Nighttime Solar Grilling with Fresnel

I took one look at the grill and knew they used a Fresnel lens!   What surprised me was that the latent-heat storage of this BBQ.   I didn’t know heat could at above 450 degrees F for up 25 hours!

I haven’t checked You Tube, but it won’t be long before the DIY version of this will be available.   MIT may invented it, but I doubt this would not be hard or expensive to make.  The only real challenge is making it pretty.

A Fresnel lens can be harvested for FREE off of rear-projection TV.    Watch Freecycle and Craig List for FREE ones.

The following August 2011 article is from

….A group of MIT students are working with the technology to develop a prototype solar grill. Derek Ham, Eric Uva, and Theodora Vardouli are conducting a study through their multi-disciplinary course “iTeams,” short for “Innovation Teams”, to determine the interest in such a concept and then hopefully launch a business to manufacture and distribute these grills. The goal is to develop a business model for distributing solar grills to developing nations as well as a grill for the American market. The American version is expected to be a hybrid propane/solar model that will allow for flame cooking as well as through thermal convection. If all goes well, in a couple years we just be giving solar grills as presents on Father’s Day and enjoying sun-kissed instead of char-broiled even after the sun goes down….

* * *

October 2012 update:   I noticed this August 12, 2012 video is about welding with a Fresnel lens.  What I found interesting is the heat storage ability of steel.   I am guessing a solar grill has a steel plate for the heat sink.   I have a couple Fresnels gleaned from TVs.  Now I am on the hunt for a thick piece of steel (for FREE of course) so I can place my cook pot upon it.    (In case your wondering, yes, I do think solar cooking is addictive.   Well at least for me it is.)

Here is the welding video I just referred to:


About Hemet Sunshine

I am a homeschooling mom living in Hemet, California. I am interested in building a better community for the ones I love.
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2 Responses to Nighttime Solar Grilling with Fresnel

  1. Mobile Rik says:

    Any progress on your DIY solar grill? 😉 I saw some other articles more recently about solar energy plants that use a related (or possibly the same) technology — molten nitrate salts — to store heat for nighttime use… but for entire cities. (I forget the details now, but I’m sure it was on Inhabitat.)

    • Nope, I have been working on another unrelated project. I won’t get to this anytime soon since I already have a solar oven and rocket stove. Check out my post on solar wielding. I bet the steel plate that is being used for a work top is probably the same thing that can be used to set a grill on.

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