My Name is Tyler A and I am in seventh grade. I made this box for a project and here are my results and information about building a solar oven.
Step 1: What Are Solar Ovens?
A solar oven is an oven that is heated using the heat energy from the sun. The solar oven can be used to heat or cook food, or pasteurize drinks. There are a few of different types of solar cookers including solar panel cookers, solar ovens and parabolic solar stoves. Solar ovens were first invented in 1767 and are still used in parts of Africa, India and China today. I built a solar oven.
Step 2: Benefits
There are some benefits of solar ovens. First, solar ovens don't use electricity but uses heat from the sun. This could save you a few bucks in the long run! Also solar ovens can be used in many different places outside. Another benefit is that the solar oven is environmentally friendly. It doesn't use any fossil fuel or electricity to run, so there is no environmental damage.
Step 3: Limitations
Some limitations of the solar oven are that it is limited to different temperatures depending on how you design it. Also this temperature variant can also be caused by the amount of sunlight that the solar oven captures. On a cloudy day, while the oven will still heat up, it will not get to a higher temperature as quickly as if it was a bright sunny day. The weather is also a factor in the use of a solar oven. If it is windy, raining or snowing, the efficiency of the solar cooker is really diminished. Lastly, the solar oven can lose heat quickly if it isn't built correctly or can also cause burns if it gets to hot.
Step 4: Building Process
To find my idea for a solar oven, I looked online and at other instructables. I decided to build a solar oven.
The first thing I did was spray paint the inside of a cardboard box black, this is to attract the heat into the box. Black absorbs heat, so it is best to color the box this color to attract as much heat as possible.
Then I cut off the side flaps of the box in order to use the for reflective panels. I taped two evenly cut sides together and then used reflective sticky paper and placed it on one side of the cardboard flaps.
Next, I set up the solar box by using a cooking rack and a pan. I used the cooking rack so that the pan would be raised to allow heat to move underneath the cooking pan. The rack was also black. I did not have a black pan, but I used a silver pan to cook the food. I placed these in the box along with a oven safe thermometer.
The reflective panels were next on the solar oven. I duct taped them onto the sides on the box and angled them to try to make center reflective point where I would place the food. This center point would hopefully be the hottest point of the oven.
Lastly, I placed the egg on the pan and had to close the top of the oven. I used Saran Wrap to trap the heat into the oven. This Saran Wrap hopefully would keep as much heat in the box needed to cook food.
Step 5: Materials
Step 6: Materials of Building Process
Step 7: Pictures of Building Process
Step 8: Pictures of Building Process
Step 9: Conclusion and Results
At 12:15 pm I cracked the egg on the pan. The temperature of the solar oven was not reading anything on the thermometer at the time. The weather was overcast with intermittent clouds and outside temperature of 60.
I placed the solar oven in the sun and made sure that the panels were facing the sun. I also angled the box towards the sun.
At 3:21 pm the temperature of the solar oven was at 150 degrees F.
The temperature of the solar oven never reached higher than 150 F. The egg did not cook fully.
In conclusion, the result of this project was not a complete success. I would change my solar oven design for anothe time I would try this. I would change out the saran wrap for a piece of glass or plexi glass. This would hold the heat into the box better. The saran wrap allowed heat to escape out of the sides since they were not fully airtight. Also, I would try this on a day where the weather is clear and bright sun. The clouds added some shade to the solar oven and for part of the time the egg was cooking, it was not in a direct sunlight path. I would also add some insulation to the oven to try to keep the heat within the oven for a longer period of time.
Hopefully if you decide to build a solar oven, you can use my plans and yours will be a success!