Monday, September 6, 2010

Solar Oven Funks my Potatoes

I must report a big huge failing grade on my solar oven design. A couple days ago I 'cooked' potatoes after Conrad from greenedmonton's left an excellent link to one of his posts on cooking with his solar oven.

Into the black pot went the new garden potatoes. Into the oven went the pot at about 9:30 am. To be doubly sure I'd catch the solar rays, I tilted the oven more significantly south and ensured the inside tin foil and reflectors were properly arranged.

At 6 pm I proudly removed the pot's lid to discover tepid potatoes that looked more ready for the still than my dinner plate. The solar oven seemed to have advanced the potatoes' fermentation process; brown spots and sour smell have dashed my high hopes for this experiment with solar.

I'm afraid I need to start over with my design. Perhaps after some success next year I'll be able to report what was wrong with our garage-junk set up... but until then, if you've any wisdom, I'd love to hear it!


.................................................................. said...

Do you have easy access to your roof from your deck, or upstairs back window? Maybe you could build a small little platform on the roof, so it would be in the sunlight for longer, plus catch the heat from the shingles reflection???

Anonymous said...


The wood may be acting as thermal mass, thereby absorbing heat for quite awhile before the cooker heats up.

However, I think that the biggest factor may be the single pane of glass. It would allow much more heat to escape than the two panes of my cooker (one pane of which is just thick plastic).

Too bad. Hopefully you'll give it another go next summer. I could bring mine over if you want to check out the design.