Research Papers

Modeling and Experimental Studies on Oscillating Inclined-Bed Solar Dryer

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Shanmugam

e-mail: shunt@nitt.edu

AR. Veerappan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Institute of Technology,
Tiruchirappalli 620015, India

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 24, 2011; final manuscript received September 3, 2012; published online April 29, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Werner Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(3), 031009 (Apr 29, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: SOL-11-1254; doi: 10.1115/1.4023592 History: Received November 24, 2011; Revised September 03, 2012

This paper presents a mathematical model for drying agricultural produce using a solar dryer capable of oscillating its bed while kept at an inclined position with respect to vertical. A model of the solar dryer with double-pass flat plate collector and an oscillating-bed has been fabricated and tested for drying agricultural produce (sunflower seeds). The model can predict the change in the absolute humidity of air across the bed, the temperature of the air, the moisture content, and the dryer thermal efficiency. Sunflower seeds were dried on a physical model of the solar dryer with its bed tilted at different angles and oscillated at different frequencies. The predicted and the experimental results are in good agreement. The average error and standard deviation for the absolute humidity of air across the bed is 1.74 and 1.55%, the exit temperature of air leaving the bed is 1.11and 1.21%, and the dryer thermal efficiency is 0.78 and 1.33%, respectively.

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Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the produce layer in the oscillating bed solar dryer

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Fig. 2

Flow diagram of the drying process for agricultural produce

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Fig. 3

A view of the solar dryer

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Fig. 4

Variation in the solar insolation and power consumed by the blower and bed motor over the course of a day

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Fig. 5

Dependence of the moisture content of dried seeds on the resident time at different temperatures and relative humidities

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Fig. 6

Comparison of the humidity between the experimental and predicted results at different resident times

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Fig. 7

Comparison between the experimental and predicted results of the exit temperature of air from the bed with respect to the layer thickness of the seeds

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Fig. 8

Comparison between the predicted and experimental results for the mass of seeds collected

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Fig. 9

Thermal efficiency of the dryer for the drying of sunflower seeds with different layer thicknesses at a constant temperature and relative humidity

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Fig. 10

Graphical representation of seeds drying on a psychrometric chart




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