Renewable Energy 44 (2012) 457e462

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Renewable Energy
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Technical note

An exergy based unified test protocol for solar cookers of different geometries
Naveen Kumar*, G. Vishwanath, Anurag Gupta
IIITD&M Kancheepuram, IIT Madras Campus, Chennai-600036, Tamil Nadu, India

a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history: Received 24 June 2011 Accepted 20 January 2012 Available online 9 February 2012 Keywords: Solar cookers Thermal test protocol Exergy analysis

a b s t r a c t
It is beneficial for the consumer to have solar cookers of various varieties in terms of geometrical designs, performance and price but it is also a challenge to develop a uniform test standard for evaluating the thermal performance of the cookers irrespective of their geometrical construction. In this paper, four exergy based parameters, are proposed for solar cookers of different topological design, as their thermal performance indicators. To this end, graphs between exergy output power and temperature difference are plotted, and they resemble a parabolic curve for each design. The peak exergy (vertex of the parabola), can be accepted as a measure of devices’ fuel ratings. The ratio of the peak exergy power gained to the exergy power lost at that instant of time can be considered as the quality factor of the solar cooker. Besides, the exergy power lost is found to vary linearly with temperature difference irrespective of the topology of the device and the slope of the straight line obtained through curve fitting represents the heat loss coefficient of the cooker. The proposed parameters can lead to development of unified test protocol for solar cookers of diversified designs. Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Solar cookers are a very useful and popular thermal device which is available throughout the world. It is one of the few renewable energy thermal gadgets which are portable, user friendly, easily operable, economically competitive and meant to fulfill the very basic need. Its affordable price makes it commercially very attractive, especially among the rural populace in the developing countries. In order to meet the demands of broad spectrum of the society and penetrate the market, different novel varieties of solar cookers have become available in accordance with peoples’ need and purchasing capacity [1e4]. Solar box type cookers (SBC) meet the need for domestic as well as community based applications. Similarly, SK-14, SK-10 and Scheffler paraboloid type concentrating cooker are employed for faster cooking for domestic/community and industrial applications [5]. In addition, parabolic trough type concentrating cookers are being reported in recent studies for their versatile applications [6,7]. Depending on the topology of the cooker construction, different test procedures and thermal indicators have been established, which act as benchmark thermal performance evaluators for various geometrical varieties of the cooker [8e14]. On one hand it is good for the customer to have solar cookers of diversified designs in terms of geometry, performance and price while on the other hand it is
* Corresponding author. Tel./fax: þ91 4422578555. E-mail addresses: vatsnaveen@yahoo.co.in, nkumar@iiitdm.ac.in (N. Kumar). 0960-1481/$ e see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2012.01.085

a challenge to develop a uniform test standard for evaluating the thermal performance of the cookers irrespective of their geometrical construction. In the absence of such unified test/standard protocol, it is very confusing for the customer to compare the performance of these devices. In addition, to promote renewable energy technologies (RETs), many governments throughout the world, are adopting environment friendly policies. This includes the provision of providing direct/indirect subsidies and other benefits to the user on the usage of the RETs. Many a times, manufacturers are not able to receive the subsidy benefits because the parameters set for eligibility criterion matches one design of solar cooker and not the others. Through the present manuscript, an exergy based unified test protocol, for solar cookers of different geometries, is proposed. In this protocol, the test methodology for conducting full load test for solar cookers remains the same but the analyzing procedure has been altered so as to fulfill the above necessities. In order to develop a realistic and unified test protocol, reported data from different well known previously published manuscripts is utilized and it is analyzed comprehensively. 2. Methodology For testing the performance of the solar box type cooker, two figures of merit (FOM) viz. F1 and F2 are generally calculated, and these are given by Mullick et al. [8]. The first FOM, F1 is defined as the ratio of optical efficiency to the heat loss factor by bottom absorbing plate and is a measure of the differential temperature gained by the

