Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
SIAPv6.0 was used due to its advantage of tubular heat radiation pattern. The heat radiation pattern of SIAPv6.0 is tubular and is therefore best for cooking using a tubular cooking utensil, such as a piece of bamboo.
The whether was sunny and the cooking was started at 10:00 am. By 2:00pm, the bamboo was opened and the food was inspected. It was found that the chicken was almost cooked. It was soft but certain parts remain reddish. It is soft and smell fresh with the smell of bamboo and tapioca leaves.
To day I also tried to bake two Honey Butter Cakes using SIAPv9.1 and SIAPv9.3. The honey butter cakes consist 500GM of cake mix, butter, eggs and skimmed milk. The portion was large and it completely filled the two cooking ports.
The cooking started at 1:00pm and by 4:00pm, the cakes were cooked, though a bit soft. It was tasty and yammy
I am glad to receive two friends today. They are Hubert and Ron. Ron is from Sinagapore who happened to be here on a social visit trip. Humbert was showing Ron around and stopped over at my place to witness my solar cooking.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The sky turned clear in the afternoon. I thus decided to give it a shot, ie to cook using the newly completed SIAPv9.4. I prepared the butter cake mixture, which consisted of 500gm of butter cake premix, a loaf of butter and 6 eggs. The mixture was divided into two equal portions, to be cooked using SIAPv9.2 and SIAPv9.4.
Starting at 1:45pm, SIAPv9.2 and SIAP9.4 were put in place and start to cook. Both SIAPv9.2 and SIAP9.4 were adjusted once to track the afternoon sun. The weather was less than perfect for solar cooking, as there were too much overcast.
By 4:30pm, both SIAPv9.2 and SIAPv9.4 were inspected to determine the states of the butter cake inside. It was to the great surprise of many that both cakes were cooked very well! Mr Kho, Teresa and Melissa were among the several who witnessed and sampled the cooking.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
On Friday 22/8/08 evening, starting at 9:30pm, Solarist CM Tan and I spent more than 2 hours to assemble SIAPv9.3. By 11:30, when all the panels were put together, SIAPv9.3 did not resemble something familiar. We suspected that we have made mistakes in the building of SIAPv9.3. We have to call it a day when it got too late in the evening and decided to continue the next day.
On Saturday 23/8/08 afternoon, starting at 3:00pm, Solarist Tan and I dismantled SIAPv9.3 and try to re-build it. By 6:30pm, we still could not get it into the expected shape and we started to suspect the craftsman ship of the tinsmith. When we compared the individual metal panel with my sample, we confirmed that the metal panels were not produced in accordance to my sample! Nevertheless, much time was wasted with futile outcomes.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Starting at 10:30am, both cookers were setup and put in place for cooking. The food was checked for readiness for consumption two hours later. During which time, SIAPv9.2 was adjusted twice to make sure it was pointed to the sun and optimum for the heat collection. SIAPv6.1 remained untouched, as it wasn't built for ease of adjustment.
At 12:00pm, both the beef and the rice were checked for readiness for consumption. It was found that the rice and the beef was cooked and tasted very great! The beef with spices and sauces was though cooked but was a bit tough to bite.
I invited solarist CM Tan to feast on the solar meal and of cause to witness and comment on the method and taste of the cooking. Solarist CM Tan was impressed with the capability of the new version of the solar cooker and said, “Now you are so confident of your solar cooker and you can cook any food with you eyes closed!” He remarked that the rice was well cooked and added that the dried mushroom and the spices had covered the smell of the beef. “Perhaps next time you put less spices so that the smell and taste of beef would stand out”, added CM Tan.
Today’s cooking with a large portion of beef was a drastic attempt to determine the true colours of the SIAPv9.2. I bought the beef last night and I marinated the whole lot in a cooking pot right away and kept it overnight. When I was about to cook it this morning, I realised that the portion was too much. Nevertheless, I have decided to proceed to cook the whole lot! The result was very inspiring and the beef was cooked in 2 hours. Though it was a bit tough, I could be easily remedied if either the portion was reduced or it was left to cook a further 30-60 min.
In the solar feast, I started to cooked green peas using SIAPv9.2 at around 2:00pm. The green peas was about 90% cooked when I harvested the cooking at around 3:30pm ie when the sky changed to become dark and started to rain shortly after which.
I am getting ready with an improve SAIPv9.2 this week, and it would be named SIAPv9.3. The construction of SIAPv9.3 would be the same as SIAPv.2, but instead of using paper box sheets, it would be made of zinc sheet. I am excited and look forward to testing SIAPv9.3 in the coming weekend.
