Event Title

Solar Cooker Development in Midwestern Climate

Session Number

Project ID: ENGN 5

Advisor(s)

Dr. Mark Carlson; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Discipline

Engineering

Start Date

22-4-2020 9:45 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 10:00 AM

Abstract

About 3.6 million people die annually from drinking contaminated water. An affordable and durable solar cooker to elevate water temperature could help address this problem. We tested five prototypes with both natural and artificial light. Our first designs, using mylar backed by cardboard or foam, had low wind resistance. The next design had a frame made out of ½” PVC pipe that improved durability but did not concentrate the light. Finally, wood lath was curved into a parabola to more effectively focus the light and solve the concentration issue. Our goal was a 17℃ increase in water temperature, and we were able to achieve about 6℃ increase under ideal weather conditions (45℃ with no cloud cover). Continuing testing inside, we were unable to provide adequate light intensity, only getting less than 3℃ difference using 6, 60-watt heat lamps. We conclude that we were unable to adequately test a device that would be usable in equatorial regions without more extensive equipment and controlled conditions.

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Apr 22nd, 9:45 AM Apr 22nd, 10:00 AM

Solar Cooker Development in Midwestern Climate

About 3.6 million people die annually from drinking contaminated water. An affordable and durable solar cooker to elevate water temperature could help address this problem. We tested five prototypes with both natural and artificial light. Our first designs, using mylar backed by cardboard or foam, had low wind resistance. The next design had a frame made out of ½” PVC pipe that improved durability but did not concentrate the light. Finally, wood lath was curved into a parabola to more effectively focus the light and solve the concentration issue. Our goal was a 17℃ increase in water temperature, and we were able to achieve about 6℃ increase under ideal weather conditions (45℃ with no cloud cover). Continuing testing inside, we were unable to provide adequate light intensity, only getting less than 3℃ difference using 6, 60-watt heat lamps. We conclude that we were unable to adequately test a device that would be usable in equatorial regions without more extensive equipment and controlled conditions.