2 Mechanical Engineering Science Department, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
This research seeks to solve the problem of storing solar energy in small scale modules for domestic use.
The Solar Power Bank (SPB) was constructed with local materials based on their individual properties. The functionality of the SPB was tested in a convective environment. Davis automatic Weather Station (DWS) was used to get the weather parameters (like solar irradiance, solar energy and temperature) for each day the SPB was tested. The maximum solar irradiance for four days (during the experiment) were 220 W/m2, 208 W/m2, 450 W/m2 and 900 W/m2. The maximum solar energy was 0.33 J, 03 J, 0.64 J and 1.33 J.
The maximum voltage and power obtained from the Solar Power Bank (SPB) was 0.18V and 0.065W respectively. The design showed tremendous heat energy entrapment during solar irradiance peak as the temperature in the SPB was about three times the DWS.
It was specifically noted that the convection of the heat transfer that is triggered by the glass shield determines the functionality of the thermo-electric module. This is a clear indication that though the power output may be low to charge the batteries, the prospects of the SPB to operate in convective-rural communities (in tropic region) is very high.
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