Date of Award
Santa Clara, CA : Santa Clara University, 2012.
One principal energy source that is underutilized in the world today is solar energy. While the United States has tried to make a push for reusable and 'green' energy sources, these sources are frequently overlooked in developing nations. While the set up costs of solar energy may be expensive due to installation and the high cost of certain parts, the savings over time is well worth the initial cost. In many developing nations large areas of the country are off of the power grid or have inconsistent power. One way to help people living in these areas is by introducing the use of solar power. Unfortunately one major drawback to using solar energy is the difficulty of storing it. While photovoltaic panels can store energy in batteries, they are extremely expensive and inefficient. Using solar collectors that are either manufactured or handmade rather than PV panels can be more than four times as efficient and cost much less. The one negative issue with solar collectors is that they will only work when the sun is out. The 2011 to 2012 Project Omoverhi team's goal was to utilize this energy from solar collectors and store it in a thermal storage container. The stored energy could then be used when direct sunlight was not available. Using paraffin wax as a phase change material because of its melting temperature and excellent storage properties, Project Omoverhi was able to achieve this goal and create an affordable, easy to use system that can be attached to a solar collector. The system was tested to determine if it would enable an incubator to keep a steady temperature that would meet the requirements of a premature infant or successfully hatch chicken eggs. Data collected showed that Project Omoverhi's design is an effective way to store heat and energy from a solar collector so that it can be utilized as needed.
Graham, Peter J.; Kranenburg, P. Alexander; Krog, Tor C.; and Schwab, Cameron C., "Project Omoverhi : a thermal storage solution" (2012). Mechanical Engineering Senior Theses. 5.