What makes the ASSC work?
The unique feature of the All Season Solar Cooker is its ability to accurately focus all of its reflectors on any solar elevation while maintaining a flat cooking floor.
So how does the ASSC capture the very low sun? Well, its simple geometry. Sunlight must strike the reflector panels at 60º if we want all the light to enter the cooking area. In a well designed cooker, all of the panels will be oriented at 60º to the incoming sunlight. So, if the incoming sunlight is approaching us at say, 1º above the horizon, the front lower reflector panel must be 29º below the plane of the floor. As you can see in the photo, the ASSC must be placed on the edge of a table so that the front lower reflector panel can drop low enough to catch the early morning rays.
In fact, the front lower reflector panel must remain below the plane of the floor until the sun reaches an elevation of 30º. In winter months where I live, the maximum solar elevation at the solstice is 33º. So I always have to have the cooker on the edge of a table during the deep winter months.
Where I live, if your cooker’s front lower reflector panel rests parallel to the ground, it will not be in proper focus until 10:20 a.m. on December 21st. And then it will start losing power at 1:20 p.m. So your cooker collected all the light for 3 hours then, due to design, collects partial power for the remainder of the day. The ASSC collects all light, all available power, for 10 hours. That is the advantage of the ASSC.
The elevation bar, green in this photo, connects the upper array and the lower array. When one array is focused, the elevation bar ensures that the opposite array follows along and is also focused. This is called coordinated focus. With coordinated focus all panels move in unison to optimally collect the incoming light.
And the cooker’s floor remains level throughout the full range of reflector adjustment.