The River Valley High School student team designed an eco-friendly barbecue pit system to help promote environmental friendly practices in Singapore residents and address the over-reliance on charcoal for barbecuing.
When fossil fuels such as charcoal are burnt, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Based on scientific researches, using charcoal briquettes for an hour of barbecue will emit 11 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air—a massive amount of carbon emissions produced from standard barbecue pits.
This eco-friendly barbecue pit system relies on renewable solar power to generate electricity and heat. The solar panel captures heat from the sun to supply an electrical current, which creates a potential difference between two semi-conductors, also known as the Peltier Effect. This effect causes one side of the Peltier junction to be cold, and the other to be hot. The hot side of the junction can be used for the barbecue grill, while the cold side can be used to build a refrigerator for drinks and raw food directly below the grill.
The solar panel is submerged in water to ensure its surface temperature is maintained, increasing electrical efficiency. By reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing the use of clean, renewable energy sources such solar power, there will be less carbon pollution, which will help reduce global warming.
The project prototype is constructed using a solar panel, a Peltier junction and a 12V rechargeable battery. The challenge was to ensure that the voltage and current of the entire circuit was not too high for the Peltier junction and solar panel, otherwise they will overheat. Hence, a rheostat was connected in the circuit as a variable resistor that will control the amount of voltage and current flowing through and allow the barbecue pit users to control the heat intensity evenly across the grill.
This student project emerged champion of the secondary school category of the Energy Innovation Challenge 2018, a highlight of National Engineers Day organised by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore. — Construction+ Online
Student Names: Corea Chua; Yeoh Wen Shien; Henry Wang
School: River Valley High School, Singapore
Programme: Physics CID4+ Energy Innovation Challenge
Supervisors/Instructors: Gary Lee; Chen Siew Ik; Dr Loh Sin Foo
Project Name: Cool Heat Barbeque Pit System
Images: Corea Chua; Yeoh Wen Shien; Henry Wang