A whole piece of chicken thigh with the drumstick was mixed with ginger, little red onion, cooking wine and a pinch of salt. The whole mix was put inside the black solar-cooking pot and placed. The pot was covered with a glass greenhouse enclosure. Meanwhile, a 1.5 cup of rice was washed and put inside another blacken pot. This pot is also covered with a glass greenhouse enclosure.
Starting at 10:15am, the the solar cookers were setup and put in place for cooking. By 1:25, which was 3 hours later, the food inside the cookers were inspected. It was found that the chicken was over cooked! It was a bit too soft. Whereas the rice, it rice was rightly cooked.
I called up Solarist, Mr CM Tan. He comeby our place and we feasted
on a Solar-meal. After the solar feast, the sun was still bright. I therefore decided to cook something for the high tea this afternoon. I washed 1.5 cup of barley and put
it into SIAPv9.2 with submerged it in water. SIAPv9.2 was again put in place to cook at about 2:00pm. By then, the sun already swung through the top. SIAPv9.2 was repositioned to face the sun. It was somewhere in the region of 20-30deg towards the west. The barley was left to cook through 4:00pm. In between SIAPv9.2 was readjusted once to track the west bound sun. When the pot was finally opened at 4:00pm, the barley inside was well cooked. It was quite dry as there was little water to start with. Hot water and sugar was added to the barley and it was enough to served to 6 persons.
Solarist CM Tan was again invited to sample the barley. He commented that the barley tasted better than when it was cooked over a gas stove. The texture is different and it felt good to biting. It was tendon, yet chewy. If the weather permits, I shall try to try to cook something more challenging tomorrow. Perhaps I will cook lamb or mutton in spice.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
The experiment today was started at 10:30 and last till 12:00noon. Two cup of rice was cooked using this cooker within 1.5hours.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
During an experiment on last Sunday, the weather was not conducive and it was gloomy with much cloud overcasts. Water in the pot inside the cooker turned warm but did not boil over a period of 1 hour under the sun.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
In this experiment, a measuring cup of rice with water was put in each of the funnel cookers for testing and to compare the results. Today the weather is sunny and like usual with a lot of cloud. Starting at 10:45 am, everything was in place and the cooking has starting. By 12:45pm, two hours latter, the payload was inspected to see the cooking results.
The rice in both cookers was almost cooker, but it tested a bit "powdery". According the "cooker expert", Mr CM Tan, it was a sign of under-fire. Meaning, not hot enough! I have a different opinion or rather hope that it was due to lack of water! I have faith that metal funnel cooker could cooker rice, the same way it ancestor did. Note though that its ancestor was made of HDB board instead of metal. The experiment would be repeated latter.
One on the unit was fixed with hinges so that it could be folded to facilitate transportation and storage, it is seen with a piece of PVC tube placing on top of the metal funnel. Pictures of SIPAV7.2 and it "payload", the food in the cooking pot is in the picture below respectively
The other unit is a older version SIAPV7.1, it acts as the control unit to compare and contrast results.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Cooking under the sun
Solar cookers work by harnessing the energy from the sun in the form of light, diverting it to a targeted spot and trapping it to heat the food. There are many benefits of solar cooking: low upfront investment; no running cost; little maintenance; and best of all, environmentally friendly. In developed countries, they are used mainly due to environmental consciousness, while in under developed and developing countries they are used because of the acute scarcity of cooking fuel. In interior Sarawak, where the transportation cost of fuel is high, solar cooking can be a very beneficial alternative.
Solar cooker versus solar electricity
Solar cooking is a technology for cooking using the native form of energy from the sun. That way, there are little conversion losses and solar cooking can be very efficient. Energy from the sun is used as a primary form of energy to heat the cooker and cook the food. Whereas in solar electricity, there are photovoltaic (PV) processed to produce electricity and there is need for the storage of electrical energy.
Solar cooker in Sarawak
Through sheer enthusiasm and interest in these technologies, Ir. Allen Liew, an electrical and telecommunication engineer and his group of friends started to work on solar cooker in 2007. Their experiments proved that solar cooking is both possible and practicable in Sarawak.
Cooking time using solar cookers varies depending on weather conditions. On sunny days, solar cookers can cook food almost or just as fast as conventional gas or electrical stoves. Furthermore, due to the nature of the radiated heat in a solar cooker, food tastes better and more nutrients can be retained. In addition, food cooked in a solar cooker can be left unattended as it will not burn.
Solar cooker and RES in Sarawak
Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) that connects grid electrical power to the rural settlements in Sarawak managed to address the needs for lighting. However, the group observed that rural forks do not cook using electricity for two reasons. First, the electrical capacity allocated to them is not sufficient for them to use electric oven or cookers.
