New and improved solar collector : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I have found that the lid on my solar oven is not as effective as desired in reflecting extra rays into the box. Rather than make a larger one I found a great solution at the auto parts store (Pep Boys). Here in the southwest our cars get very hot inside when parked and the auto parts store sells a foldable, windshield sized, reflective pannel to keep the sun out of the car. I wrapped it around my oven and it REALLY reflects in the sun and increases the heat and shortens the cooking time. Cost? $5.95 and it is far better than I could have constructed myself.

-- smfdoc (, August 03, 1999


Nothing better than a bit of lateral thinking.Many thanks for that great tip.

-- Chris (, August 03, 1999.

As large as those reflectors are, would they be helpful with solar panels? They are cheap afterall.

-- Mike (, August 03, 1999.

Mike, The only down side to this would be that they are flexable and may bend in the wind and they might not do well with rain. Give it a try.

-- smfdoc (, August 03, 1999.

For solar panels, use flat shiny home hvac duct work. The type that is nailed or power stapped to the timbers under the flooring. (when in basement look up.) This provides excellent refection of light and is strudy to mount to a wooden back plane fixture. place them around the panel(s). Cost is somewhat higher that the autoshade, but great results. I need to do this due to being in buffalo, ny. The sun shines less at this latitude and longitude.

This will work really well to with the solar cooker.

-- Joe Martin (, August 10, 1999.

BE VERY WHEN YOU HEAT UP PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS --- THEY LOSE A LOT OF THEIR EFFICIENCY AS THEY HEAT UP. Also they may suffer permantent degradation if continually cooked. Unless it's a cool fall day, or a cold winter day I definitely advise against using any kind of reflector panels on PV setups!

--- One who first used PV panels on his homestead back in the early '80s,


-- William J. Schenker, MD (, August 10, 1999.

I use a mirror mylar sheeting for the oven. It is easily cleaned with a spray bottle and a small amount of slighty soapy water and a rinse (caution: do not rub the surface if at all possible.) It is very transient, light weight, and easy to adjust to the changing sun directions during the day.

The sheeting is available at your plastics specialties stores. Ours is called TAP Plastics. About $3-$5 dollars worth is sufficient unless you are distilling water.

-- Michael (, August 11, 1999.

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