For my master graduation project I worked on the Magic Mitad, an energy efficient injera stove. My main goals were to improve the efficiency and to improve the baking quality - while delivering an affordable and mass-producible design. An important part of my research was to analyze and evaluate the thermal properties and baking performance of various baking plate materials combined with various types of heating elements. A working prototype was created and tested in Ethiopia in various configurations to improve and optimize the design.
I am currently co-writing a journal paper about the project, which is expected to be published in Q1 or Q2 of 2017.
A mitad is a type of stove used to prepare traditional Ethiopian flatbread called injera. Dough is poured on to the mitad to form a large, spongy kind of pancake. Current electrical mitads are energy inefficient and account for over 8% of Ethiopia's national electricity consumption. An energy efficient mitad could help households and bakeries to cut costs and help the environment by saving energy.
During this project a custom heating element was developed and the configuration of the ceramic glass baking plate was optimized. Main challenges were to create a uniform heat distribution in order to obtain the desired injera texture and to bake injeras with thin crispy edges. Numerous tests were performed to optimize the configuration for efficiency. Improved prototypes were made for testing in Ethiopia.
High quality injeras were baked during testing in Ethiopia. Due to a faster baking time and lower power consumption an energy saving of up to 45% was achieved. Using the data obtained, the design and prototype were further optimized upon returning from Ethiopia. The new Magic Mitad is able to bake injeras which are of the same quality as those baked on traditional clay mitads with an improved efficiency and durability.
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