ddmontm
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:42 pm
Occupation: Parent

Solar oven question

Postby ddmontm » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:51 pm

My child chose to do a solar oven for the school science fair. The teacher said it would work with a lamp but I thought it would require actual sunlight to work. If it only works with sun, we will need to switch projects. Can anyone shed some light on this?

HowardE
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:35 pm
Occupation: Science Buddies content developer

Re: Solar oven question

Postby HowardE » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:30 pm

Hi ddmontm-

I haven't tried a solar cooker with a lamp myself, but there's quite a bit of discussion on the web to say it will work, and it makes sense that it would *if* you use a high wattage incandescent lamp of some sort. Some discussions say a projector lamp will work but many suggest infrared heat lamps. Those make the most sense since it's the infrared energy from sunlight that gets the job done.

Having a control (whatever you decide to cook, put a sample of that next to the oven without being in the oven) will help show the effect the oven has. Marshmallows and chocolate work well and it's fun to eat the test materials as s'mores!

Howard

ddmontm
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:42 pm
Occupation: Parent

Re: Solar oven question

Postby ddmontm » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:31 pm

I can't find any information on heating with a lamp. I just don't want her project to be faulty.

HowardE
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:35 pm
Occupation: Science Buddies content developer

Re: Solar oven question

Postby HowardE » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:29 am

There are quite a few science sites that suggest using heat lamps as cloudy day alternatives.

https://www.oneearthdesigns.com/wp-cont ... ookers.pdf

https://science6.wikispaces.com/Solar+oven!+..

http://www.odec.ca/projects/2013/leel13 ... ology.html

There's three and you'll find quite a few more: http://www.google.com/search?q=solar+ov ... at+lamp%22

One thing to keep in mind is that "success" doesn't mean that you place a s'more in the oven, turn on the heat lamp and it melt in seconds. When the student does the experiment, it's successful if the temperature in the oven increases significantly over a control - which would be the temperature outside of the oven. Remember too that you learn a lot from a less than successful experiment. Concentrate on performing the experiment in a controlled, scientific way and don't worry about the results.

Howard


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