This study presents experimental study of three solar cookers with reference to a black cooking pot, put in the open sun. During the tests, outputs are recorded and the results compared. The three types were; a solar flat cooker, a solar inclined cooker and a photovoltaic cooker. The flat and inclined cookers were set up in the sun at the same time. Three black pots were filled with a liter of water each. Two of them were placed inside the solar cookers. The third pot was left in the open sun. Temperature loggers were placed inside the water and temperature probes were also placed in the heat sink of the cooking systems. Data was recorded every 10 minutes. In another setup, a litre of water was placed in the solar Photovoltaic cooker. A temperature logger was placed in the water and the data recorded.

The Solar photovoltaic box cooking system attained the highest temperature of 101 °C at 105 minutes from the start of experiment, followed by the solar flat cooker at 55.7 °C at 170 minutes at an average irradiance value of 323 W. The solar oven had 46.9 °C at 70 minutes at a solar irradiance value of 485 W. The reference pot recorded 38.3 °C at 90 minutes and 485 W radiation. Solar flat box cooking system was the most efficient cooker attaining an efficiency of 44.6 % followed by the inclined cooker at 28.7 % and the least, the PV cooker being the least efficient at 18 %.

The pressure on global energy resources is high. Fossil sources have dominated the energy market for a long period of time. The current global warming, climate change and greenhouse gas effects like desertification, flooding and air pollution that the world is experiencing is due to the carbon emissions from this resource. The just ended climate change conference of the parties (COP 21) has agreed to keep the global warming below 2 degrees. This year’s conference recorded the highest number of participating countries – 195, because of the harsh manifestations of the climate change menace globally experienced. To materialize this target to ensure human existence, the world needs to prioritize alternative renewable energy resource with immediate action. An everyday activity like cooking plays a very active role in implementing this goal.

Cooking plays a very essential role in human life because the very existence of humans depends on the food we eat; which is cooked in one-way or the other (Legroos et al., 2009, Hutton et al., 2007). Studies have shown that approximately 2.4 billion people depend on

wood, dung , charcoal and other biomass fuels for cooking(Hofsad et al., 2009; köhlin et al., 2011). Most of these people cook on open fires, which burn incompletely thus leading to low fuel efficiency and high pollution emissions. Two to three million people die worldwide annually from cooking with traditional cook stoves and fuels, which mainly consist of firewood and charcoal; most of these victims are women and children (Ruiz-Mercado et al., 2013). The World Health Organization suggests that indoor air pollution (IAP) resulting from burning solid fuels indoors in poorly ventilated conditions is responsible for 3.3% of the global Burden on disease (World Health Organisation., 2009). The adverse health outcomes are chiefly caused by inhalation of fine soot particles with aerodynamic diameters less than or equal to 2.5µm (Smith et al., 2009). Diseases and conditions such as Acute Respiratory Infection, low birth weight in pregnant women, among others have become very predominant (World Health Organisation., 2009). The current patterns of energy use causes significant negative impact of several types, including human morbidity and mortality, outdoor air pollution, climate change and deforestation (Smith et al., 2004).

The smoke from cooking causes significant health problems for people who rely on traditional biomass fuels for their cooking and heating needs, and then suffer from cancer, pneumonia, heart and lung diseases. In addition to these illnesses, large scale cooking using rudimentary cook stoves contributes to deforestation by using approximately 10,000 kg of fuel wood per annum, and diminishes local air quality through toxic smoke emissions like black carbon. Research has proved that the use of institutional Solar Cook stove can reduce the fuel wood by approximately 3000kg (100%) as well as cutting down pollution by 99.9 %.( Commey et al, 2015).

In addition to the negative social impacts that is normally produced by biomass stoves :It is also a wasteful way of cooking because it requires more time to cook and uses a lot of fuel, a task which is usually carried out by children and their mothers, thereby consuming most of their precious time.

Local environmental degradation arises directly from the pollution of the ambient air and local forest ecosystems (Shindell et al., 2011). Additionally, the harvest of fuelwood degrades local forests (Hofsad et al., 2009; köhlin et al., 2011) and in some cases, pollutes natural water bodies and damages reserved wildlife habitats, which leads to deforestation (Geist and Lambin, 2001).

Cooking with harvested biomass will definitely affect the climatic conditions of the area. This is because, inefficient fuel burning releases products of incomplete combustion which have higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide, such as methane and carbon monoxide (Sagar and Kartha, 2007). Biomass and fossil fuel cooking-stoves also emit 22% and 7% of global black carbon (BC) emissions, respectively. These emissions are the second highest contributors to the current global warming on our planet. (Ramanathan and Carmichael, 2008). Unlike the naturally distributed greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, the shorter 8 – 10 day atmospheric lifetime of black carbon results impacts (Smith et al., 2009). This causes a darkening of the atmosphere making visibility difficult.

Solar cooking of food presents a better option to using charcoal and other fuels used for preparing food. The usage of solar cookers cannot entirely curtail the use of biomass for food preparation, but if correctly and appropriately applied, solar cooking can be used as one of the most efficient ways of reducing deforestation, global climate change, and poverty. (Shawn et al, 2010).

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 82 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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