3e3.0060569*x2 + 0.1. F2 is more or less independent of climatic conditions and gives an indication of heat transfer from absorbing plate to the water in the containers kept on the cooking tray inside the cooker. Although the surface temperature of the sun (Ts) varies due to the spectral distribution of sunlight on the earth’s surface.16. it is also possible to take in to account such qualitative effects affecting the system performance. The second FOM. even though input energy condition may remain same. The energy gained by water in the vessel. the case of each of the different solar cookers of the above mentioned geometries is taken and the exergy based analysis is applied so as to reach a holistic/uniform method for deciding the common thermal indicators irrespective of the cooker design topology. the output energy depends only on the difference in initial and final values of water temperatures ðTf À Ti Þ Mass=2. (1) which has the widest acceptability [15e18]. But. thermal performance of SK-14/SK-10 type cookers should be determined by its heat loss factor.3092*x + 99.9174 Maximum Power = 6. 2.338 R2 = 0. which is calculated through extrapolation of the curve/data [10. / Renewable Energy 44 (2012) 457e462 Nomenclature A c Eo EXi EXo F1 F2 G m Tam Tf Ti Ts Dt gross area of glazing surface m2 specific heat capacity of water J/kg K output energy J input exergy kJ output exergy kJ first figure of merit m2 K/W second figure of merit instantaneous solar insolation W/m2 mass of water kg instantaneous ambient temperature K final water temperature K initial water temperature K surface temperature of sun K time interval s Ex e rg y Lo s t ( W) 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 0 10 20 Mass=2. However.98 Temperature Difference(K) Fig. as the system moves closer to the equilibrium with its environment [15. nevertheless Scheffler concentrators are generally employed for very large scale cooking/industrial operations. absorbing plate at a particular level of solar insolation. can be calculated using the available solar energy flux (GADt) and is expressible through Eq. Variation of exergy output power with temperature difference for domestic SBC with its schematics.5kg data 1 linear y = .885 K Half Power = 3. in an exergy based analysis.5kg 6. As per Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (India).11]. . as per international test protocol for solar box cookers.4615 W at Temperature Difference of 35. the exergy becomes zero. optical efficiency and cooking power [12e14].789 20 30 35.0 mm wavelength band [15. the performance should be estimated in terms of its standardized cooking power as given by Funk [10]. Kumar et al.885 40 50 58.98 K data 1 quadratic Exergy Power(W) 4 3. G is instantaneous solar insolation. Internationally. due to rise in temperature can be considered as the output energy (Eo) of the system and is mathematically given as   Eo ¼ mc Tf À Ti (2) In the expression above. The sun’s black body temperature of 5762 K results in a solar spectrum concentrated primarily in the 0.789 K and 58. In the present manuscript. 1.2308 2 0 -2 0 1012.4347*x . Variation of exergy power lost with temperature difference for domestic SBC.0.537 R 2 = 0.18].     1 Tam 4 4Tam ADt EXi ¼ G 1 þ À 3 Ts 3Ts (1) where Tam is instantaneous ambient temperature. However.16]. the benchmark parameters derived from the energy based method does not provide complete information and are inadequate performance indicators because their values can be misleadingly high or low depending on the temperature difference between source and sink. kept inside the cooker.9348 30 40 50 60 Temperature Difference(K) Fig. energy based approach is employed. the procedure for measuring the efficacy of cooking of solar cookers based on parabolic trough and Scheffler concentrating type topologies are not very well known. as the exergy input EXi to the solar cooker. the value of 5800 K has been considered for the Ts.1. The exergy of solar radiation.458 N. In all above mentioned thermal performance evaluation processes. The value of the cooking power determined through this procedure comes out to be high and does not represent the actual cooking potential of the cooker. Bureau of Indian standards have also accepted these parameters as performance indicators for SBC [9]. Exergy is a measure of the potential of the system to extract heat from the surroundings.4615 6 y = .2308 W at Temperature Difference of 12. A is aperture area of cooker. and Dt is time interval. Ts is surface temperature of sun. After the system and the surroundings reach equilibrium.

