Numerical analysis on thermal energy storage device with finned copper tube for an indirect type solar drying system

[+] Author and Article Information
Satyapal Yadav

M.Tech. Scholar, Mechanical Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Warangal, Warangal, Telangana, India – 506004

Chandramohan V.P.

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Warangal, Warangal, Telangana, India – 506004

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039273 History: Received July 07, 2017; Revised December 02, 2017


Solar dryer with thermal energy storage (TES) device is an essential topic for food drying applications in industries. In this work, a 2D numerical model is developed for the application of solar drying of agricultural products in an indirect type solar dryer. The phase change material (PCM) used in this work is Paraffin wax. The study has been performed on a single set of concentric tube which consists of a finned inner copper tube for air flow and an outer plastic tube for PCM material. The practical domain is modeled using ANSYS and computer simulations were performed using ANSYS Fluent 2015. The air velocity and temperature chosen for this study are based on the observation of indirect type solar dryer experimental setup. From this numerical analysis the temperature distribution, melting and solidification fraction of PCM are estimated at different airflow velocities, time and inlet temperature of air. It is concluded that the drying operation can be performed up to 10.00 pm as the PCM transfers heat to inlet air up to 10.00 pm and before it got charged up to 3.00 pm because of solar radiation. The maximum outlet temperature is 341.62 K (68.62 °C) which is fit for food drying applications. Higher air flow velocity enhances quick melting of PCM during charging time and quick cooling during recharging of inlet air, therefore higher air flow velocity is not preferred for food drying during cooling of PCM.

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