Introduction: Automated Solar Oven

About: As a Junior in college I'm working on expanding my skills and learning what it means to be an engineer. In my free time I like to CAD using Fusion 360, along with printing my designs and often making projects …

A assignment came up where I was required to make a solar oven. I thought to myself "I've made this before, what's something I can do to make it even better?" That's where the idea of an Arduino assisted oven came into play. As someone virtually brand new to Arduino programming but had plenty of mechanical experience all I needed was some programming help and on-hand supplies.


You'll be able to do this project with minimal supplies.

Solar Oven:

  • A closable box of some sort, a shoebox would work well too
  • Black construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Parchment paper or something similar (optional; I just used this to keep it clean for the next thing baked in it)

Automated Door:

  • Servo
  • Arduino (a Uno isn't needed, I was also experimenting with a Nano for this project)
  • Pin wires
  • Power source

Tools and Building Supplies

  • Tape (I used masking and duct)
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife (easier for cutting out the top but could be done with a scissors)

Step 1: Keep the Heat

Line the bottom and sides with black construction paper.

Step 2: Let the Light In

Cut out a large rectangle from the top. You'll want to be careful about how this is done in order to use the piece you cut out later. Once you have a hole cover it with plastic wrap. This will trap heat and keep out bugs.

Step 3: Brighten It Up

Wrap the piece you cut out in the last step with aluminum foil. Once attached it will redirect sunlight into the box. If you have a way to attach the flap solidly and don't have access to an Arduino and servo, you can stop here.

Step 4: Time to Automate

Attach a servo to the piece of aluminum cardboard with some hot glue. You'll want to be conscious of the direction the servo rotates. Servos only rotate 180 degrees and you wouldn't want the door trying to go into the box. Attach both with some duct tape to the top of the box.

Step 5: Worthwhile Connections

As pictured above the Arduino should be wired to the servo using pin 9 to orange, 5v to red, and ground to brown. The breadboard shown at the edge of the picture isn't needed, that's just because mine's attached there for other projects.

Step 6: Nearing Completion

The only mechanical part left is to attach the electronics to the back of your solar oven. My Arduino remote power source was malfunctioning so I improvised and used a power bank with the same cord that connects an Arduino to a computer. If you have an alternative to use for yourself like a battery functioning as it should then great, it's just the resources I had available at that moment. It's all software from here...

Step 7: Finally Done!

Click for the code uploaded through GitHub, make any tweaks necessary, and you're finished.