DESIGN, SIMULATION, CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF A SOLAR BOX COOKER

DESIGN, SIMULATION, CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF A SOLAR BOX COOKER

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ABSTRACT

A solarbox cooker is a device that converts solar energy into useful heat in a confined space.

The solar cooking system which captures and utilizes the abundant solar energy was

designed, simulated, constructed and tested. Plane reflectors were used to concentrate solar

radiations continuously on the collector which result to heat gain. It is usually difficult to

manually track the movement of the sun and the use of a tracking device may be very

expensive. Hence, plane reflectors were used. At the initial stage, the typical metrological

year (TMY) solar data of Zaria obtained was processed to obtain the monthly average daily

solar resources of Zaria using the solar radiation and weather data processor TYPE 109

component of TRNSYS 16 software. The month with the least average daily solar radiation

was considered as the design month and the result shows that the month of August has the

least solar radiation and therefore, considered as the design month.Secondly, the solar cooker

was constructed at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Mechanical Engineering Workshop using

various tools for cutting and machining.Thirdly, the solar cooker was tested at Mechanical

Engineering Department of ABU between 28th and 31st of October, 2016. During the course

of the testing, it was observed that in general the performance of the cooker was so

encouraging because it cooked rice within an hour. The maximum stagnation temperature and

that of absorber plate temperature were found to be 141oC and 143oC respectively. The

cooker was simulated using TRNSYS and EES software. The simulated results were

compared with the experimental results to determine the level of agreement between the two

using Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Nash Sutcliff Efficiency (NSE) statistical tool.

The RMSE results are 4.8203oC and 2.604oC. While the NSE results are 0.9867 and 0.996.

These results show that the experimental values and the simulated values are in good fit.The

regression line for the experiment and simulation were obtained and were used to compute

the cooking power of the cooker. At 50oC, the experimental and simulated cooking powers

v


are 52.8W and 54.8W respectively. For the average solar radiation incident on surfaces at

different time intervals for the 4 conservative days, the regression line showing line of best fit

for the co-efficient of determination (r2) was found to be 91.87 . And also, for the variation

of simulated and experimental collector efficiency, the co-efficient of determination (r2) for

both the simulated and experimental results were found to be 98.8     and 94.1     respectively.

And the percentage of energy increment due to third reflector was found to be 84.5


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