Solar How To - Building a Solar Box Cooker Solar cooking is interesting to many people because it not only saves money, but is also environmentally friendly. Building a solar cooker is not as complicated as it may seem, especially if you follow the instructions in this solar how to. There are many types of solar cookers, and the most simple to construct is the solar box cooker. A solar box cooker requires very little monetary investment and could be built in just one afternoon. The basic materials required for a solar box cooker are two cardboard boxes, one sheet of cardboard, a small roll of aluminum foil, a bottle of white glue, one can of flat-black spray paint, a piece of stiff wire and a clear plastic cooking bag. (A thin sheet of glass could be used instead.) To construct the solar box cooker, the directions are as follows: 1. Fold the lids of the box that will be used for the bottom so they are closed. Place the second box on top of the closed lid, and trace around the second box. Each of the cardboard boxes should be at least 15 inches by 15 inches. The second box should be slightly smaller than the first box, which will be used for the base. 2. Decide how deep the cooker should be. A good way to measure is to use a pan or kettle as a guide. Mark the inner box with the depth of the pan or kettle. Use a sharp knife or box cutter to make slices down the sides of the inner box. Fold each side of the box down at the slits, creating extended flaps. 3. Glue aluminum foil to the inside of both boxes and their flaps. 4. To keep the inner box from moving, crumple newspaper and place it inside the outer box. The inside box should now fit snuggly into the outer box. Fold the flaps of the inner box over the outside of the outer box. Next glue them onto the outside of the outer box. 5. A base pan must be constructed for the bottom of the inside box. Cut a piece of cardboard the size of the bottom of the inside box and spray paint it black. Allow the cardboard to dry. Then glue this piece to the bottom of the inside box. This is the base the pans will rest on when cooking. 6. A cover must be made for the cooker. Cover the cooker with a piece of corrugated cardboard. Use your box cutter to make slits along the side of the cardboard so flaps can be made. Fold these flaps inside to create the lid. Glue the flaps in place if necessary. 7. Slice the inside of the lid along three of the edges of the cooker. This will create a flap that should be the size of the inside of the cooker. Glue aluminum foil to the inside of this flap. Be sure to leave one side of this flap secure to the cover. 8. Slice the plastic oven bags open. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the bags. Glue the bags to the underside of the newly constructed lid. The lid should now have plastic covering the hole where the flap was made. 9. To prop the aluminum foil covered flap open, insert a piece of stiff wire (a portion of a wire hanger works best) into one side of the corrugated lid. This cover can now be removed and replaced each time the cooker is used. It will both insulate the food being cooked and create an additional reflective surface to trap the suns energy. The solar box cooker is the simplest solar cooker to construct. It can be placed anywhere that receives direct sunlight. The solar box cooker is ideal for homeowners, renters or campers because it requires no electricity and is portable. solar box cookers are also efficient ways to cook food while using the most abundant natural resource: solar energy. Video instructions for your next solar project. Solar How To. information is free and available to you.
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