The solar reflectors can be used to bake, cook, or fry all kinds of food, as well as, to generate steam. They are based on the Scheffler type, as they are built of steel sections presenting 16 m² of highly reflective aluminum. Powered by a sensor-controlled motor, the reflector rotates, following the course of the sun and focusing its light on the one point throughout the year. This focus collects the sunlight and therefore reaches temperatures, which exceed 1000 °C. Depending on the seasons, the reflector is configured to the angle of the sun at two levers very simply by hand. The system is transportable.
The concentrated energy can be used for heating a plate of about 1 m² or an oven to 180-250 °C in about an hour. The temperature is kept constant by an integrated stone core. Further, it can be used to generate steam as an energy source, as several combined reflectors can vaporize water in an absorber that is connected to a pressure tank (to max 10 bars).
Small and medium sized enterprises are on the look-out for potential energy savings and alternative power sources as they are fighting for survival in the face of exploding energy costs. Especially in Mexico, where fossil fuels had been heavily subsidised for a long time , prices have been subjected to a gradual increase intended to bring them onto the international level.
The design of a Scheffler reflector overcomes the problems of sun tracking and focus point adjustment. For small restaurants, bakeries, tortillerias and dairies, this kind of affordable energy could be the chance for survival and offering job opportunities – given that energy costs keep rising. Even the concentrated sunlight from one single reflector can be used for cooking and baking. There is no need to change the infrastructure: Anyone who uses a conventional stove can immediately do so with the solar reflector, because the concentrated heat is provided from below, in contrast to a conventional gas or wood stove. Only the power supply changes, the method of cooking itself remains unchanged. The plate in the kitchen can take normal pots and pans of steel or earthenware.
Material per Reflector: 16 m² of highly reflective aluminium, a sensor controlled motor for rotation (powered by a small PV island system)
Energy generation/Temperature: Temperatures in excess of 1000 °C (reflector focus concentrates the sunlight by a factor of 800)
Costs: 6.000 Euro (Unit 4 x 16 m² reflector)
Conditions: The solar reflectors can be used in regions with high solar radiation.
Winner of the Community Prize of the "empowering people. Award" - Gregor Schäpers' solution "Solar Reflectors"
North America: Mexico
Organization: Trinysol - Mexico
Contact: Gregor Schäpers
Used by: Mexico
Food & Agriculture