Design of Solar-Aqua-Ammonia Absorption Refrigeration for Rural Areas of Botswana

S.M. Situmbeko and G.O. Anderson (Botswana)


Aqua-Ammonia Absorption Refrigerator, Rural Application


Botswana lies within the highest solar radiation belt in the Southern Africa region with mean annual total radiation of 8000 – 8500 MJ/m2 . In 2002 in an attempt to bring grid electricity to rural areas, the government of Botswana completed a 72 villages’ rural electrification project, bringing the proportion of the national population having access to grid power to about 30 percent [1]. The larger proportion of the population, that is about 70%, however, still remain not connected to the grid system. As a complimentary effort to addressing this situation, this paper proposes widening the application of solar technology, especially in the villages; in particular the paper proposes the design and development of a Solar Thermal Aqua-Ammonia Absorption Refrigerator system to be used by the rural dwellers for cold storage. Firstly, a small test model of 50 litres capacity will be designed, manufactured and tested in the laboratory. This will, then, be followed by a prototype test model that will be investigated in the field using Campbell Scientific CR510 data-loggers to automatically record required data onto Digital Storage Modules (DSMs). Periodic visits will be undertaken to the test site for data uploading as well as observatory investigations, and equipment inspection and servicing. The manufactured solar cooling system would be useful to the rural dwellers for storage of medicines and vaccines at rural health clinics as well as storage of perishable agricultural produce.

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