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Mini Portable Solar Oven Test

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4 comments to Mini Portable Solar Oven Test

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Great little video, and decent little solar oven. It helps to show people that a simple solar oven can be easy to use, and easy to MAKE a solar oven.

    When you make them, they can be lower temps or higher temps, based upon your design and materials. It’s not hard to get up to 300F and often 350F.

    If you use a parabolic dish (satellite dish), etc, you can FOCUS direct sunlight with enough heat to MELT LEAD (over 600F), and some solar reflectors, can get much hotter than that.
    You’d need a welder’s goggles to protect your eyes from such intense light hitting the target spot. It’s scary bright. (dangerous too)

    PS. Solar ovens work even in winter. The better the design, the hotter the interior.

    • JMiller


      I read what you and others have said about the problems with gasoline powered generators. The amount of gas needed and the noise. I am not really interested in solar power since I may have to bug out if things get really bad since I live in the suburbs of a small city. What do you think about kerosene heaters and small propane burner stoves in general? Just looking for something easy to use to heat a room or two and to do some cooking if I have to go to my parents house out in a more rural setting in which there could be no electricity. Thanks.

      • Craig Escaped Detroit

        I like the portable heaters (kerosene & propane), each has good and bad points.
        Kerosene fuel has 130k BTU’s per gallon, while Propane has only 90K. So a gallon of kerosene gives you more hours of heating per gallon… BUT.. kerosene gives off more pollution fumes.

        Some heaters, it’s not a problem, others, sure is.

        The Dietz metal hurricane lanterns are great for carrying around, but they produce more than twice the pollution of the GLASS indoor kerosene LAMPS. If I burn two of them in a room, I begin to cough and get congested after a few hours, but the glass lamps, don’t give me this trouble. Just some minor design differences in the burner is what makes the difference.

        I actually can use 2-4 kerosene GLASS indoor lamps to heat a room, even when it’s +30F outside. EACH kerosene lamp (full size wick=7/8″), produces a bit more than 1000 BTU’s per hour. So if you’re burning 3 of them, it’s the same amount of heat as a 1000 WATT electric space heater. (each WATT of electricity produces 3.14 BTU’s) So a 1kw heater= 3,140 BTU’s.

        This is a very good, portable alternative for some heat and light when there is no power. But dogs, cats, kids and idiots always knock things over and kill everybody in the fire. Make sure there are no DARWINS in your house.

        Gas generators, yes, not very good, but don’t forget, that you can TRANSPORT a number of solar panels, inverter, wires, and deep cycle batteries in your vehicle and set it up at your destination. You don’t have to buy the biggest jumbo panels out there, you can select panels that fit your vehicle’s storage area better, or hook up a tiny trailer?

        If I wanted to, I could attach about 500 or 600 watts of solar panels to the ROOF of my minivan and hook up everything inside the car, and run an extension cord to where ever power is needed.

        Another advantage of solar panels on the car, truck or trailer, is that you can recharge dead car batteries and get that car started again. If you’re in a rural area, and the grid goes down, and the car battery dies (for any reason), then HOW would you charge it back up if there was NO other (running) car in the area?

        If you look at the Energy Star tags on refrigerators and chest freezers, it’s possible to find the most efficient models that consume ONLY 1kw-hour per day. The standard fridges that are in that range, are usually 17 or 18 cubic foot (no ice makers), and TOP freezers only.

        Side by sides are energy hogs. I mention all this, because you could run such a fridge, daily, on a solar panel system with as little as 400 watts of panels (and battery, etc). If you add more panels, then you’d have more spare power to make it thru those rainy days?

        Having a bit of SILENT solar power, can make living a LOT nicer when you can run a fan to circulate the air in the house, or a couple of lights, LED TV, fridge, etc.

        ‘Chest freezers’ are the most efficient use of power to keep food cold.
        AND, if you have WELL WATER, you’d need some electricity to run the well pump. PLan accordingly with proper voltages, starting/surge amps, etc.