which depicts the case when the amount of water inside the cooking vessels/pots is 2. which is very near to the actual value of the peak exergy. Variation of exergy power lost with temperature difference for SK-14 type cooker. (iii) Exergy temperature difference gap product.46 W and the temperature difference gap corresponding to the half power points is 46.0. The temperature difference gap is the difference in the temperature difference values corresponding to the half exergy points of the curve.N. (ii) Quality factor.1062 8 6 4 2 5 10. The maximum exergy power obtained through curve fitting is 6.519 55 Maximum Power = 18.519 K and 10. exergy analysis is a more complete synthesis tool because it considers both the quantity and quality of energy transfer to and from the cooker.332 35 40 45 50.5.332 K Half Power = 9. the data and schematics from various earlier reported manuscripts is taken [17e20].1. 3. 0 k g data 1 linear E x e r g y L o s t ( W) 250 200 150 100 50 0 5 10 15 20 25 y = . Variation of exergy output power with temperature difference for SK-14 type cooker with its schematics. ambient temperature as well as the initial and final water temperature values also play the role in deciding the efficiency of the system. The peak exergy power and temperature difference gap product for this case 350 300 M ass= 5.9811 2 data 1 quadratic Exergy Power(W) 16 14 12 10 9. 3. by the value of glazing/focal area.4072*x + 334. This kind of scheme is generally considered in electronics for expressing the performance of a BJT amplifier. Results and discussion difference.84 R 2 = 0. but in actual practice.022346*x + 1. In order to determine the above mentioned parameters for each of the different solar cooker geometries.2 K. Higher temperature difference gap means the lesser heat losses from the cooker. The proposed four exergy based parameters. The exergy lost during the test period can also be plotted against temperature difference so as to estimate the overall heat loss coefficient of the cooker.145 15 20 25 30. Kumar et al. which can be considered as the benchmark indicators of performance of the cookers are as follows. Thus. This can be realistically considered as a measure of cooker’s fuel ratings.2. A higher quality factor is always desirable. The heat loss coefficient of the device can be calculated by dividing the value of the slope of the line.25 m2 is presented in Fig.5 kg.9916 Solar cookers of four different geometrical constructions are considered for depicting their thermal performance on the basis of exergy based parameters.0kg 20 18. parabolic trough type cooker. The second term on the right hand side of this expression signifies the exergy losses elucidating the true potential of the system in converting the input energy.1062 W at Temperature Difference of 50. domestic SK-14 type cooker. obtained through linear curve fitting of exergy lost variations with temperature difference. Calculations for the above mentioned topologies of the solar cooker are described in the subsequent sub-sections. it is easier to obtain the peak value of exergy. The ratio of the peak exergy gained to the exergy lost at that instant of time can be considered as the quality factor of the solar cooker. it is proposed to plot a graph between output exergy power and temperature difference and fit the data points with second order polynomial. (iv) Heat loss coefficient.3556*x . Scheffler community type cooker. and this kind of qualitative effect cannot be accommodated in the energy based approach. From the fitted curve. . Domestic solar box type cooker The variation in the exergy output as a function of temperature difference for domestic SBC of aperture area 0. 1. temperature difference is the difference in the instantaneous water temperature and ambient temperature.3466 R2 = 0. as gain bandwidth product and also a quality factor in case of a notch/band pass filter. Here.212 y = . The product of the temperature difference gap corresponding to the half power points and the peak exergy power can also considered to be another benchmark indicator in this kind of analysis. (i) Peak Exergy. These geometries are domestic box type cooker. This approach is not dependent much on extrapolation and all the parameters are realistically calculated from the graphs/data. The exergy gained by water in the vessel kept inside the cooker due to rise in water temperature can be considered as the output exergy (EXo ) [15e18] of the system and is expressible through EXo ¼ Eo À mcTam ln Tf Ti (3) The beauty of the exergy analysis/approach is self evident in the expression above as it considers the effect of ambient temperature as well as the absolute values of initial and final water temperature in addition to the temperature differenceðTf À Ti Þ. / Renewable Energy 44 (2012) 457e462 459 Mass = 5.212 W at Temperature Difference of 30.145 K Temperature Difference(K) Fig. 3. Peak exergy is the highest/ maximum exergy output power obtained through curve fitting by plotting the graph between exergy output power and temperature 30 35 40 45 50 55 Temperature Difference(K) Fig. 4.

