Heat Storage for Vapour Based Solar Concentrators
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In a world where energy demand, population, and environmental concern are increasing by the day, the use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources becomes ever more important. Most of the African population lives in rural areas and uses wood as primary energy source for cooking. The wood, however, can be replaced by the energy in the abundant sunshine most African countries experiences and used in solar cookers. However, the biggest disadvantage of most common solar cookers available today is that they are dependent on direct solar radiation to work. This makes them vulnerable to the intermittent nature of the sun and limits the cooking to the sunny hours of the day. In this thesis, a possible solution to that problem area is examined. A solar energy heat storage for vapour based solar concentrators is designed, constructed and analysed with cooking of the traditional Ethiopian bread injera in mind. The storage consists of an aluminium bolt with salt filled cavities that has working fluid (steam or oil) running through it. The energy stored during the salt melting (latent heat) is released at constant temperature between 210°C-220°C which is the melting temperature of the salt, and the temperature needed to cook injeras. One experiment was performed with heat transfer oil as working fluid, but did not yield any results due to air bubbles that prevented circulation. Two experiments were done with steam as working fluid. The first experiment measured the discharge of the storage which was found to be a temperature fall from 221.8°C to 50°C during a time span of 85 hours. The other experiment aimed for boiling of one litre of water, but the highest temperature reached was 70.9°C. However, several modifications can be done to improve the storage capacity and cooking procedure, as for instance increasing the amount of salt.