LEARN TO MAKE A LIGHTWEIGHT SOLAR OVEN
A ‘solar cooker’ is a device which uses the energy of direct sunlight to heat, cook or pasteurize food or drink. Many solar cookers currently in use are relatively inexpensive, lowtech devices, although some are as powerful or as expensive as traditional stoves, and advanced, large-scale solar cookers can cook for hundreds of people around the world. Solar ovens or solar cookers are increasingly used to reduce reliance on firewood and other fuels. Even if you have electricity, a solar oven can be an effective, energy-saving addition to your cooking tools. Now, let us learn how to make a lightweight solar oven at our homes with the simple steps mentioned below.
Place a cardboard box inside a larger cardboard box. Make sure there is at least an inch of clearance between the sides, and fill the gap with shredded newspaper, which will act as an insulator.
Line the inside of the smaller box with black construction paper, to absorb heat. Next, cut the flaps from flat cardboard sheets in the shape of slightly flared squares. Since you will be attaching these to the walls of your box, the width of each narrow end of each square should equal the width of the side you will be attaching it to; the width of each flared end should be several inches wider than the width of the narrow end.
Cover each piece of cardboard with reflective material such as foil. Make sure it sits tightly around the reflector, and smooth out any wrinkles or folds. Secure the material with rubber cement or tape on one side of each cardboard piece.
Attach each reflector to the top of one side of the box. You can glue, staple, or thread them as necessary, allowing them to flop over for now.
Prop each reflector up at around a 45°angle. The easiest, most secure way to do this is to connect the reflectors together at the flared top corners (for example, by piercing adjacent corners and tying them together with thread, then untying them for disassembly). You can also stick rods in the ground underneath the reflectors, stack something underneath each reflector, or use any other method that will hold them securely in place. If it’s a windy day, make sure your reflectors would not blow over. Note: If using rods, glue the reflectors to the rods to add more stability.
Position the oven in full sun, place food in the smaller box, and wait for it to cook. It is best to cook the food in jars or on a small, dark baking pan. You may need to reposition your box several times during cooking to catch the sun. Happy cooking with solar energy!