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Windowshade Solar Cooker

6189 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  cantinawest
Lately I have been experimenting with solar cookers and I saw somewhere you can take the window shade out of your car (the reflective silver ones) and arrange them around in a circle to reflect all the sun to a center point like a satellite dish then you put a shiny pot there and it heats it well. There is a video of a restaurant in vietnam with tons of them boiling water.

I ended up getting it to evaporate some water in about 5 minutes at 1 pm today but haven't had enough time to let it get going. Does anyone know a good way to do this with cd's too?
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From the shows I have seen about solar cookers, you need to use a black pot, not a reflective one, and you need to put it inside a loosly sealed clear plastic bag, so the pot is inside a clear balloon. I think a turkey bag is a good thing to use because it can get hot and not melt. :)
That's how we do it with the smaller, fold-able cooker we have.
I used one of those solar ovens last summer. it worked really well.

Take a 5 gallon bucket, put a heavy rock in it to keep it stable. Take your shiny car window shade and fold it into a cone shape. It will be an akward cone. Then place the cone tip into the 5 gallon bucket. Get a black pot/lid and fill it with your food. Put pot on a cheap-shiny pizza pan (wal-mart). Slide both pizza pan and pot into a turkey cooking bag. (I put an oven thermometer in with it.) Close and tie off bag. Place bag, pot and food over the center of your shade cone and leave it facing the sun. It took 1 and 1/2 hours to cook my food.

I made instant rice first.....It worked GREAT!, Then I've cooked chicken breast w/veggies and meatloaf and stews and soups and they have all turned out really well.

This summer I plan on trying bread, popcorn and hard beans. It doesn't give off any smell to draw neighborhood dogs/cats. I only cooked between 11am and 3pm (hottest part of the day).

My next project is a solar dryer with a 5 gallon bucket and my drying racks.
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I would like to try that sometime soon. I'll have to steal my granny's car window shades...I don't think she'll notice though seeing that she never goes anywhere.

I wouldn't mind trying to dry some fruit or cook some rice and veggies on it but I don't think I would experiment with meats. I'm just not one to experiment with meats going into my belly.
I'd love one but my place has too much shade.
Yeah, I have too much shade in my area too. Can't complain too much though, keeps my house pretty cool.
We have done this too--using a car shade. We also tried a solar oven made from an old stereo glass door (removed) and rimless tire and a mirror. Mirror on the bottom of the tire, black cooking pot in the middle, rock or log to prop the whole thing at the right angle to keep it in the sunlight, and clear glass on top to seal in the hot air. We found if there is too much moisture (in the 5 galon bucket in the car shade example or in the tire in the mirror example) it doesn't work well so you can "try" it first without any food in it to get the moisture drawn out of the tire. Works well. If you have no dark containers, you can take any glass jar (mayo) and paint all but the very top of the jar (about an inch from the lid) jet black on the outside of the jar. This works like a charm.
Solar Funnel Cooker

I use one all the time and made a blog with pictures and instructions on how to make and use one.

Simply Solar
Put that old bbq grill to good use

Here is a photo of someone who used an old grill to make a solar cooker...

and another...

one more...

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These are great. We are ready to dispose of the old BBQ. Maybe this is the up-cycle idea we were looking for... hate to toss useable resource in landfill. During last weeks power outage (Windy) I was frustrated to have tow SUNOVEN, Inc contraptions which couldn't be used in so much wind. The BBQ might (?) have withstood wind gusts.
In the beginning of Prepared Society forum, there were some "members" who posted for a little bit and have disappeared. I wonder how many of them were fake profiles?
Didn't have the endurance?

I think They were more likely people who never "caught the long term spirit of prepping" rather than fake profiles.
During last weeks power outage (Windy) I was frustrated to have tow SUNOVEN, Inc contraptions which couldn't be used in so much wind. The BBQ might (?) have withstood wind gusts.
When it is really windy there are very few solar cookers that will remain stable and upright.
You can rig a system to stabilize and secure your Sun Ovens so that they will not move around with the wind though.

Some people I know have used bungee cords or wires to secure their sun ovens to a piece of plywood. When finished they just unhook the cords and leave the plywood where it lays and store away the oven until needed again.
The wood can rotate as needed, but is heavy enough to secure and stabilize the oven when necessary.
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