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Thermal analysis of solar dryers


A Assefa

Abstract

A general purpose solar crop dryer for drying various agricultural products such as coffee, fruits,  vegetables,  medicinal plants, etc. is simulated. The simulated solar collector consists of the solar air heater (solar  collector) which uses low-emissivity glass cover and an integral d1yer chamber attached to the collector  where the products to be dried are placed, Fig. I. A thennal solar-collector model was developed to detennine  the available useful energy for heating the ambiellt air from the available meteorological data such as global  and diffuse radiation and ambient air temperatllre. Basic heat transfer equations for single-plane glass glazing  are derived and techniques for the solution of these equations are presented. A computer programme was  written to predict the collector outlet temperature, mass flow rate and other engineering variables from the  input of the meteorological data and collector parameters. Results of the system simulation are presented in  graphical fonn suitable for system pe1formance detennination. From the incident solar flux, ambient  air  temperature and solar collector parameters, the average yearly values of useful energy, the collector outlet  air-temperature and air volume flow-rate are also predicted and presented graphically. In this paper, the  theoretical analysis of the drying chamber was effected through an example, as it very much depends on  experi~entally detennined parameters which also depend on the particular type of product to be dried.
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print ISSN: 0514-6216