Saturday, January 28, 2017

solar oven recipie

The last thing you want to do on a stinking hot day is crank up the oven to cook dinner!
What to do?  Just eat salad in Summer??
NO! there is a better way.

Solar ovens can be bought for around the $400.00 mark and they look high tech with their folding reflectors and sun angle settings but I wanted to try and build a solar oven for less than $50.00.

Ingredients:  (bearing in mind I made up the materials list as the things became available).

#1  an old chest freezer(no longer working).
#2  a small double paned window.
#3  two old oven shelves.
#4  two latches.
#5  off cuts of cool room panels.
#6  foam and silicone.
#7  flat black paint.
#8  some kind of base.

The first thing I did was find an old chest freezer which was being thrown away on the side of the road, after loading this into my van I started looking for an old oven in the same predicament.

Sure enough only a couple of days went by and I found my oven.
I left the oven but took the shelves and side supports from inside.

All of the commercial solar ovens I have seen have access only through the top meaning the glass needs to be removed to get access to the food.

Since my chest freezer already had a perfectly good door, I made the design like that of a conventional oven with a door on the front opening out and down.

I turned the freezer on its back and using a circular saw with a metal cutting blade I cut the front (which would eventually be the top of the oven) at an angle and then I cut down from there at the height I wanted it to be and then used one of my cool room panel offcuts to fill in the gap.

Here you can see the cool room panel offcut(right), the angled cut(top) and the original door(right).

The great thing about using an old chest freezer (apart from the recycling aspect) is that it is a fully insulated box with double skinned steel and a door.
I painted the inside with flat black enamel pray paint.

double glazed window and base attached.
I used a double glazed window I found in a skip bin out the back of Bunnings for my top.
I used silicone and the foam to attach the window.
After cutting the oven shelves to the right width, I installed the two side supports and slid in the shelves.

For the base I used a discarded steel frame stool
I used some marine ply off cuts, a lid from a plastic bucket and a bolt and nut to fasten the oven to the base, (the nut and bolt and plastic lid were used to swivel the oven on the base to follow the sun).

The solar oven cooking dinner.
I originally intended to make a reflector as well but I found that this design was extremely efficient and didn't need one. I will make a reflector down the track just to see if it improves the heat collection.

The really great thing about this insulated box is that in winter it becomes an outdoor fridge!
This solar oven also turns into a food dehydrator by leaving the door slightly ajar.

I have roasted beetroot and potatoes and I have boiled water for tea so far.
My next idea is to make an even cheaper solar oven out of everyday objects and I will be posting more information about that when it comes together.

The only items on my materials list which I had to buy were the two stainless steel latches for keeping the door nice and snug, the spray can of black paint and the silicone all coming in at under $50.00

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