I recieved my Solar oven and have been playing around with it to see how well it can do in the winter time. I’m just testing the temp. and how well it can use the sun’s energy and so far the results have been marginal at best and also what I expected for winter time in Idaho.
I’m not blaming the oven as it was designed for a location much further south and a higher daytime temp. than were I am located in Idaho. A few degrees of angle in the sun can have a huge difference in total sunlight collected and focused. I also bought the oven without the reflector which I think is needed for use where I’m at and to overcome the lower ambient temp. of winter time in Idaho.
I can say that I can get up around 150 degrees F. in an hour or two. Not hot enough to cook but not all that bad in conditions the oven was not built to handle. I think by March and the Spring equinox plus adding a reflector could see this little solar oven work and be a great asset for a prepper. In summertime this little oven is going to work great for my baking and cooking and really help out with keeping the house cool by not using the oven.
I have a few of those decrotive solar lamps for the yard. I noticed that they were slowly becoming dimmer and seldom lasted a more than a few hours. I also have a battery charger for AA and AAA batteries so I thought I’d see if it was bulb or the battery that were giving out. I did have a few bad bulbs but recharging those batteries with a solid current and not the solar panels seems to have revived the lamps and they are doing much better and brighter than when I first bought them. I cleaned the solar panel and I’ve been running them on what the solar panel can generate and so far the lamps are putting out the light better than ever.
So before you toss your solar lights try to recharge via household electricity. Clean the contacts with a pencil eraser and make sure there is no corosion build up. If the eraser does not work use a mixture baking soda and water plus a brush and clean the contacts. You may find you breathe new life into those little lights. While having a little light is great every one of those lights is a solar recharging station for batteries. You may not get a lot charge but it’s totally free and it could keep your flashlights and radios going in a power down emergency.