A place for plans for post collapse

Dangers of parabolic reflectors

There are horror stories about solar reflectors catching things on fire. Even a standard commercial solar box oven is as dangerous as a mirrored parabolic.

The two Sun Ovens (above right) were cooking away on a nice sunny day, and I noticed a warm spot as I walked by. I searched around and finally found it.

It’s pretty easy to see the burn mark. It started on the right and moved toward the left as the sun passed across the sky.

Pretty easy to find the focal point and it gets real hot real quick.

And then I noticed that the two ovens were pointing at a wooden bench in the yard. When I looked closer I saw a little bit of smoke and then found that they were starting the bench on fire. It’s probably a real good thing I was paying attention, because I might’ve burned down the house.


It is always best to put your parabolic‘s away when you are not using them. Somewhere out of the sun or at least turn them upside down so that the sunlight cannot get at them. If you must leave them set up in the yard then make sure they are away from any combustible material. As the sun travels from east to west the reflected image moves from west to east and anything within that focal point is liable to catch fire. Be careful and be safe. Thank you.

Toward a sustainable future

Exploring simple devices that may help us conserve, get off grid, and perhaps save some resources for our kids’ kids.

The more complex a system, the more ways there are for it to break. We have not experienced cascading systems failure. Yet.

Solar cooking is a fast easy and inexpensive way to get off grid and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. You can buy very good commercial solar box ovens for a couple hundred dollars and with care they will last you many years. You can also make your own for very little money and can use materials for the reflector ranging from cheap aluminum foil to very nice shiny mylar to long-lasting glass mirrors. I prefer mirrors because they have excellent reflectivity and are long lasting as long as you don’t break them.