i attempted more burgers yesterday, even though it was semi-cloudy and much cooler (upper 70's - mid 80's) then the average July day. I set up the oven, and angled the reflector as best i could. I ended up having to move it and prop the reflector on top, because it took roughly 2 hours longer to cook and the sun was setting. I did end up popping the patties in my toaster oven for about 5 minutes just to finish the bottom side, but over all they did in fact cook!
With our new son at home and things relatively normal, we were able to get started on our solar oven project!
After putting aluminum foil on three sides, we decided to make a black bottom and a foil covered bottom and test the two. We ended up going with just the black as the bottom and using the foil covered panel as the reflector.
For the assembly of this solar oven we ended up using the following materials.
-30 Gal fish tank
-40 ft roll of Aluminum foil
-Black Plasti-dip paint
We started out by measuring out and cutting a large piece of foil to install on the back of the oven first. Once cut to size we taped it at the top, bottom and sides to ensure that it would stay on snug. Next we cut out the sides and made them slightly larger than the actual size of the sides so that we could make sure that there were no openings between the back and the sides of the oven. With the back and the sides complete we move on to the bottom. Originally we cut 2 pieces of cardboard to fit perfectly under the tank to seal it shut. The reason for 2 pieces was to make 1 that was painted black and the other covered in foil. We wanted to see which would do better at cooking the items in the tank but instead ended up using the black board as the base since sitting outside for a few minutes already had it pretty hot. We also decided to use the second board as the reflector as it would work much better than the sun-visor that we originally planned on using. Below you will see our completed oven minus the reflector, now to test it out.
We wanted our first test to be something easy but also something that wouldn't be a horrible loss if the oven ended up not working right, so we decided on a hotdog.
We used a cinder block to prop the reflector board so we could angle it as needed. The hotdog was sliced and put to cook at 1:07 P.M. with the outside temp being 91 degree's Fahrenheit. We checked on it at 1:37 P.M. (93 degree's outside) and it was fully done! I'm sure it had been heated to and cooked more around the 10 minute mark. We all sampled a taste and it tasted similar to the hotdog's on the roaster at some gas stations. Next time I will be buying some better quality dogs and sausages to see if we can get a more tasty meal, I'll also try sliced vs. non-sliced.
Next up was dinner, so I decided to go with hamburgers. Normally I cook them on the stove and have a fairly hard time getting them thoroughly cooked without being burned. Dont mind the sad looking patties, but we put them in at 2:35 P.M. (93 degree's out).
I checked on the patties every 30 minutes to an hour. At 4:35 P.M. (95 degree's out) they were done, without even flipping both sides were evenly done, and fully cooked. We did, however, flip them for the last 30 minute run just to be extra sure both sides were cooked well even though it was not required.
During the summer months, it's often hard to keep the house cool. We have tried to keep the curtains closed, open the front door as little as possible, and many other things to keep the house cool and try to save on our electric bill. One thing that slips most peoples minds is their oven as they generate a lot of heat. While it may be great for keeping your house warm during the winter, it wont be doing you any favors during the summer.
I have wanted to try my hand at a solar oven for a while now, but never got around to it. So I have decided to take on building the solar oven with the family and see what we could make of it.
So far all I have is an idea which is what my blueprint is based off of. There is really no way to know how it will work till its done and tested. We have extra fish tanks from last year aquaponics garden, so I'll be using that as my main structure. For the entire project I have spent $1 on 40ft of aluminum foil from the dollar store, the rest of the items like I mentioned before we already had on hand but we had purchased the tank at pets mart back when they had a special sale, think we got it for around $20-$30ish. I hope to have it finished sometime around AUG. 1st.
How it works:
The fish tank turned upside down will store the heat, The heat is generated by catching and focusing the suns rays using the tin foil and reflectors. The cooking tray will act as a bottom heating agent.