Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Design-Build 3: solar cooker

Overall Course Objectives

To learn the general principles of project management and achieve specific process targets using specified techniques, such as basic thermodynamics, heat transfer, surface engineering, and design principles.

Learning Objectives

  • Go from a concept through a design process to a design that meets a stated set of requirements
  • Given a technical system, recognize sub-systems on the basis of their functionality
  • Build a multi-physics model with a radiation heat source (the sun), reflections, absorbance and heat transport in solid media
  • Utilise the multi-physics model to optimise your own design for the best performance
  • Given a set of requirements, set appropriate materials attribute limits and individuate appropriate materials indexes for materials selection
  • Apply materials indexes to solve a materials selection problem analytically
  • Understand and reflect on the societal needs of the solar collector, including using universal design to promote an inclusive mindset in a design process
  • Apply basic control strategies to a functional prototype to maintain, for example, a desired temperature in a system
  • Perform energy analysis on experimentally collected data to evaluate the performance of a prototype
  • Present the design of the prototype, construction and design process in a clear manner to both a technical and non-technical audience
  • Manage small projects using basic project management tools
  • Assess the safety of, and safely perform a hands-on activity

Course Content

Students will apply basic thermodynamics, heat transfer, material selection, surface engineering, and design principles to design a solar energy harvester in the form of a solar cooker. Students will work in groups of six to design, build and test a solar cooker and apply a system to control its temperature. Selection of materials and system design to maximize collection of solar radiation will be key components that determine the efficacy of solar energy harvest and the appeal of the product for specific applications. Students will learn how to go quickly from a novel concept to a prototype design.

Prerequisites to take the exam are to submit a project plan in the form of a Gantt chart that includes a description of safety aspects for the whole project to be approved by a panel.

Teaching Method

3-week intensive design-build course. Students work in groups of six to design a small solar collector and then build and test it using prototyping techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing. There will be lectures the first week and the final two weeks are hands-on.


This course is part of the mandatory study plan for BSc in General Engineering and will build on knowledge gathered from the previous two design-build courses. Students from BSc in General Engineering will be given priority to the course.

Please be aware that due to the risk of harmful effects you can NOT follow this course if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have questions regarding the above, please contact the course responsible.

Limited number of seats

Minimum: 10, Maximum: 150.

Please be aware that this course has a minimum requirement for the number of participants needed, in order for it to be held. If these requirements are not met, then the course will not be held. Furthermore, there is a limited number of seats available. If there are too many applicants, a pool will be created for the remainder of the qualified applicants, and they will be selected at random. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether you have been allocated a spot.

See course in the course database.





3 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 47203
Course type Bachelor
Semester start Week 1
Semester end Week 35
Days Mon-fri 8:00-17:00

7.500,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more