Prototyping Report (Zambia)

Published Date 

31 Aug 2019


Leary, J et al., (2019)

Main authors: J. Leary, N. Serenje, F. Mwila, S. Batchelor
Associate authors: M. Leach, E. Brown, N. Scott, F. Yamba

About the publication

The prototyping carried out in Zambia used experimental ‘ethno-engineering’ methodologies to
create a kitchen laboratory where current and aspirational Zambian cooking practices and the tradeoffs between energy-efficiency and behavioural change could be explored.

Zambian cuisine is made up of a diverse range of dishes, however this can be simplified to facilitate practical system design by categorising them by their energy demand. The three key categories proposed
from this study are:
• “Long Boilers” – High energy demand, require boiling for more than an hour. High impact opportunity for EPCs.
• “Medium Boiler/Fryer” – Medium energy demand, typically 15 mins to 1 hour of boiling and/or frying. Possible to cook on an EPC with moderate energy savings.
• “Quick Fryers” – Low energy demand, typically less than 15 mins of frying. Most dishes possible to cook on an EPC, but with limited to no energy savings.

A concept prototype was assembled from locally available components to supply a total daily energy demand of 1.9kWh. Lithium ion batteries and DC cooking appliances were not available, so an oversized 5.5kWh lead acid battery bank with a 1.5kW inverter/charger had to be substituted. The prototype was capable of charging either from 600W of PV or the grid. The prototype was successfully demonstrated at the eCook Zambia Kick off Meeting and Design Challenge and is now installed at the CEEEZ office. Subsequently, the much more portable and affordable eCookBucket was transported to Zambia, which paired a LiFePO4 battery with a DC rice cooker to create the solar lantern of solar electric cooking