Three students, Tony, Tyler, Devan, and their mentor Bart , as a school project for Cal Poly Humboldt, collaborated to design and build a hot air popcorn maker powered only by the sun. Using a heat exchanger constructed by a previous engineering student, a parabolic solar cooking dish, a fan, and a, solar panel and various recycled materials from scrap piles we created a near working device. Although we never made a full batch of popcorn, we did achieve hot enough temperatures (about 300i F within the heat exchanger) that we later found had popped the kernels we placed in there to see if they would pop
Introduction[edit | edit source]
This project was for a school group project for the ENG 114 class taught at Cal Poly Humboldt by Lonny Grafman. Many neat projects were done by other groups as well such as the solar cooker for CCAT, The thermal curtains CCAT thermal curtains howto, and an earth ship wall.
Project Requirements[edit | edit source]
The project began with 4 components already assembled and ready to use:
- A rusty steal heat exchanger designed by a previous engineering student,
- A parabolic satellite dish converted into a solar cooker,
- A 12v D.C. fan and
- a solar panel to power the fan.
Our assignment was to take these elements and find a way to combine them into a functional hot air popcorn popper. The design began with the idea that a fan would be based at the apex of the dish and would blow air through a tube to the heat exchanger placed at the dish's focal point. The air would...
Design[edit | edit source]
The design began with the idea that a fan would be based at the apex of the dish and would blow air through a tube to the heat exchanger placed at the dish's focal point. The air would....
Costs[edit | edit source]
We only spent about $5 for the scrap metal
Discussion[edit | edit source]
This is still a work in progress.
Next Steps[edit | edit source]
The next steps it needs is to be refined to get more air, and hotter air flowing into the kernels. This is best done in summer when there is sun.