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Old 06-01-11, 04:47 PM   #1
ScottNotBombs
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Is a rack mounted solar oven feasible?

Hi everyone,
I made my first failed attempt at a solar oven. I was a black jar filled with veggie dogs and chili inside a larger container lined with aluminum foil with a clear top. It made the food warmer than room temperature, but not warm enough. I was thinking maybe the wind from moving was cooling the container too much. I was thinking about trying to make one out of a small cooler and trying to make it a smaller version of this

http://www.buyenergyefficient.org/globalsunoven.aspx

Has anyone successfully made something like this? I'm also trying to make it light weight and waterproof.
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Old 06-01-11, 04:52 PM   #2
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I think the wind would indeed cool it off. You'd want to make it stationary and isolated from the winds.
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Old 06-01-11, 04:56 PM   #3
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Actually, has anyone used one of those to confirm that it can, as claimed: "reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit" ?

Seems like that would be very difficult to achieve ..... I just don't believe it..
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Old 06-01-11, 05:59 PM   #4
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What's driving your desire to build a solar oven vs. just using a simple alcohol/gas stove? If simplicity/low cost is a priority the DIY alcohol stoves offer decent performance at low to no cost.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:21 PM   #5
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Never tried one, but if you get a DIY version going for your bike let me know.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:22 PM   #6
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I like this idea! Reminds me of people who make aluminium foil wraps and bake it on their car engine while driving.
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Old 06-01-11, 06:57 PM   #7
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Hmmmm maybe the cooler idea will work. I just thought that using a solar oven instead of a gas oven would make it easier to just stop and eat and not have to cook. I thought it would be nice for rides that are only one day, but take all day long.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AltheCyclist View Post
Actually, has anyone used one of those to confirm that it can, as claimed: "reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit" ?

Seems like that would be very difficult to achieve ..... I just don't believe it..
Most of them say they can get to about 360 degrees. On a sunny day I believe it. I've baked cookies in a DIY one, but I didn't have a temperature gauge on it, so I can't say how hot it got.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:17 PM   #9
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I like this idea! Reminds me of people who make aluminium foil wraps and bake it on their car engine while driving.
Didn't someone write a cookbook for doing that?
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Old 06-02-11, 12:33 PM   #10
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It seems like you would want vacuum sealed glass to protect against wind heat loss, but still catch sun rays. That sounds like it would either be awfully fragile or awfully heavy to put on the back of a bicycle, maybe a trailer.

I think a neat alternative might be some kind of pedal powered heat generator or heat pump, but I don't know how much efficiency you can realistically get out of a heat pump at high temps like that.

Maybe hook it up to a disc brake and engage your oven heat generator on the long downhill stretches. It would be a pretty serious bike mod. I imagine either an electric dynamo hub hooked up to a heating element, or some kind of belt running to your rear hub turning a metal friction device inside a well insulated box. Assuming that you need 40W or so to operate an oven, and you probably are generating less than 200W while riding it will be a significant power suck.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:34 PM   #11
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Hmmmm maybe the cooler idea will work. I just thought that using a solar oven instead of a gas oven would make it easier to just stop and eat and not have to cook. I thought it would be nice for rides that are only one day, but take all day long.
sandwiches might be simpler
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Old 06-02-11, 05:10 PM   #12
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sandwiches might be simpler
...+1 and you could eat them while riding to save even more time.
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Old 06-03-11, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottNotBombs View Post
Most of them say they can get to about 360 degrees. On a sunny day I believe it. I've baked cookies in a DIY one, but I didn't have a temperature gauge on it, so I can't say how hot it got.
But cookies could probably bake around 200 deg. 350 to 400 is quite hotter. I'd be nervous to cook meat in it. Your veggie dogs would probably be okay.
Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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Old 06-03-11, 09:52 AM   #14
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I tried using my Trangia alcohol stove on the rack top but everytime I hit a bump, soup and burning alcohol splashed around
I think you could improve solar oven efficiency by using parabolic reflectors or something close to parabolic. You also need an oven which can absorb IR. When I worked at a space science lab, they investigated the best material/shape for absorbing IR and found that a special black paint worked best, regardless of shape. Some black, anodized aluminium flats may make a good flatpack oven.
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Old 06-03-11, 10:54 AM   #15
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Convection will undoubtedly cool off the solar oven.

I don't think small solar ovens work in general. The ones that can get up to 400 (under optimal conditions of course) are very large and bulky.

I'd go for the "food that doesn't require cooking" plan.
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Old 06-03-11, 11:26 AM   #16
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successful solar cookers have a larger collector,
perhaps one that folds can be carried.
and assembled in camp.
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Old 06-03-11, 02:41 PM   #17
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hello,

intresting idea. firstly just to let you know Im an architect and I work in africa. I have used some solar oven and incorperated some into buildings. the collector is very important and so is its orentation. generally they are used for slow cooking e.g. stew and bread etc. they can be used to heat to extreamly high temps i know from Photovoltics and solar water heating applications.

the inventor in me recommends getting a reflectetive emergency blacket type material and then having a lightweight frame (e.i sticks/tent poles that can be poked into ground) to apply the reflector to, putting the collector in the center. then just waiting under the shade of a tree sleeping until its ready...however i am still trying to find a way to make a flying bicycle so im a optumist. howver the pesimists says

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...+1 and you could eat them while riding to save even more time.
lol!!!

good luck, trial and error..trail and error..
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Old 06-03-11, 05:13 PM   #18
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I have used a solar cooker that would fold down mostly flat, works great, wind does play a part. However it is very inexpensive to build and works great in the Southeast part of the US.

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Old 06-03-11, 05:20 PM   #19
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quick, call the Mythbuster boys!!

(and the paramedics for the selmonella poisoning post ride)
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Old 06-05-11, 01:32 PM   #20
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Use foil that can serve double duty as alien communication foil hat. Then bike only in death valley. Problem solved.
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Old 06-07-11, 03:34 PM   #21
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It won't work while your riding.

You can make one from a cardboard box,plastic wrap and some mylar panels.You can make a water heater the same way.

http://www.cookwiththesun.com/solar.htm

http://www.solarcooking.org/plans/

Last edited by Booger1; 06-07-11 at 03:41 PM.
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