The heat loss coefficient 1000 Exergy Lost(W) y = . i.47 m2 and a focal area of 0. The heat loss coefficient and quality factor.73 W/K m2 and 0.198 WK. 2. 4.36 m2.2.92 W and the temperature difference gap corresponding to the half power points is 23. It has been also noticed that the variation in the exergy lost with temperature difference is more linear when temperature of water varies in the range of 60  Ce95  C (see Figs. for performing calculation and obtaining the thermal parameters.e.0. The specific heat loss coefficient for this cooker is found to be 2. W/K). Heat loss coefficient is obtained by dividing the slope of the curve (which depicts the exergy lost per change in temperature.877 20 10 0 Half Power = 27. 6.5 kg mass of water. The reflective area of the cooker is 1.35 W/K m2 and 0. 2. respectively.58 W/K m2 kg.088 m2 is presented in Fig. The specific heat loss coefficient for this cooker is found to be 8. Variation of exergy output power with temperature difference for Scheffler type cooker with its schematics. The peak exergy power and temperature difference gap product for this case is found to be 2208. is taken from Ozturk [18].62 K. respectively. The maximum exergy power obtained through curve fitting is 6.753 y = . The specific heat loss coefficient for this cooker is found to be 2. Scheffler community type cooker and quality factor. 7. The curve between the exergy lost v/s temperature difference is plotted in Fig. 5. 6 and 8).5 WK. are found to be 47.815 WK.977 K and 9. which depicts the case when the amount of water inside the cooking vessels/pots is 20 kg.21 m2 and secondary focal area of 0.374 K. respectively.8682 data 1 quadratic Exergy Power(W) 50 40 Maximum Power = 55.134 m2 is presented in Fig. by the gross aperture area. 3.75 W and the temperature difference gap corresponding to the half power points is 39. The peak exergy power and temperature difference gap product for the two cases is found to be 735.3 kg mass of water. The experimental data.24 W/K m2 and 0. for performing calculation and obtaining the thermal parameters.087. 3.977 55 Temperatu re Difference(K) Fig. The curve between the exergy lost v/s temperature difference is plotted in Fig.125 W/K m2 and 0.3 kg. is taken from Kaushik [17].3 m2 with aperture diameters of 3. This range of temperature is also generally used in calculation/determination of F2 (second figure of merit). The primary reflector area of the concentrator is 7. is also taken from Kaushik [17].3 WK.753 W at Temperature Difference of 29.15 K. 3. / Renewable Energy 44 (2012) 457e462 M a s s = 2 0 . The curve between the exergy lost v/s temperature difference is plotted in Fig. The experimental data.460 N.47 m2 with its focal length equal to 0.36 m2 is presented in Fig. SK-14 type cooker The variation in the exergy output as a function of temperature difference for domestic SK .877 W at Temperature Difference of 48. The maximum exergy power obtained through curve fitting is 18. are found to be 40. Variation of exergy power lost with temperature difference for Scheffler type cooker.096 W/K m2 kg. 4.071023*x2 + 4.165 35 40 45 48. The cooker which attains higher exergy at higher temperature difference is the better one.485*x + 1132.14 type cooker of gross aperture area 1.21 W and the temperature difference gap corresponding to the half power points is 40.19.3 m.8 m lengthwise and 2. The reflective area of secondary reflector is 0.165 K 27. 3.4.6595 R2 = 0. The experimental data. The heat loss coefficient and quality factor. 8. for 2.1428*x . for 20 kg mass of water. The heat loss coefficient and quality factor. for 5 kg mass of water. for performing calculation and obtaining the thermal parameters.9 m2 and focal area of 0. which is an important and well known performance indicator for SBC 1200 Mass=20.099.0kg data 1 linear The variation in the exergy output as a function of temperature difference for Scheffler community type cooker of gross aperture area 8.75 m widthwise and has depth of 0. Kumar et al.354 K 5 9. The peak exergy power and temperature difference gap product for this case is found to be 160. is taken from Kumar [20]. are found to be 5.07 W/K m2 kg. which depicts the case when the amount of water inside the cooking vessels/pots is 5 kg. . are found to be 54. The experimental data. The specific heat loss coefficient for this cooker is found to be 7.106.123. Parabolic trough type concentrating cookers The variation in the exergy output as a function of temperature difference for parabolic trough type concentrating cooker of aperture area 0.354 15 20 25 29.4.9916 800 600 400 200 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 Temperature Difference(K) Fig. is found to be 298. The maximum exergy power obtained through curve fitting is 55..7 R2 = 0. respectively. 5.28 m. for 6. 0 kg 60 55. for performing calculation and obtaining the thermal parameters.706 W/K m2 kg. which depicts the case when the amount of water inside the cooking vessels/pots is 6. The curve between the exergy lost v/s temperature difference is plotted in Fig.3. 6.

