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Cost Effective Smart Compact Solar Tunnel Dryer for Drying Food Crops

Author(s):

Revathi Nandakumar , NEHRU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND RESEARCH CENTRE; Vimi K Wilson, NEHRU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND RESEARCH CENTRE

Keywords:

Smart Compact Solar Tunnel Dryer, DHT11, LM35

Abstract

Solar energy is the most readily available source of energy. It is also the most important of the non-conventional sources of energy because it is non-polluting and therefore helps in decreasing the greenhouse effect. The fossil fuel depletion is a major factor concerned today. Thus implementation of solar energy to the system is a key to improve the conventional system. Drying by exposure to the sun is one of the oldest method using solar energy for food preservation. Solar enhanced smart compact solar tunnel dryer is a system which can be used for drying domestic products like fruits, vegetables etc. Solar tunnel dryer can successfully employ a cost effective drying technique. The system consists of polycarbonate sheet and wire mesh as collecting area, solar tunnel, drying chamber, axial fan and solar panel. The design improvements of the system leads to a better performance. Potato and grapes were selected as drying material in this solar dryer. Potato and grapes were placed inside the dryer and it required 2 days to attain the final moisture content but the products placed under the open drying required 4 days to reach final moisture content. By the introduction of heat storage materials like sand and pebbles the efficiency of drying is increased. For conventional sun drying water removal rate was 0.015 kg/hr whereas for solar tunnel drying using sand as heat storage material water removal rate was increased to 0.033kg/hr and 50% time was also saved. An embedded system is integrated with the solar tunnel dryer. Temperature and humidity sensors are used for detecting the current temperature and humidity inside the dryer. Solar dryer gives faster drying rates, reduces humidity and risk of spoilage and improves the quality of the product.

Other Details

Paper ID: IJSRDV5I40432
Published in: Volume : 5, Issue : 4
Publication Date: 01/07/2017
Page(s): 364-367

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