Electrical cookers or oven normally consume a big amount of electrical power and therefore not viable for users under the RES. Secondly, because of their high power consumption, electric cookers are relatively expensive to use. The high electricity bill could be a financial burden to the rural fork.
Solar cookers could be an answer to the high transportation charges of fuel in interior Sarawak.
There are obvious benefits in using solar for cooking. Due to environmental, economic, and health reasons, reducing dependence on firewood and conventional fuels, and increasing the use of free and renewable solar energy are important global goal, and should also be our goal. Solar cookers can be significant labour-saving devices since there is no need to gather firewood and so on.
It was reported that more than 35 million m3 of firewood is burned in the savannah region alone each year and it is estimated that Nigeria will be completely barren in year 2020 judging from the current depletion rate. Whereas the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) predicted that 70% of fuel wood consumption can be replaced by renewable energies like the sun.
How solar cookers work
Solar cookers apply solar thermal principles, where solar energy is used to heat cooking utensils such as a pot, which heat the food inside. It is estimated that the sun's radiation reaching the earth surface is about 1KW/M². That explains why a laboratory magnifying glass is able to focus enough energy from the sun to start fire on a piece of paper!
Solar rays may be collected by means of a funnel, parabolic or even a sheet of slander plate collectors. The collector may be made of cardboard, plywood, with tinted reflective sheet such as kitchen aluminum foil. It may also be made from a polished metal sheets or mirror.
Solar energy is directed to the target by the adjustment of the angle of the reflectors. Since Sarawak is sitting almost (4 deg south) right on equator, the reflectors may be omitted, though they are added advantages.
Solar heat must be trapped. This is most effectively done by using a black object or a blackened surface. Pots or other cooking utensils may be turned into an effective heat trap by painting them black. Also, it is also equally important to provide an air insulator outside of the pot to prevent the loss of heat. This may be achieved by insulating the cooker by means of a clear glass enclosure or a simple plastic bag.
Usage of solar cookers
Solar cookers are used widely in many countries across the globe. Americans are the active promoters of solar cookers, while the North Africans are the major users and benefit most from this technology. Solar cookers are also widely used in the Middle East as well as the Indian subcontinents. Our neighbouring countries, Vietnam and Indonesia are users of solar cookers. In Vietnam, through the work of Solarserver organisation, a factory is currently being built to manufacture solar cookers, which would then be distributed to the rural poor.
Types of solar cookers
Solar cookers may be classified into three categories: box cooker, panel cooker and parabolic cooker. Each type of cooker has its strengths and weaknesses. Box cookers are simplest to construct and can be built using two cardboard boxes of different sizes. The smaller box is inserted into the bigger one to form a double insulated chamber. The inside of the cooker is lined with a reflective sheet, such as aluminium foil, that acts as a reflector. A piece of glass, which may be double- glazed, is used for the top part to allow the diffusion of sunlight, but prevents heat from escaping. This variation is the most used model in the USA. However in his experiment, Allen Liew found that the solar box cooker did not produce promising results. It did not generate enough heat to allow food to cook properly.
Panel cookers or funnel cookers are bigger than solar box cookers and more difficult to construct. However, after the initial algebraic calculation, a solar panel can be reproduced easily by using templates. This variation consists of a cooker chamber, which may be constructed using plywood or cardboards. The inner wall of the cooking chamber is lined with reflective sheet, such as aluminium foil. A panel or funnel cooker can have one or more pieces of reflector.
Parabolic cookers are more difficult to construct manually. This variation works by converging solar energy into a particular focal area i.e. the cooker's surface. Parabolic cookers can produce intense heat on the cooking surface, which makes it possible to fry food and bake cakes.
However, the reflector in this cooker can be glaring and one must wear an effective protection for the eyes when cooking using this device. Parabolic cooker is difficult to construct with precision manually. This is because of the difficulties in achieving the required precision in the construction of the parabola.
The team constructed several units of the different types of solar cookers to verify their suitability for use in Sarawak. For ease of identification and addressing, the solar cookers built by Allen are called SIAP, which stands for "Solar In Actions Panel". These solar cookers can reach around 120c in a clear sunny day.
The solar cookers were used to cook various types of food including sausages, eggs and cake. Eggs can be "boiled" in a solar cooker with the shell intact. It will take about an hour to boil four chicken eggs on a sunny day.
Eggs can also be steamed using a solar cooker. In this case, the eggs are broken and spread on a plate and placed inside the cooker. It will take around 40 minutes to stream two chicken eggs.
It can also be used to bake cakes. In the experiment, an 8" cake with about 2" of thickness took about an hour to cook.
The team has so far constructed and tested about five different models of solar cookers in Kuching. The results of their experiments prove that solar cooking is a possible and viable alternative to conventional cooking here.
