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Kumaresan et al studied solar cooker system integrated with a thermal storage tank that supplies energy to the flat

plate type cooking unit. Performance evaluation of the cooking unit has also been carried out. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis has also been carried out for the flat plate cooking unit to analyze the heat transfer behavior during the cooking period. The CAD model is created using Pro-E software, and this model is meshed with a tetrahedral element, using hyper mesh software as shown in Figure 1, and this meshed model is exported to the Fluent software for analysis.

They also constructed a experimental setup is as shown in Figure 2 to determine the heat transfer rate during the transient operation of the cooking unit. The result obtained from the experiment is used to validate the CFD results. The experimental setup consists of a parabolic trough collector (PTC), a PCM based storage tank, a single outlet double walled cooking unit and a positive displacement pump.

The results obtained from the experimental investigation during the discharging process (at the time of cooking) has been presented. The temperature variation of the HTF (heat transfer fluid) at the inlet and outlet of the cooking unit, energy utilized by the food stuff, and the instantaneous heat transfer rate are evaluated for the cooking unit and reported graphically in figure 3.

Figure 4 shows the heat transfer rate, evaluated from the CFD analysis for the central portion of the cooking surface, by varying the inlet temperature of the HTF from 130 to 165oC at three different values of the heat transfer coefficient. It is seen from the figure, that the increase in the temperature of the inlet HTF has a proportionate influence in increasing the heat transfer rate while the increase in the heat transfer coefficient has a strong influence in increasing the heat transfer rate. However, it is seen from Figure 5 for the non cooking surface of the unit, that the variation in the heat transfer rate is negligible for all the HTF inlet temperatures. This is due to the low convective heat transfer coefficient maintained at the non-cooking portion.