The feasibility of a collapsible parabolic solar cooker incorporating phase change materials

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Renewable Energy Focus, 2019, 30 pp. 58 - 70
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This paper presents a solar energy-based cooking solution for reducing the dependency of refugees on firewood for cooking food. The use of firewood is associated with a variety of problems such as deforestation, environmental degradation and household air pollution. This paper proposes that a collapsible parabolic solar cooker with 12 panels and a phase change material-incorporated cooking pot is a viable alternative to firewood. The phase change material allows food cooked during the day to be kept warm and subsequently consumed as an evening meal. Furthermore, the proposed solution considers, and fits within, the cultural aspect of the refugee context. The cultural aspect is highlighted as it is a factor in determining whether refugees will accept the proposed solution. This paper also presents a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed solution which shows that if used by a family unit of four members, the payback period is 52 weeks or less. Finally, this paper concludes with recommendations pertaining to the efficiency of the system to reduce cooking time and enable the system to keep food warm for subsequent meals. These recommendations are focused on maximising the chances of acceptance of the parabolic solar cooker by refugees during humanitarian crises.
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