Experimental Evaluation of Solar Powered Egg Incubator with Integrated Thermal Energy Storage: (Case Study: West Showa Zone Bako District, Ethiopia)



The sun's energy is the finest option for thermal energy generation because it is available all over the world and is free to use. Poultry egg incubation is requiring a continuous supply of energy for efficient performance and operation. On-grid power does not reach Ethiopia's rural areas, and even in those areas where it is available, electricity might be irregular or switched off at any time, causing incubators to malfunction, limited production, and expensive costs. The Use of generators increases the running cost of incubators and the Natural incubation process by hen produces a very small number of chickens. A solar-powered egg incubator with a thermal energy storage system was built, modeled, and tested in this study to assess its performance. A solar egg incubator was developed utilizing a solar collector with built-in sensible solid heat storage (placed below the absorber plate), a 50 eggs capacity incubation chamber, and a control unit. During the incubating period, there is sufficient sunlight that is converted into the energy required for a solar-powered egg incubator by a flat plate solar collector in the study area. The result showed that on the highest solar radiation days (629.3w/m2) the average outlet collector temperature was 53oC and 37oC was obtained on the lowest solar radiation days (397.5w/m2). The maximum collector thermal efficiency was found to be 44.33 %. A total of 20 eggs were tested for both fertility and hatchability over 21-days in a solar-powered egg incubator. The incubating chamber was maintained by using a temperature controller (thermostat STC 1000) throughout the incubating period within a temperature range of 36.5 to 39.5 o C and a relative humidity range of 40 to 75 %. The percentage fertility and hatchability of eggs were 61.11% and 27.27 % respectively.

Keywords: Collector, Incubator, Poultry, Performance, Sensible Storage, Solar Energy.

DOI: 10.7176/JETP/13-3-03

Publication date:August 31st 2023

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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