Best Solar Oven

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About: i rock

In my Engineering class, my teacher told us that we had to invent or modify something and post it on the Instructables web site. I looked at three or four solar oven, and using their findings and ideas, I built the Ultimate SOLAR OVEN!  

This Solar Oven is very cheap and easy to make.  It uses around-the-house items that you use every day.  

I hope you enjoy my solar oven.

Ben G.
 

Supplies:

Step 1: What You Need!

Like I said, almost all the items are things you find around you house.  You will need...

-1 big box (You probably want it to be a square box that is bigger than 2 feet long)
-1 small box  (It should also be square and 4-6 inches smaller than the big box)
-Styrofoam insulation (you can cut it up to fit in the big box)
-Tinfiol
-Black spray paint
-Newspaper
-Glass (One person used glass from a broken scanner.  It will need to be big enough to cover the box.  You can also buy a sheet of glass and use a glass cutter to cut it so it has the right dimensions.) 
-Tape or glue
-Glass cleaner
-Pare towel
-Sharpe (who says it can't be pretty)
-Thermometer
-Baking rack (optional)
-Timer (optional)
-If it isn't sunny, you can try a very bright light.  It probably won't work as well.

Once you have gathered all the materials, you may go on to the next step...
 

Step 2: Paint and Dry

First, you must go out side with your small box and paint the bottom of the box black with your spray paint.  DO NOT breath in the fumes!  Depending on you paint bottle, it should dry in 15 minutes.

Step 3: Tinfiol in the Small Box

After the small box is dry, bring it back inside.  Then use the tinfoil to cover the 4 sides.  It should look like the picture below.  You must use the shiny side of the tinfoil.  Also, it is better if you use see-through tape.

Step 4: Insulation

While the spray paint dry's, you can work on the main part of the oven.  The insulation is what keeps the oven warm and that is what cooks the food.  Because the insulation is sooo important, I used two different kinds of insulation. 

The first kind was the syrofoam insulation.  I used half inch white stryfoam plate.  I then cut them down to the length of you box.  I should surround all 5 sides with no cracks.  It is okay if there are cracks, but try to make sure there aren't any.

The second kind of insulation is newspaper.  Place the small box in the bigger box.  If the dimensions are good, there should be 1-2 inches on all sides of the boxes.  Crumble the used pieces of newspaper and stuff them in the area.  Make sure there are gaps between the newspaper.  Those gaps will store the warm heat in the air pockets, which will make the oven warmer. 

Step 5: Reflectors

By now, the oven sould be almost be complete.

The next step is to make the reflectors.  One person said that unless you live near the equator, you must need these, or the solar oven wont work.  Hopefully, you kept the tops of the boxes that fold over the top to close the box.  You will then cover them with tinfoil.  It is best to be kept at a 45* angle, although if anyone has any thoughts on how to keep it up, please tell me.

Remember to use the shiny side of the tinfoil, and the see-through tape. 

Step 6: Glass

The last main step of my awesome solar oven is the glass part.  The more exact it is, the less hot air will escape, which will let your food product to cook faster and better. 

I used a big picture frame, and cut it down to its apropiate shape (My dad helped me with the sharp parts). 

I am not going to tell you how to cut glass, so that will be part of your job to figure out how to cut it.  It will probably tell you on the glass cutter, though.

Step 7: Clean and Protect

After you carefully cut the glass to your desired dimensions, you must make sure it is safe.

The way I did this was I put Super Duty Duct Tape on all the edges.  I also put two layers on the corners there are no injury's.

After, I used glass cleaner on both sides to clean it so it is shiny.  I recomend not spraying the cleaner near the tape; just incase the tape gets soggy and comes off.

Step 8: Rack's

Before you place the glass on your oven, you might want to do this...

An optional idea is that you can place a baking rack on the bottom of the oven.  It would be better if all the sides cooked (top, bottom, and inside).

Step 9: Thermometor

Another good idea is to use a thermometer.  Depending on the kind you own, you can just place it in the oven and check on after a while. 

My last suggestion to have a timer, and double the timing on your timer for a regular oven.

Step 10: Please Enjoy

I hope you can cook some very edible meals in my oven.  If you have an suggestions or ideas, PLEASE TELL ME!  I also want to hear what your findings were to.  If you have any questions, you can also ask me.

Ben G.

2 People Made This Project!

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70 Discussions

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sxu1

7 years ago on Step 10

How long did these cookies take to bake? Please respond!!!

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Johnkzunosxu1

Reply 23 days ago

7 years no response...lol.
Experiment, setup a theory...tell us...

Try to use testing, work out 4 us...be a teacher... Then we all can eat cookies

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lbuchholz

4 years ago on Step 7

why not try smoothing he edge with a high heat blow torch used in glass blowing.

it softens the edges once it cools so the rough shards are removed. you can tape after for added safety or leave the UN-burry pieces in place. or just re enforce the corners where sharp (if you can find a way to punch a hole in glass, a couple handles may be a nice addition)

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PahalaW

3 years ago

This was neat thank you. I was thinking of making something at home to help me dehydrate fruit. I think this idea will give me more options. Thanks for the information and good luck to everyone with their ovens.

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JohnkzunoPahalaW

Reply 23 days ago

YT it can be a dehydrator. See the videos... Good luck.

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nikkireidenbach

3 years ago

I was wondering if you but the glass just on the small box or the whole thing? I really like the oven though!

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Johnkzunonikkireidenbach

Reply 23 days ago

Setup a theory for both, test, measure, post maths... Lol. Dr. Deming PDCA

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Sam_Rosenbaum

3 years ago

Hey man this look awesome is it possible to use pelexise glass instead?

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MichaelM745

3 years ago

What was the point of painting the bottom black if you were going to put tin foil over it. I donut understand

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JohnkzunoMichaelM745

Reply 23 days ago

YouTube has clear instructions.
Paint bottom black. Don't cover with tin foil.
Put steel rack or base in, as pot will get hot.
Tin foil sides only
Use very thin pot, painted black.
We are trying out thin tin cookie can
Sun radiates to oven, black traps heat so say. Set up a theory and try each type. Measure with thermometer
99% experiment. 1% brains...lol

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-Pyroinventor-MichaelM745

Reply 2 years ago

You only cover the sides with aluminum foil, so the bottom stays black to absorb heat.

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Johnkzuno

23 days ago on Step 5

Some use wooden dowel to hold reflectors at correct angles.

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KFrench18

Question 1 year ago

Where does the glass go? On top of the small or big box? I'm building a solar oven for my environmental science class and I'd like for it to work properly and bake the cookie.

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FarhanA83

1 year ago

Its really a wonderful project! You did a marvelous job building it too! I have collect some other diy solar cooker projects and prepared a round of 10 ideas. I have featured your project in my blog post : https://theselfsufficientliving.com/10-diy-solar-ovens-utilize-sun-energy-to-cook-your-food/

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JoeG17

1 year ago

A small tip. To remove the sharp edges of the glass use fine sandpaper.

Second prob: Can't boil water at 100 deg C then how can bake things at 180 or more???

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ClefairyTJoeG17

Reply 1 year ago

For your second problem, you're asking how things can bake at above 180°C if water boils at 100°C, right? Well... I mean, water boiling is not really a problem. It's not like all the water will instantly evaporate the moment the temperature hits 100°C, so it doesn't really matter.