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The joys of solar cooking at 41 south

I haven't posted a solar cooking update for a while, but we've been puddling away at it and having a few nice meals.

What's becoming obvious is that a solar cook's biggest challenge here in Wellington is the unpredictability of the weather. I don't mean from day to day, but from minute to minute.

Wellington weather is like - 53 minutes of sunshine, then 46.5 minutes of high cloud, then more sunshine, then a breeze blows up, then a huge, low rain cloud rumbles over and releases 23 drops of rain, then it's sunny for 5 minutes, then a howling gale rages for an hour, then the sun comes out again ...

As far as wind goes, I've got a bit better at dealing with that.

With the CooKit panel cooker, I anchor it down at the sides with bricks, and set up the pot in such a way that there's no risk of it sliding around inside its bag or tipping and spilling.

With the box cooker, I thought I was going to need to prop up the lid's relector panel at both sides, instead of just one, but so far I haven't needed to. I just made a better, stronger prop for the one side. (That may yet turn out to be unsatisfactory though.)

As for dealing with rain, I think what would be ideal would be to make a little shelter that we could put over the cookers at short notice whenever Welllington decides to turn on one of its brief, impromptu little showers. Must get onto that.