Roger initially recognized that parabolic (“dish”) solar cookers work well, especially in cold climates, because they produce high temperatures. However, they require constant repositioning to keep the focal point on the cooking pot, and they are bulky and heavy which makes them less practical for camping or preparedness purposes .
Solar box cookers cook at lower temperatures, but again their bulk makes them difficult to store and transport in developing countries or for camping or preparedness purposes.
So Roger decided to consider “panel” solar cookers, because they are less-expensive and can be folded for easy transportation or storage.
The Haines Solar Cooker combines the best of panel and parabolic cookers to create an unique "panelbolic" design. He replaced the traditional cardboard reflector with durable high-temperature reflective MPET foam, and replaced the plastic cooking bag with a durable cylindrical “cooking sleeve” that insulates the pot, but keeps it accessible during during cooking. To top it off, a clear plastic cover holds the cooker in the proper shape, even in windy conditions.
Roger chose tough, high-temperature reflective metalized polyester (MPET) foam material that is impervious to boiling water, will not oxidize, and cannot be scratched off. MPET is easy to recycle and is environmentally safe through the whole production and recycling process without pollution. Identical material is used for high-end automobile sunshades which last for ten years or more in the hot sun.
Roger designed a rectangle of UV-resistant polycarbonate plastic, rolled into a cylindrical “cooking sleeve” that insulates the pot, and elevates it off the surface of the reflector so that sunlight can be reflected onto the bottom of the pot. The sleeve makes the lid accessible during cooking. It is also adjustable to fit most round pots, and should last for the life of the cooker.
For windy or cold conditions, a clear plastic cover provides a second layer of insulation (included). The cover fits loosely to prevent steam from condensing on it. It consists of a circle of UV-resistant polycarbonate plastic film with a radius cut overlapped to form a rigid, flat cone-similar to a sun hat.
What can it cook? Anything you can cook in an oven. See the recipes here.