62 23. Solar cooker geometry Peak exergy power (W) Temperature difference gap at half power (K) 46. Parabolic-trough solar collectors and their applications.308 K and 37. Solar Energy 2005. Evaluating the international standard procedure for testing solar cookers and reporting performance.5 735.11]. can be converted into standardized exergy power on par with standardized cooking power. SBCs are the best solar cooking device. The exergy analysis is a better synthesis tool because it accounts for the temperatures associated with energy transfers to and from the cooker. Development of domestic concentrating cooker. Kandpal TC. The exergy output power. Design development and testing of a double reflector hot box solar cooker with transparent insulation materials. Conclusion An exergy based analysis is applied to solar cookers of different designs. 8. a comparative compilation of values of the proposed parameters for various types of solar cookers is tabulated in Table 1.10. Solar Energy 2000. proposed parameters. viz. realistic and flexible for it can easily accommodate the effect of variations in solar insolation (peak to valley) which can be greater than 300 W/m2. Renewable Energy 2000.0.3kg 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 data 1 linear y = . SK-14 has lesser heat loss coefficient and higher quality factor and thus can be considered a better device for fast cooking at smaller operations.087 SBC 6.1:59e65.N. Perez M. [3] Arenas Jose M. Renewable Energy 2007.21 (domestic) Scheffler 55. one may require more comprehensive testing and data analysis. peak exergy.123 0. Exergy analysis of the solar cylindrical-parabolic cooker.68:1e7. Mass=6. Solar Energy 1996.883 K y = .46 SK-14 18. On this basis. However.4. Thermodynamically. Variation of exergy output power with temperature difference for parabolic trough cooker with its schematics. New solar cooker of parabolic dish: design and simulation.198 5.9149 W at Temperature Difference of 25. [5] Patel NV.02581*x2 + 1. Design.458 40 Temperature Difference(K) Fig. / Renewable Energy 44 (2012) 457e462 461 Mass = 6.9.3361*x . between these two. [8. 7. [2] Sonune AV. as well as the quantities of energy transferred.23: 167e72. Variation of exergy power lost with temperature difference for parabolic trough cooker. among the above considered geometries.35 54.24 40.9149 6 5 4 3. Indian standards solar e box type.833 28 30 32 34 36 37. are proposed. Philip SK. [9] BIS 2000. Testing of box-type solar cookers: second figure of merit F2 and its variation with load and number of pots. Valenzuela L.75 (community) Parabolic trough 6.6676 data 1 quadratic Exergy Power(W) Half Power = 3. However. Renewable Sustain Energy Rev 2010. Zarza E. References [1] Nahar NM.376 R2 = 0. as heat loss coefficient is the lowest and quality factor is the highest for these gadgets.3 2208.specification part 3 test method (first revision) New Delhi: IS 13429(part 3).r.8117 The amount of heat energy at higher temperature is more valuable than the same amount of heat energy at lower temperature and in energy analysis it is not possible to take into account such qualitative difference. Kumar et al. 2000.20:347e55. Renewable Energy 1997. Renewable Energy 1991. exergy temperature difference gap product and heat loss coefficient. [8] Mullick SC. Renewable Energy 2003.92 .14: 1695e721.28:1225e34.4574 3 2 1 22 Maximum Power = 6.374 39. The peak exergy power temperature difference gap product is a representative parameter of rate of increase in water temperature during performance evaluation period. Based on these parameters the parabolic trough type cooker is found least suitable for cooking. for larger cooking\industrial applications\operations Scheffler concentrator type cookers are preferable because of higher peak exergy power and temperature difference gap product. 4.125 47. [4] El-Kassaby MM.815 160.79:221e33. if required. However.099 0.4574 W at Temperature Difference of 14.3kg 9 8 6. development and testing of a portable parabolic solar kitchen.106 0. quality factor. [6] Fernandez-Garcı A. For the sake of completeness. the proposed parameters may stimulate the discussion and strengthen the case for exergy based test standards. [7] Petela R. Exergy Lost(W) Temperature Difference(K) Fig. and consequently provides a measure of how nearly the cooker approaches ideal efficiency. [10] Funk PA.57:409e13.65 R2 = 0. The approach presented through this manuscript is comprehensive. SK-14 type and Scheffler cookers are more suitable for fast cooking.458 K 24 25.t.32:257e66.2 40.73 0. Table 1 Comparison of performance of solar cookers w. To establish a test standard for different types of solar cookers. Philip SK. Variations in exergy output and exergy lost with respect to temperature difference are studied and four thermal performance indicators.15 Peak exergy power Heat loss Quality and temperature coefficient factor difference gap (W/m2K) product (W-K) 298. Kumar Subodh. Performance evaluation of three solar concentrating cookers.2007*x + 187.

