Modelling of a solar stove: Small scale concentrating system with heat storage (potential for cooking in rural areas, Zimbabwe) (2007)

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The objective of this document is to serve as an in-depth technical introduction to small-scale concentrating systems tailored for application especially in rural areas in Africa located outside the national electricity grids.

The paper finds that there is need to develop an alternative that will sustainably replace the use of the speedily-diminishing biomass resources. It is in this context it presents research that seeks to contribute towards finding a solution by means of small scale solar concentrating systems with heat storage.

The general conclusion of the paper is that the feasibility of small-scale solar concentrating systems with heat storage, using relatively cheap materials, to meet high-temperature heat needs for basic food preparation in rural areas (off-the-electricity-grid) in Zimbabwe is fairly high. A successful system would, in general, upgrade their quality of life.

Lastly the paper puts forward the following recommendations: - in order to maintain constant the inlet air temperature to the storage, the possibility of controlling the mass flow rate by means of a circuit involving direct connection to solar cell such the outcome is principally determined by beam intensity needs to be investigated;- a detailed technical study that includes experimentation to smoothen the tracking system based the grandfather clock principle requires further work;- a prototype of the concentrating system needs to be developed: for experimental testing and validation of the models in this work. It will be profitable to separately build and test the major components of the prototype before their incorporation to form the main system;-  the Zimbabwean energy authorities should be made conscient of the vast solar energy resources to their disposal and encouraged to exploit them for both smalland large-scale solar energy projects like: electricity generation, solar cooking, water heating, etc. - although Zimbabwe has been regarded as the test-case, the results of a successful system can be extented to all countries that lie within the Sunbelt.
Year: 2007
Language: English