In the image below you can see the solar cooker I built in Dallas 2014. I built it before I went kite surfing in Corpus Christi for 3 weeks. I wanted to be as self sufficient as possible so I put some beans and rice in a bucket, vegetables in a basket and filled the Rigid box with my spices and rolled. This post is the translation of a pfd in french. For the folks I met on the beach that wanted to know HOW I BUILT that Cool Ass Oven here we are. You’re welcome, that’s for free. Sadly the old truck is no more, but you’ll see the converted Dodge van in upcoming post talking about wind mill generators.
How to build a solar cooking range?
We will see on this tutorial how to build a solar oven . This article is long because is detail oriented to allow beginner carpenters to achieve have success with this project.
This will allow you to build your own solar cooker in a low cost way. Then you will cook your favorite recipes in your back yard, or any outdoor area under sunny skies.
To get a better look and best efficiency, consider to use famous S-Reflect stikers. They are the best performers and is light weight and flexibile. It is made in France and did not have it available in Dallas. I use real mirror I found on the curb and cut it myself. But if you grow blueberries, perhaps you can ask superman to laser-cut them when he is around.
It’s a mobile cabinet, a hole is made in the courter top to insert the casserole.
Plateau=counter top, recipient=container, isolation=insulation, vitre=glass, reflecteurs=reflector,axe=axes, cadre du reflecteur= reflector frame and 1,05 meter is 3 feet.
between the 2 front feet of this table, we found the reflector, made off 9 mirrors fixed on the frame, they concentrate the sun’s rays on the bottom of the pot. The frame can pivot on the horizontal axes. This adjusts the inclination according to the height of the sun in the sky.
Under the table top, a glass insulated box acts as a greenhouse to keep the lower part of the container warm.
The device at rest
After use, the device is made very compact by the simple tilting of the reflector, raised between the legs of the table. Commissioning, or out of service, is done in a few seconds.
Other benefits of this range are:
- Convenient height of the worktop.
- Possibility of using the table to put different cooking accessories (lid, spoons, salt shakers, etc. …).
- Perfect accessibility of food at all times.
- Infrequent settings.
- Possibility for the user to cook in the shade.
- Unbeatable wind stability, ensured by the low and almost horizontal position of the reflector.
Steps in making your solar cooker
All dimensions are given in millimeters. Unless otherwise specified wood screws are used. Sorry about that i have to do a post talking metrics and fractal, but now the best way is your way i will be a bad helper on those conversion, only metric make sens to me. i mean 41 years on the metric world switch to miles, yard, feet, inch and but pills and all in fractal. Is 5/16 is bigger than 9/8? So i barely measure stuff, most of time i make templates, estimations and when i need identical parts i cut them together, i do use my own foot and thumb to measure too, they are standard size.
The cooker feet
They are cut into wooden cleats of section 22 x 38 mm. here for i used 1 x 1 1/2 inch.
you can use other materials like aluminium, copper pipe or bamboo.
(1) Front foot West
All references to the cardinal points are valid for the Northern Hemisphere.
(2) Friction plate
She is plywood. Dimensions: 8 x 38 x 110 mm. It is fixed to the foot (1) by 2 screws with a diameter of 3 mm and a length of 25 mm. We will now abbreviate this expression using hardware jargon: two 3 x 25 screws. The role of this plate is to move a little the reflector of the feet, and thus avoid rubbing on other parts of the frame.
It crosses the foot and the friction plate. Intended to receive a bolt of 8 mm in diameter, the hole will be drilled slightly smaller, so that the bolt make his place and stay there.
(4) back foot west
The length indicated for this part corresponds to the dimensions of the wheels given below. As you can not find wheels with exactly these dimensions, you just have to modify this dimension, so that the total height (back foot + rear spacer + wheel) is the same at the back as at the front.
(5) west brace
It is attached to the front and rear feet using two 80 x 80 flat brackets and eight 3 x 20 screws.
(6) Back foot East
In the East, nothing new. It’s the same thing as in the West … except it’s the opposite, the pieces (2) to face each other.
(7) Back brace
It has a length of 611 mm. It is screwed to the ends of the feet rear with a 4 x 40 screw on each side.
They have a diameter of 42 mm and a vertical footprint of 53 mm. Their clevis must be able to turn around a vertical axis. Each of them is fixed on the rear spacer by four 3 x 20 round head screws.
(9) Rear plate
It is a board plywood size: 8 x 180 x 611. It will serve to consolidate the frame in its upper part, and to return a little sun on the container to be heated. To do this, one of its faces is covered with a mirror film S-Reflect adhésif.
