Solar Oven Positioning – Refocus or Reheat?
Whether it’s the waning late summer afternoon sunshine, or the fleeting window of strong sunlight in mid-winter, knowing how to refocus your solar oven is essential knowledge for a solar chef. So, how easy is refocusing? Ha, it’s a piece of cake! Pun intended! To refocus a solar oven, simply watch the shadows around the oven and keep them even on all sides. This keeps it tracking the sun’s path.
The Global Sun Oven has a built in leg which allows for easy sun tracking. It is suggested that a refocus is needed about every 30 minutes for the Sun Oven. This also depends on the time of day, the desired temperature to keep and what type food is being cooked. The Global Sun Oven also has a built in “levelator” feature that keeps pots level in the oven chamber, thus avoiding spills which is a real advantage when refocusing. A different commercially available model, the SOS Sport Solar Oven, is cleverly designed to accommodate two different sun angles; a 30 degree for direct mid-day sun and 60 degree for low angle sun like early morning, late afternoon or winter.
Some solar oven models, such as the Tulsi Electric and SunFocus, have an electric backup feature. The efficient electric heater within those ovens, normally takes over if clouds move in. But, it is also a handy feature in case you forget to refocus, or were late in getting back to your cooking, etc.
So, as you can see, there really isn’t much of a learning curve with refocusing a solar oven. Paying attention to the seasonal changes and the sun’s angle are something that will come with experience as you continue to enjoy sun-cooked/free energy meals.