SolarBox

The SolarBox project aims to develop a numerical simulation of a positive cold room.

The food preservation is a vital necessity for the countries of Africa and cannot be achieved only through appropriate techniques to the specific conditions of each country. In this context, SolarBox offers a solution to meet the need for storage of potato seeds in Mali. This solution is an autonomous cold room powered via photovoltaic solar panels which allows overcoming power problems occurring in these regions.

The added value of this project takes several aspects:
• The added value of our project stems from a sustainable project, social and environmentally friendly. The goal is to fight against food dependency in Africa and help the populations improve their economic development. The initiative also wants environmentally choosing a renewable source of energy.
• The desire to support an association by providing technical expertise.

This project was designed with the support of "Agro Sans Frontière", an humanitarian organization that has been working for several years in the field with a strong ambition to better meet local Malian’s needs. Through local contacts, we know that this project meets vital needs and is supported by the local population. These local relays are also a guarantee for the sustainability of the project in time.

The aim of this work is to develop a numerical simulation of a positive cold room. Our approach is to use insulated containers heat. A thermal study highlighted the size of required cooling system, which is then used to size the PV system to power the room. The demonstration of how the system is achieved through two softwares. The AMESim software was used to translate the thermal and electrical analysis of the cold room, it was also the medium used to establish a GUI. The software PVSyst staged configuration of solar panels and batteries. This modeling allows simulates the behavior of the cold room in the actual operating conditions: light, wind, ground and temperatures. A graphical interface allows the user to display the various external and internal parameters applicable to the cold room in a selected time period. Finally, an economic analysis is conducted in order to estimate the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of the project.

With several quotes, we could estimate the cost of various equipment purchases and construction of cold storage. However we still have not been able to estimate the cost and frequency of maintenance operations as they depend on the weather. In addition, the association already has a team in place that can support maintenance.

After providing Agro Sans Frontière the technical file that validates the construction and design of the cold room, one can only hope to see this project come true and go nationwide.

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