The solar funnel cooker appears to be the best amongst all the models. Here, solar cookers shall be over designed so that they can heat promptly when the sky is clear.
The solar funnel cooker that the team constructed and tested worked well as a heating chamber and could produce results similar to the steaming and boiling methods using conventional stoves. In their experiments, the team was able to cook rice, boil eggs, steam cakes and bake sausages. The team is certain that this method can be used to cook various types of Asian dishes just as effectively as using gas, electric cookers or firewood.
Uses of solar cookers
Based on estimates, a solar cooker should cost around RM300. This price is expected to come down when they are produced in reasonable quantity. The solar cookers do not incur any running cost and there are no consumable parts. Solar cookers also require low maintenance and replacement parts for these devices are available locally.
Potential use of solar cookers include general heating, boiling, steaming, frying, baking and etc.
They may also be used on the farm where farmers can cook their meals. Also food cooked using solar cookers won't burn.
As a pasteuriser, solar cookers can turn fresh water into safe drinking water. For instance, jars of fresh water can be placed inside a solar cooker together with a pasteurisation temperature indicator in the morning. The indicators will tell at the end of the operation whether the pasteurisation process is successful or not. If the operation is successful, the water can be store and consumed.
Alternatively, solar cookers may be used for disaster relief operations. Sould basic amenities be cut off in disaster scenes, resources and cooking fuel can be scarce. Solar cookers may come in handy.
Solar cookers can also be a useful tool in institutions of learning. They can be used to educate the young on the wonders of the universe and the importance of the conservasion of earth and its resources.
Further works should be carried out in the research and promotion of solar cookers in the State, and it is Allen's hope that the people's representatives, ministers and relevant departments as well as organisations can assist in the funding and promoting of cooking with solar energy in Sarawak.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Allen was explaining the operation of the Solar Cookers to the Teachers and Principal
Allen was showing slide-presentation during the Seminar at Dewan Semerbak
Attentive Stundents and Teachers were listening to Allen
Andrew was explaining the Operation of the Solar Cookers to the Students after the seminar
Saturday, May 3, 2008
KUCHING: The spiralling cost of cooking fuel is hitting the wallets of consumers in every stratum of society.
But, maybe, not for long, as solar cookers have emerged as a viable way of preparing meals. This fact was underscored by Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (SAINS) during a demonstration here on Wednesday.
SAINS senior network engineer Allen Liew Than Ho said the benefits of solar cooking were a low investment cost, no running costs, little required maintenance and it was environmentally friendly.
In addition, food being prepared in a solar cooker could be left unattended as it would not burn.
"Solar cookers work by diverting sunlight to a targeted spot, which then traps and generates heat, which cooks food," he explained.
He said on sunny days, solar cookers could cook food almost or just as fast as conventional gas or electric stoves.
For his demonstration, Liew used three types of solar cookers: the bug, the funnel and the shuttle.
All of the solar cookers can be constructed manually with varying degrees of difficulty, with the bug cooker being the simplest to construct and the shuttle the most difficult.
Liew used all three types of solar cookers to cook rice, eggs and sausages within an hour.
Applauding SAINS for its awareness programme, SMK Batu Kawa principal Nedumaran Lingappan said the initiative was helpful in educating students on the importance of conserving energy and the environment.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
There will be three speakers: Allen Liew, Andrew Tan and CM Tan. The seminar will focus on the benefits and importance of using environmental friendly technologies and renewable energy to save the earth.
Apart from slides presentations and talks, there will be a demo on the cookers to cook food. Preparation on the demo will start at 12:00noon. Below is the letter (in Bahasa Malaysia) of invitation from the school.
Monday, April 21, 2008
能源 Vs 研發(上)
最難能可貴的發現是，在炎熱的天氣下,太陽能烤爐烹煮的速度，大可比美傳統電或煤氣爐。由於太陽烤爐是採用放射性的方法來增溫, 因此，太陽爐煮熟的食物口感特別好, 更保留食物的原汁原味和營養。更況太陽烤爐煮食更不必擔心食物燒焦。
“其實，太陽能烤爐概念始源於美國, 且在中國、印度及非洲獲得迅速發展。在東南亞, 太陽烤爐在印度支那國家，如越南和柬埔寨等國家開始普遍使用，並于2005年由德國的非政府組織帶至鄰國印尼的亞齊進行試驗使用皆段。”
能源 Vs 研發(下)
為了方便鑒定及說明，所有太陽爐都稱為“SIAP”，即太陽能作用儀板（Solar In Action Panel）。這些太陽爐可在晴朗天氣時，達到攝氏120度的溫度。