Solar Cookers World Network

Alex Carl

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Boiling Noodles using the sun and materials found in the garbage

I am traveling around the world and trying to teach people in poor communities how they can build their own solar thermal technology.  I am currently in La Paz Mexico testing different applications and building material for solar thermal devices.

For this project I wanted to build a solar cooker using only garbage.  I found some strong cardboard in the garbage as well as a cereal box and a small piece of plywood.  I cut out two parabola shapes from the thick cardboard and then bend the cereal box to form a curved surface.  I covered the cereal box in tin foil (I have also used chip bags which work well) to focus light on a spray can or pop can.  The link to the how to video is below.

Then in order to create a small oven I cut a section out of a large pop can.  I painted the pop can with high heat flat black paint.  I kept the cut out section and painted in black and insulated it with silicon.  I glued 4 small pieces of pop can to this lid to prevent it from falling into the can.  When placed on the can it formed a nice insulating lid.  I also covered both ends of the pop can with additional silicon to provide more insulation.  As a test I filled up the pop can with a small amount of water and cooked a hand full of spaghetti.  A link to that video is below.

I also baked a small amount of bread in this unit.  I used this test to prove to myself that a useful solar cooker can be made almost exclusively out of garbage.  I then moved back to my much larger solar unit to further explore all the uses for solar thermal  energy.

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