Convert your next Pizza box into Solar Oven

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

“Let the sun do the work!” Why not brighten up our worlds using the solar power that nature has beautifully provided us with. This activity will teach us to build your own simple box-type solar cooker or solar oven using easy to find household items that should be able to use the sun's energy to cook outdoors. Let's create our simple, renewable energy products to save our mother Earth.



Introduction:


Solar cookers also called solar oven is a device that harnesses sunlight as a source of heat for cooking foodstuffs. The solar cooker is a simple, portable, and economically efficient tool. It is totally organic and a perfect renewable energy resource.


Solar ovens trap light particles, called photons, to generate heat. With the help of metal reflectors, photons pass through the oven’s transparent glass top and strike the interior of the insulated box. Black interior absorbs the incoming photons and warmer air gets trapped inside & ultimately oven's temperature rises rapidly.


Requirements:

  • Cardboard Pizza Box

  • A stick or Popsicle

  • Black Paper

  • Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap

  • Newspapers

  • Oven safe container that fits in the box

  • Scissor, Transparent tape and Glue


Steps:

  1. Cut the flap of the pizza box along three sides only, leaving one inch between the edge of the box and where you cut. Fold the flap out so it stands up when the box lid is closed

  2. Cover the inside of the flap with aluminum foil, folding the edges of the foil over the flap to keep it in place

  3. Lift the lid and line the inside of the box with aluminum foil keeping shiny side out

  4. Cover the opening made in the pizza box lid by the flap with plastic wrap. The wrap should be as airtight as possible

  5. Cover the inside of the box entirely with the black paper

  6. Take newspapers and make four rolled tubes of newspaper out of multiple sheets of paper. Each of these rolls will go along the edges on the inside of the box, creating a border. Tape the rolls in place. Be sure the rolls do not stop the lid from closing

  7. Use a popsicle as a “kickstand” for the lid to remain upright for cooking


Learning Opportunity:

  • We can call this as a homemade version of a collector box because it collects sunlight

  • Solar ovens trap light particles called photons to generate heat. With the help of metal reflectors, photons pass through the ovens’ transparent top and strike the interior of the insulated box

  • The sun’s rays come to earth and reflect off the aluminum foil, where they bounce directly into the opening of the box

  • The air under the plastic wrap heats up and cannot escape

  • Black interior absorbs the incoming photons and warmer air gets trapped inside and ultimately ovens’ temperature rises rapidly

  • The newspaper acts as an insulator, helping to keep more of the warm air inside the pizza box


Time Required: 30 minutes


Cost: < $5


#elementary #middle #science #STEAMProjects


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