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Minimum ambient temperature?

by Unknown??? Katie???

Is there a minimum ambient temperature needed to allow a solar oven work? If so, what is it?

We are conducting a science experiment to determine if the size of the solar oven affects the temperature it can retain and the cooking ability of the oven. We built 10 solar ovens--5 from medium sized pizza boxes and 5 from large sized pizza boxes. Unfortunately, we are trying to collect data in the middle of winter and outside temps have been in the low to mid 30's. We can't get the ovens--large or small--to heat up enough to even register on the oven thermometers that we are using.

We are thinking of trying them inside in front of a large window where the sun can shine through.

What are your thoughts/suggestions?


Thank you?... for your great question, this is exactly the kinds of questions and situations that many others who are investigating solar cooking have asked.

I will open this to our fellow solar cooking enthusiasts and experts to answer and then I will follow up as well.


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Jan 10, 2013
Solar Cooking in cold temperatures
by: Nathan

Solar cooking can be accomplished year round quite effectively, even on a cold day.
In fact solar ovens are used on Mt. Everest without a problem. Bright sunny days are key, but you will find also that a well built, an more importantly, a well insulated solar cooker will determine the effectiveness of your solar cooker.

While a pizza box solar cooker is a neat way to show the principles of passive solar energy concentration, the box itself is not well insulated at all and it tends to lose heat very quickly making it very difficult to attain sufficiently high temperatures for effective solar cooking.

So, if you have a well insulated solar box cooker and added reflector panels that will concentrate the suns rays into your transparent, covered (glazing) and sealed box cooker you can solar cook effectively.

You might find this page helpful with ideas of solar cookers for constructing an effective solar box cooker...
building a solar cooker

I hope this is helpful.


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