Kandpal TC. [19] Ozturk HH. Energy Convers Manage 2004. Mullick SC. [13] http://www. Kumar et al. Comparison of energy and exergy efficiency for solar box and parabolic Cookers. Thermal performance study of box type solar cooker from heating characteristic curves. Renewable Energy 1991. J Energy Eng 2007. .mnre. Energy and exergy efficiency comparison of community size and domestic-size paraboloidal solar cooker performance. Solar Energy 1991. Energy Sustain Dev 2008.74: 469e88. Solar Energy 2003. 2010. Thermal test procedure for a paraboloid concentrator solar cooker. Gupta MK.gov. / Renewable Energy 44 (2012) 457e462 [16] Petela R. [18] Ozturk HH.3:60e4. New York: McGraw-Hill. Solar Energy 2004. Heat losses from a paraboloid concentrator solar cooker: experimental investigation on effect of reflector orientation. [15] Petela R. Experimental testing of a box type solar cooker using the standard procedure of cooking power. [14] Kumar Subodh. Renewable Energy 2005. [11] El-Sebaii AA. Kumar Subodh. Ibrahim A. Exergy of undiluted thermal radiation.3:871e6. [20] Kumar Subodh.77:67e71.in/pdf/test-proc-dish-cooker.pdf. [12] Mullick SC. Experimental determination of energy and exergy efficiency of solar parabolic-cooker.133:53e62.45:127e39. Engineering thermodynamics of thermal radiation for solar power utilization. [17] Kaushik SC. Kandpal TC.462 N.46:139e44.30: 1861e71.

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