Introduction: Pizza Box Solar Oven
This is a very simple and fun project. Most of the items can be found at home, and assembly takes 1/2 an hour at most.
People in poorer parts of the world use larger solar ovens in their daily lives. There are many types of solar ovens and I encourage you to try them. Some things you should try would be melting crayons or making s'mores. I hope this scientific project will bring you as much entertainment as it brought me.
Step 1: Materials
-utility knife or strong scissors
-tape (any kind works)
-clear wrap/clear packaging tape
-some kind of black material/black paint (paper, fabric, ect.)
-permanent marker (any color)
If you ask your local pizza shop, they may be willing to give you a box for free.
Step 2: Measure Twice Cut Once
Using the permanent marker and ruler, mark the 3 sides that you will cut for the flap. Try to leave about an inch (2.5 cm) of border around the sides. Don't cut the side where the box hinges.
Step 3: Cut Cut Cut
Using your utility knife/scissors, cut along the lines you drew with permanent marker. Fold the flap up so it stands up straight. You may have to lightly run the utility knife along the fourth side to be able to crease it. USE ADULT SUPERVISION AND PRACTICE KNIFE SAFETY
Step 4: Tinfoil Time
Use the tinfoil to completely cover one side of the flap. The side should be the one that when closed faces into the box. Refer to the picture if you are unsure but what I mean. If the tinfoil seems loose, secure it with tape on the back.
Step 5: Clear Wrapping the Window
*THIS STEP IS FOR THOSE USING CLEAR WRAP* Open the lid of the pizza box. Taking you clear wrap, cover the space that you cut the flap out of, and secure with tape. Make sure it is completely airtight for best results.
Step 6: Taping the Window
*THIS STEP IS FOR THOSE USING CLEAR PACKAGING TAPE* Take a strip of tape and place it as close to the hinge of the flap as you can. Continue taping farther down the box with a slight overlap to prevent air escaping.
Step 7: Covering the Bottom
Lay your black material so it completely covers the bottom. If 2 layers are needed to fill all the gaps, go for it. If you are painting, completely cover the bottom; 2 coats of paint may be necessary.
Step 8: Insulation Is Key
Twist your newspaper into rolls, or crumple it into balls. Surround the inner edge of the pizza box with the newspaper. If it needs to be secured, tape it into place. Make sure the lid of the pizza box can still close or it will not be effective.
Step 9: How to Use
Place whatever you would like to cook into the box. Close the lid and take the box outside. Adjust the tinfoil flap so maximum sunlight is reflecting on through the window. Depending on the food, cooking may take longer than others. Monitor your solar oven every hour or so to make sure the most sunlight possible is going inside.
Step 10: How It Works
When the sunlight reflects off of the tinfoil, it goes into the box and hits the food. Any other sun is absorbed by the paper (black traps heat), and the temperature inside rises. The newspaper insulation helps trap heat inside, and the clear wrap window doesn't allow any air to escape. Have fun using solar power!
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