Building a Solar Stove Using Tin Plate

Learn the latest breakthrough in solar cooker design from an article which originally appeared in the June 1923 issue of Science and Invention.

| May/June 1977

  • 045-088-01-plate
    Here is a side, top and front view of a solar stove made of tin plate and a wooden frame. For camping purposes this kind of heat is very efficient. The alarm clock and weight system maintain the focal point directly under the pot.

  • 045-088-01-plate

Like wind power, solar radiation, as available on the surface of the earth is fitful and uncertain and the flow of power is comparatively weak.

The concave mirror, whose service ableness for cooking small meals was shown many decades ago, has apparently not yet undergone the requisite simplification as to material and construction.

The writer was some years ago led along a chain of reasoning, that need not be described here, to build a cooking-mirror of tin plate, and this, despite the seeming worthlessness o f the material, has proved so useful that he cannot help thinking that a great many people the world over would be most glad to avail themselves of a similar apparatus.

To procure tin plate is easy, but shaping it into a spherical mirror requires special machinery or professional skill. It was therefore cut into seven strips each one meter (3.28 feet) long and fifteen centimeters (5.9 inches) broad and bent by hand into cylindrical mirrors of 1.5 meter (almost 5 feet) radius and then arranged into a frame made of laths so as to form roughly a spherical surface. Obviously, this mirror has also the advantage that it can easily be taken apart and transported or can have parts replaced if damaged. The construction is clearly shown in the figures and needs hardly any description.

The focus covers approximately the bottom (which always must be black) of an average sized cooking vessel. The bottom may be painted with lamp black or covered with soot.

Although the mirror is very inaccurate, the focus, none the less, possesses remarkable power of setting fire to paper, wood, etc., which must be borne in mind when the mirror is set aside after use. It is inclined face downwards and in a northerly (southerly if south of equator) direction to about 45 degrees and so is also protected against dust.


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me