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Thread: Would this idea for a solar oven work?

  1. #1 Would this idea for a solar oven work? 
    laa is offline
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    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Its just an amateur class assignment, but I want to get it right.

    I put a picture but I'm using the typical box and foil and black construction paper but I was wondering...

    I was going to cover the top of the box with a plastic wrap to keep the heat inside the box. If this is okay, should I use two layers? One on the very top and one inside as well? To create a sort of mock-greenhouse effect? Or would it just keep the heat from entering? I'm trying to keep heat from leaving the box, or make the box retain as much as possible, so would having two layers of plastic wrap be counterproductive, let alone one? Should I just put the can in a plastic bag or something to keep heat from leaving?

    If you know, could you explain why it would work that way? I think my logic might be flawed here....something like certain waves might not get through the barrier, or the greenhouse effect thing doesn't apply here because the layers and gases involved are different or of different strengths or something....

    Sorry xD Heres my illustration of it...^

    Ignore 'Q2', I was going to use a film canister but I found out it had to be 150 mL of water so I'm just going to use a can (metal is a good heat conductor?), tape a thermometer to it and make a plastic bubble.

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  3. #2  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Austin, TX
    You definitely have the right idea with the greenhouse effect, but I'd encourage you to use a piece of clear glass instead of plastic wrap. Although, I don't know if that would work with foil as your walls. You'll have to play around. Also, the glass (or plastic wrap) should go below the reflective surface, not above.

    Also, (and I'm no expert, but) in addition to using glass, the biggest factor for keeping the heat in is to properly insulate the box. Insulation on your box, glass for the top, and extremely reflective walls around the outside focusing inward above that glass. Those are the key factors, as best I know.

    Here's a video which I found that might help with some of the basics. Notice he's not using plastic wrap, either. Good luck.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Behind the enlightening rod.
    Use some pot holders and another insulated box and you can cook multiple dishes, put first one from oven into box while second one cooks. Good luck but remember nothing is failure if one learns from the experience and welcome to forum.
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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