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Mini 100 Watt solar electric oven prototype – Simple Solar Cooking!

Picture of the 100 watt mini portable solar electric oven prototype invention
The oven prototype in my shop

Can a single 100 Watt 12V solar panel supply enough power to cook or bake food by itself?

I’ve been thinking about this question for years. A simple portable electric oven that operates off of such a small amount of power could change everything. Finally, after a long wait, the opportunity came to test the idea… The purpose of this experiment is to show how to use solar power in austere situations and remote sites, when there isn’t a lot of technology available.

First Tests – Project Update 5/2023

100 watt mini portable solar electric oven prototype invention connected to a solar panel in my yard
Testing the oven outdoors in my yard
Test instruments used while running the 100 watt mini portable solar electric oven prototype invention
Use of a voltmeter, K thermocouple and DC clamp meter during tests

As of April 11-12th 2023, I have completed the first live cooking tests of my 100w mini portable solar electric oven prototype, meaning the first time food was ever put in it. I’m certainly no cook, but I successfully overcooked a beef hot dog with garlic, salt and butter using nothing but the power of the sun and one small solar panel.

In all, the total dissipated power into the oven was around 80 Watts. That’s it! Working temperatures of around 300-450 degrees Fahrenheit were observed. In the second test I cooked a small amount of chicken with garlic.

Power Source and Tests

Plate of food successfully cooked using nothing but the power of the sun in the mini solar electric oven
The first plate of sample food cooked in the oven

This portable solar electric oven invention is powered by nothing more than a single 100 watt solar panel. No battery, no charge controller, no inverter and no driving electronics were involved. This is a PV-to-load appliance. The solar panel powers the load directly without the need for cycling a battery bank or using charge controllers, inverters and complicated expensive electronics. It might also be called a “solar electric oven”.

The first test was successful overall. It was recorded on video and posted to YouTube. Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal for the test – the sun being hazy and overcast, with intermittent cloud cover and wind gusts. But the oven was still able to reach over 350 degrees Fahrenheit at certain times.

Due to the general situation here and the weather it was very difficult to conduct the test, but I pushed through to gather data. The following day I recorded a second test cooking chicken, where higher temperatures of over 400 degrees Fahrenheit were reached due to slightly better weather conditions. Once again, the test was successful.

Construction Details

This prototype is of a very simple construction. It consists of 2 metal boxes. The inner box cooks the food with a heating element, the outer box helps protect the user from burning themselves.

A ceramic knob is used for removing the lid. A thermometer monitors the cooking temperature. Of course this prototype isn’t exactly safe or reliable, but it proves the concept.

Attention Manufacturers

My hope is that manufacturers will pick up on these ideas and release products that are safe, reliable and refined for everyone. This technology is too simple, too good and too effective to be overlooked.

Potential Applications

This type of portable mini solar electric oven has extremely broad applications such as: emergencies, grid down scenarios, survival, camping, remote and rural sites, RV, and boating. Areas of the world where cooking fuel is scarce and times are hard would benefit from this technology as well.

YouTube Video

If you are interested and seeing the oven in action, I recommend watching the YouTube video posted on this page. I have other videos on the way about PV-to-load solar electric cooking. Thanks for reading, see you next time! -DD-

Parts List

Want to support my work? Below are affiliate links to various parts that can be used to build such a prototype oven. If you use these links to shop, I may receive a tiny commission. Thank you 🙂


Porcelain resistance element terminals

Tin box outer

Tin box inner

Thermometer or use any normal barbecue generic part

About the Author:

DD Solar (a nickname) has over a decade of experience in solar power and renewable energy, and over 25 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. He currently operates a YouTube channel called Solar Power Edge (formerly known as DIY Solar Power Edge and DD Solar Channel) and documents some of his projects and prototypes there. (C) 2022 DIY Solar Power Edge channel / DD Solar channel / SolarPowerEdge BLOG All rights reserved. We reserve all rights.


One response to “Mini 100 Watt solar electric oven prototype – Simple Solar Cooking!”

  1. 18V tool battery bakes bread! Mini Oven prototype part 2 – Solar Thoughts blog Avatar

    […] oven is basically the same design I wrote about in the last article, in which it ran off a single 100 watt solar panel and nothing else. I used it to cook hot dogs and […]


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