        Over the last few years, I’ve bought a number of solar panels, from as well as Ebay, and got my inverters from Ebay, 6V deep cycle batteries from O’Reilley’s auto parts.

        You can buy 1000 watts of panels for as little as $300. Inverter, batteries, and other items to finish the system add their own costs. It’s smart to buy the biggest inverter you’ll need, and add more panels later as the money is available. That way, you won’t have to keep buying bigger inverters later. I’d suggest a Chinese 4-5kw pure sine wave inverter, running on 48vdc inputs (yes, that means you’d need either FOUR of the 12v R/V batteries, or 8 of the GOLF cart (6V) batteries. If you set up for inverter that needs 24v, then you can use fewer batteries, but the AMPS getting pulled with be DOUBLE of the 48v system.

        Example= try running a 1000 watt heater, toaster, blow drier or microwave from these inverters, and look at the AMPS needed from the batteries, and you’ll see WHY the 48v setup is best and safer.

        12V inverter needs almost ONE HUNDRED battery amps to create 1kw of 120VAC.
        24v inverter needs almost FIFTY battery amps to create 1kw of 120VAC.
        48V inverter needs about TWENTY FIVE battery amps to create 1kw of 120VAC.

        Do you know how THICK, stiff and EXPENSIVE it is to buy COPPER cables that can handle 100 amps of power? And, the NEC (National Electric Code), for SAFETY reasons (to prevent cable melt downs/fires) you’d typically need cables TWICE as big as your normal “running” power.

        So if you’ve got a 12v solar/inverter system, you’d need extra expensive cables that can handle 200 amps just for a 1000 watt microwave! (1000 microwave, is pulling about 9 amps of 120vac from the outlet.) Think about it,, you’ll need 200 amp cables to supply the house with just 9 amps of 120vac.

        With this type of knowledge, you can plan ahead for buying the most efficient items, and making a system that will give you fewer headaches in the future.

        You can put together, a decent starter solar system, for less than $1,500. That’s not bad, considering it will never be trying to burn thru 5 gallons of gas every day. In just 100 days, a gas generator can burn thru 500 gallons of gas, and how much per gallon? $2.35 in the GOOD times!! That’s more than a thousand bucks just for fuel right there, not including the cost of the generator. Or the noise that may attract hungry, desperate people who will kill your family for a bag of rice and a few cans of beans.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    CORRECTION= I got the Electric watts to BTU conversion numbers wrong… it’s not 3.14 BTU’s / watt…

    the correct conversion is 3.41BTU’s / watt. No big deal, the 1kw heater, produces 3,410 BTU’s.

    Most kerosene lamps actually give a bit over 1000 BTU’s… so THREE kerosene lamps is still exactly equal to a 1kw space heater.

    I had a BIG lightning strike hitting near my home last year, and it killed my heatpump sysetm, so last winter, I had to heat my home with KEROSENE lamps (and/or heater). That’s why I know all this stuff.

    I hope I can save enough money to get a new heat pump before next winter, but if not, then I’ll be OK heating the place with kerosene lamps again!!!

    Running 4 kerosene lamps 24/7 … they consume less than ONE gallon per 24 hour burning time.
    I stocked up with extra containers filled with kerosene, enough for an entire winter for me.. that’s about 50 gallons of kerosene.
    Most daytime temps, even in the middle of January, often goes above +50F. But nights, can be as low as in the +20’s. Rare cold snaps, have gone down to near zero.

    PS. A kerosene LANTERN (the metal framed, Dietz hurricane lanterns), the ones with the BIG, WIDE, stable bottom FUEL tank… is GREAT for putting it in the pump-house to keep the well pump & pipes from freezing!! Dietz makes a super big tank model called the JUPITER, holds over 2 quarts and will burn for up to 72 hours before refilling.

    If you’ve got a crawlspace, area where pipes may freeze when the power is out, then you’d do well to have a big hurricane lamp like that to keep your pipes protected.

    I found a gas station that sells kerosene at the PUMP, for just $2.99/gallon.

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