Development and testing of a solar-powered heating system for brooding
Otim, Haggai Junior
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Uganda’s total poultry population is estimated at 47.6 million chickens. The most important brooding condition to control is the body temperature because chicks are unable to regulate their body temperature post-hatch. In a bid to provide optimum temperatures in poultry houses, farmers widely use the traditional pots, in which they burn charcoal. However, this is a labor-intensive method of heating, and emits CO2 which adversely affects the environment. The scope of this research is designing a solar powered heating system through designing a working 12 V DC-powered inductive heating electrical circuit; sizing an appropriate solar PV; constructing a circuit housing; integrating it with induction heating electrical circuit; and testing the performance of the heating system. Induction heating provides contactless, fast, and efficient heating of conductive materials. The designed circuit operates at a switching frequency of 35.779 kHz from a resonant tank whose effective capacitance is 4.7 µF and inductance of 4.21 µH. The results show that it is possible to maintain the required temperature of 28 oC to 34 oC for brooding using the solar powered heating system. The maximum temperature (32.6 oC) was attained at the end of the testing period (50 minutes), directly below the heating system when the heating system was raised 15 cm above the ground.