Solar Oven Fun

Parabolic Solar Oven. Cardboard, tape, glue, wood, wire and chrome vinyl. You can clearly see the aluminum cooking pan glowing and reflecting a portion of the suns energy hitting it.

Parabolic Solar Oven. Cardboard, tape, glue, wood, wire and chrome vinyl.

Last sunday we had some fun with my father in law’s solar oven project. He built it for his math class, he will challenge his students to create as close to perfect parabolic dishes as possible surface them with something reflective (in this case outdoor chromed vinyl) and see what tempreature the focus gets too.

In this case we estimated that the tempreature of the foil pan got to about 190 degrees using an oven thermometer. We had hot dogs and also tried an egg, which took considerably longer to cook, but it cooked. And we ate it 🙂

Thermometer, inserted into a hot-dog, most likely touching the bottom cooking surface of the suspended pan.

Thermometer, inserted into a hot-dog, most likely touching the bottom cooking surface of the suspended pan.

Sizzling could distinctly be heard as these cooked in the sun.

Sizzling could distinctly be heard as these cooked in the sun.

Cooking on a wire :)

Cooking on a wire 🙂

Aiming at the sun by getting an equalateral shadow around the dish onto the backboard.

Aiming at the sun by getting an equalateral shadow around the dish onto the backboard.

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6 thoughts on “Solar Oven Fun

  1. Could you provide more information on how you made the parabolic shape.

    It looks like a great dish you guys have built.

    What was the outside ambient temperature. Did you try covering cooking container in order to optimize cooking times.

    • Yeah, we tried covering the pan with foil and it did make a small difference, especially since it was pretty windy.
      We also want to try having a cooking container with a black or some other reflectance reduced outer coating so it absorbs more energy.

      I don’t know exactly how to make the parabola, but it has to be a perfect one to make dish shape, you should be able to look up the math on Wikipedia or something. (google parabola math, I bet a few results show and apparently the math is quite simple… 🙂
      These ribs where cut from cardboard but it could be done in wood also.
      Outside ambient was probably about 95-97F, something like that. Fairly cool in the shade.

  2. Hi
    Could you elaborate more on:
    “These ribs where cut from cardboard but it could be done in wood also.”

    Where are the ribs?, What does the cooker look like without the vinyl in place?

    It’s a great cooker you’ve built, it works and it’s a simple design, from what I can see. Just wondering how you assembled it, ref ribs, and how vinyl retains the semi-parabolic shape. Is vinyl housed/sitting on ribs underneath, is vinyl cut into parabolic petals?

    Regards
    Sol

  3. The ribs are half-parabolas (half a “solar trough” basically) 64 where cut out of cardboard measuring about 9×15 I think and arranged inside a large cardboard tube structure to create a full circular dish.

    Then packing tape was applied to the top. At this point there weren’t many gaps so it laid down ok, then vinyl was cut into strips and laid on top of that. The lack of a firm substrate means the surface is a little irregular, but it works 🙂

    We could have cut petals, but A. didn’t think of it 🙂 and b. the vinyl didn’t all come at once and was in irregular shapes. (scraps)

  4. Pingback: The Challenge « shOutlet

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