SolarTube SunBeam Model
- The SolarTube Sunbeam model is the entry level Solar Cooker.
- Light and compact these units are extremely simple to set up and operate.
- Simply open the solar enhancers, point to the sun and load the tube.
This is an extremely mature and globally established market. The technology is called EVACUATED TUBES – try looking this up on the internet to find out lots of information on the technology. The tube was developed as it allows more surface area to be hit than a flat plate as the sun moves in the sky. Quite simply someone had the idea that instead of extracting the naturally generated heat through a heating element, why not stick some food in and let it get cooked!
It consists of a two layers of glass with a vacuum in between the layers. The outer layer of the solar tube is Borosilicate glass which is very low in iron and allows 98% of light energy to pass through. The 2nd inner layer has very special coatings applied to it. The special selective coating change the short wave solar radiation into long wave heat radiation and is almost 94% efficient meaning only 6% of the suns energy is lost!
So we have established that the technology is established and mature, and highly efficient at extracting heat from sunlight, however sunlight or irradiation is needed as the engine to this technology, so the brighter the day, the more heat can be extracted.
SolarTubeCookers work in all weather, but as they rely on irradiation as their power source, the brighter the light the greater they power. So they will work in all weather, but some weather is better that other!
Cooking on a SolarTubeCooker is not a straight replacement for a BBQ cooker. The power generated is not instant and massive like an gas or charcoal bbq, but more of a steady lower heat like a low oven. The units will definitely brown and sizzle food in good sunlight, but it will take longer than a very high heat fossil fuel system. The fun is in the magic of the cooking process with no cost of any other fuel source other than what is provided for free!