Introduction: Portable and Folding Solar Oven

Picture of Portable and Folding Solar Oven

I'm going to show you how to make a portable solar oven, folding and very light.

Although it does not reach high temperatures, (The most that I have achieved have been 90º celsius), as you see in the last step, it has been enough to cook a biscuit, so in the same way you can cook many other things.

Keep in mind that cooking times are much higer than with an electric oven due to its low temperature, but in the oder hand we can take it with us to any place to make outdoors meals, without having to carry large stuff or run danger of fire.

Please excuse the mistakes that I will make, English is not my first language.

If you like this instructable, please vote for it in "Solar Contest", "Outdoor cooking contest" and "Outside Contest"
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The two basic materials are:

A car sunshade.

A transparent and flexible plastic. (In my case a cover of those that are used to store clothes).

To build it we will also need:

Contact glue.

Stapler.

X-acto knife.

Clothespins or big paper clips.

Step 2: Making the Main Form of the Oven

Picture of Making the Main Form of the Oven

Taking advantage of the fact that the car sunshades are usually rectangular, mine was about (1,80 x 0,70 m) , we fold it in half and glue the sunshade to obtain a more or less square surface with double insulating material.

Adapt the drawing that I show here to the size of the material that you have to use the maximum possible.

Cut out the silhouette.

Mark the additional lines that appear in the plane that will then serve to make the folds.

Step 3: Close the Contour With the Stapler.

Picture of Close the Contour With the Stapler.

Although we have glued the two halves of the insulation material, to make sure that it does not take off when folding and having it in the sun, close the contour with a stapler.

(Of course, you can sew it ... but I do it better with the stapler and I take less time).

Step 4: Cut the Fold Lines

Picture of Cut the Fold Lines

In the octagonal piece, mark the lines of bending and make a superficial cut, in the first of the plastic layers.

This will help us to bend where we want, if not, the folding will be more irregular and it will be more complicated to remain standing when it is open and flat when we close it.

Step 5: Initial Assembly

Picture of Initial Assembly

Fold the piece you've made as shown in the graphs, helping you with clothespins in points 1 and 2.

The oven will stand as you see in the photo. And the front view will have become a hexagon instead of the octagon we had before.

Step 6: "Sew" the Plastic Cover.

Picture of "Sew" the Plastic Cover.

With the oven installed, place a piece of transparent plastic large enough to cover the entire surface of the hexagon.

Use the stapler to "sew" the plastic to the top three edges of the oven, so that the plastic is attached to the top half, but the bottom one is loose to introduce the food. Keep in mind that there must be a little transparent plastic on the bottom so that you can close the "cap" with the clothespins.

Step 7: Testing

Picture of Testing

Now, we already have our oven ready.

We can try to close the lid and see how it is once folded.

I use the clothespins to close it and so when I need to use it, I do not have to go looking for clips out there :)

Step 8: First Test. Baking a Cake.

Picture of First Test. Baking a Cake.

To cook with this oven we only have to place it facing the sun. If you have the possibility of nailing a stick at its back in the ground to hold it with another pin, its much better, because with the heat it tends to close.

Ideally, the pan or pot you use may be matte black and if you can, put a transparent glass lid to increase the temperature.

In my case I made a biscuit (you don't need a special recipe, use the one you like most), in a small black pot without lid, previously oiled so that the cake does not stick as we would do in any oven.

Before putting the saucepan in the oven let it preheat faced the sun for half an hour.

I put the pot in the oven and closed the bottom of the plastic with clothespins.

It was maintained at temperatures between 80ºC and 90º C. It is convenient not to open the oven unless it is essential so that the heat does not go away.

This cake took about two hours to cook (Between 11h and 13h).

To know if it is cooked enough, insert a knife in the center. If the knife comes out "clean" it is already cooked.

During the time that you have the food in the oven, take care that it is facing the sun. That is, you will probably have to move it sometimes.

Bon Appetit!

If you like this instructable, please vote for it in "Solar Contest", "Outdoor cooking contest" and "Outside Contest"
Thank you!!!

Comments

MartyJ1 (author)2017-09-05

I think there is no need to double the thickness. Insulation of the reflector is not a problem really, but focusing more sun-strike area is the goal. So, leave your shade full-size, and just use clips to shape it and sticks to hold it open. A full-front transparent cover is nice, but also unnecessary. Instead, insulate just your cooking pot, perhaps by putting a black pot inside a pyrex dish with cover.

belsilene (author)MartyJ12017-09-05

Thanks for your words! If I want to improve my oven anytime, I'll keep them in mind.

I've made it with double nsulation for two reasons:

1. As I was trying to replicate a commercial model, I needed an octogon, so, in a rectangular shape, I didn't need one half of the sunshade, so, I used double thickness.

2. One layer of the sunshade was very thin, so it didn't kept the shape and didn't stood open. With two layers it keeps the shape and can stands up and open by its own means.

Bests

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm co-owner and creator on www.mj2artesanos.es. Along with Miguel, my husband, I enjoy working on something I love in the company of ...
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