A solar oven has many uses. For us, it is a fun and distracting project that we made. For others, it is a means to cooking their food, and sanitizing their water. My partner and I have accomplished a working DIY solar oven. On a bright sunny day, our solar oven had reached approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit after 20 minutes.
This is our record without any sort of insulation, but we highly recommend using insulators to produce more heat.
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Step 1: Getting Your Materials.
- A pair of scissors.
- A roll of aluminum
- Black paper
- 2 Boxes. (In our case we used a large shipping box and a shoe box, but any box size configuration works, so long as the small box fits in the large box.)
-The small box will be named box #1 and the bigger box will be box #@
- 8 wooden sticks
- A roll of clear warping paper.
Step 2: Wrapping Your Boxes
You should wrap the flaps of both box #1 and #2 (as illustrated above). This will work as a funnel to concentrate the sunlight onto the middle, thus giving us more heat.
Step 3: Adding Black Construction Paper If Box #1 Does Not Already Have It
In this step, you should add black construction paper in the inside of box #1. The black construction paper would allow the heat to be absorbed. Yu should just tape all around the inside.
Step 4: Giving Box #1 a Lid
Given the fact that box #1 will be where the actual cooking occurs, we need to give it a lid. For our demonstration, we used plastic wrap. This led to complications and issues with preventing the heat from escaping, so we highly recommend using glass or other similar material for the lid.
Step 5: Further Wrapping Box #2(if Your Bigger Box Is Really Big.)
If box #2 had a lot of uncovered cardboard, it is best to add aluminum to it. Not at the bottom of the box - because that will send the heat out of the box - but on the sides. As you can see above, the flaps are barley visible, but there is still a lot of space that the box #1 won't be covering. This will disperse the heat instead of centering it, causing a loss of heat.
Step 6: Positioning the Flaps
After having both boxes done, you might notice that the flaps of the box #2 will keep moving. The project won't work if box #2 has flaps that keep shifting. To keep box #2 flaps from moving, we added sticks to prevent the flaps from collapsing. This was simple enough for us, but anything that serves the same function will work as well. Add sticks to hold the flaps upward.
Step 7: And Finally...
After having all this ready, you can put box #1 into box #2. Adjust box #1's flaps to cover as much of the sides as possible. This makes the oven essentially 2 funnels of light, all being collected in the black small box. The lid of the box #1 should keep the heat inside the oven, but it wouldn't hurt adding a lid to the big box.
Step 8: Further Improvements
This is a simple solar oven, but the design is solid. It could help if...
- The small box was insulated inside the big box
- The big box having a lid
- The boxes could be bigger
- You could use somthing more reflective than alluminum.