After drilling the four holes, 4 mm in diameter, shown in the figure, we fix the plate thus prepared at the top of the rear legs, with the mirror side of the inner side, by means of two screws 4 x 40 at the top. Two longer screws (4 x 60), at the bottom, will later be used to build the greenhouse.
1)To manufacture the table top (10), we start from a plywood board of size: 10 x 400 x 700 mm, and undergo the following transformations: 1) We cut the corners at 45 °, it hurts less when bumping into it:) !
2) A thin rectangular strip is removed from the Sun side to provide a space where the end of the closed reflector will be housed.
3) The large rectangular hole KLMN is cut out, where different receptacle supports will then be adapted.
4)We mark the future location of the feet (dashed in the figure), and we drill a hole of 4 mm in diameter in the middle of each of these traces. After having also made a pre-hole of 2.5 mm in diameter at the top of each foot, one fixes the plate with the feet by a screw of 4 x 40 in each one of them
5) The upper surface of the tray will be protected from future cooking soils, by means of an adhesive coating or varnish.
6) The underside will be covered with aluminum foil, which will protect it from the solar radiation reflected by the mirrors.
The greenhouse box
The greenhouse is located under the table top, it is convenient to represent the frame upside down, feet in the air.
We begin by cutting the pieces (11) and (12) section 22 x 38 mm (like the feet). These two parts, oblique ends, are fixed to the feet by 4 x 60 screws.
The piece (13), of length 568 mm, has a section of 13 x 28 mm. It is attached to the previous ones by a 3 x 30 screw at each end.
The insulating walls of the greenhouse are then manufactured. For this, one can use cardboard about 3 mm thick, for example the bottom of some crates of fruits or vegetables. This material is free and very practical. He cuts himself with a bread knife, and screws himself on the wood without the need for milling for the head of the screw. This sinks slightly into the box, unless you prefer to use a round head screw with a washer.
Two pieces of cardboard (14) and (15) close the space between the feet, the plate and the parts (11) and (12). Before fixing them, we cover with S-Reflect mirror film the side that will be inside the greenhouse, to return to the pot its own radiation
Two other pieces, (16) and 17), have the same shape as the previous parts, but with a rim more (on the bottom of the figure), which allows their attachment to the table top, thus ensuring their tightness. Between the pieces (14) and (16) on the one hand, and the pieces (15) and (17) on the other hand, is a space of 22 mm thick, which can be used to place an insulation (eg a polystyrene plate). As for the rear wall (9), already covered with mirror inside, it also receives a cardboard outer lining (18), with a fold for its attachment in the middle of the table.
(21) Is the inside edge of the frame.
(22) the edge of the window, a little behind the folds (dashed), so that it can expand, hot, without being stuck. The four outer edges of the frame fold towards the front of the figure, to be fixed by screwing into the wood.
(23)on the back plate(9)
(24) on (12) + (15)
(25) goes on (11) + (14) & (26) on (13) + (19)
(27) The North side is a plywood board of dimensions: 10 x 185 x 531 mm.
(28)The south side is a wooden cleat of dimensions: 13 x 28 x 531 m
Preparation of the parts (29) and (30)
|A||Oa = 13||aA = 172 (fort)|
|B||Ob = 104,5||bB = 131,5 (fort)|
|C||Oc = 199||cC = 99|
|D||Od = 295,5||dD = 73|
|E||Oe = 393,5||eE = 53|
|F||Of = 492,5||fF = 38,5 (faible)|
|G||Og = 592||gG = 28,5 (faible)|
|H||Oh = 692||hH = 22,5 (faible)|
|I||Oi = 792||iI = 20|
|J||Oj = 892||jJ = 21|
|R||Or = 242||rR = 27|
For the proper functioning of the reflector, it is important to mark the points very carefully. In particular, it will be ensured that each point is, as exactly as possible, 100 mm from the point which precedes it, before drawing the segment which joins them.
mirror tape S-Reflect adhésif on one side. Repeat for the 9 boards. Moreover, in a wooden slab of section 13 x 13 mm, 18 pieces of 40 mm long (35) are cut, and 2 are glued on the rear face of each board, one at each end, 9 mm from the edge, and parallel to it.
Assembling and balancing.
The counterweight must be screwed onto the inside of the work piece (27) so as not to interfere with the closing of the reflector. After balancing, which will have required the removal of the reflector, it is put back into place, this time by depressing the screws normally,then screw the nuts, without tightening them, so that they can easily be adjusted the inclination of the reflector.
Containers and their supports
If it is decided to use only one type of container, the supports (44) become unnecessary, because we can then directly adapt the tray of the table to the chosen container.