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Building a Solar Oven

Important Safety Notes

Materials

Directions

  1. Apply the black paint evenly to the inside of the foil baking pan. Set it aside to dry while you construct your oven. You will probably need to add additional coats of paint after the first one dries.
  2. Use the templates to trace the outlines of the reflective panels on your cardboard. Make 2 large panels and 2 small panels.
    cardboard template
  3. Carefully cut out the panels.
  4. Working with one panel at a time, spread a thin layer of glue on the cardboard.
  5. Carefully cover the cardboard with aluminum foil. You may need to use more than one piece of aluminum foil to cover each panel.
  6. Trim the foil so that it’s right at the edge of the cardboard.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for the other three panels.
  8. Cut 8 pieces of tape that are each 60 cm long.
  9. Set up your panels like this, with the foil side facing down. Leave about 2 mm between each panel.
    cardboard layout
  10. Carefully tape together the panels at the joints.
  11. Carefully flip the joined panels over, so that the foil side faces up.
  12. Carefully tape together the joints on the foil-covered side.
  13. Stand your reflector up and fold the panels at the joints so that the foil-covered sides are inside.
  14. Have a partner hold the reflector in position while another person tapes together the last joint.
    Be sure to tape the inside and outside of the last joint.
  15. Place your reflector in the cardboard box.
  16. Tape the reflector to the cardboard box if you think it needs more stability.
  17. Fill the cardboard box with the insulating material of your choice (shredded paper, packing peanuts, etc.)
  18. Place the painted foil pan inside the oven bag to create the baking chamber.
  19. Put the baking chamber inside the bottom of the reflector.
  20. Place your solar oven outside in the sun! Remember to wear sunglasses when looking at the reflector in the sun and use oven mitts to touch hot surfaces!