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Research Papers

Drying Kinetics, Quality Assessment, and Economic Analysis of Bitter Gourd Flakes Drying Inside Forced Convection Greenhouse Dryer

[+] Author and Article Information
Prashant Singh Chauhan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Gaya College of Engineering,
Srikrishna Nagar,
Gaya, Bihar 823003, India;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Prince of Songkla University,
Hat Yai, Songkhla-90112, Thailand
e-mail: prashant_srit@yahoo.co.in

Anil Kumar

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Prince of Songkla University,
Hat Yai, Songkhla-90112, Thailand;
Department of Energy (Energy Centre),
Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology,
Bhopal 462003, India

Chayut Nuntadusit

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Prince of Songkla University,
Hat Yai, Songkhla-90112, Thailand

Shyam Sunder Mishra

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Chandigrah University,
Chandigrah 140413, India

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received July 11, 2017; final manuscript received March 16, 2018; published online April 26, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Gerardo Diaz.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(5), 051001 (Apr 26, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1280; doi: 10.1115/1.4039891 History: Received July 11, 2017; Revised March 16, 2018

A greenhouse dryer under forced convection mode is designed and fabricated with the integration of solar collector and variable speed exhaust fan. The developed system is used for bitter gourd flakes drying under three different air mass flow rates (0.0275, 0.0551, and 0826 kg/s). Moisture content of bitter gourd flakes was decreased effectively from 96.8% to 12.2% in 17 h with optimum air mass flow rate 0.0551 kg/s, whereas open sun drying has taken 26 h to reach 20.7% moisture content. The average greenhouse dryer efficiency was found to be 19.7% at 0.0551 kg/s air mass flow rate. Shrinkage (in terms of percentage) of dried bitter gourd flakes was found to be higher as 74% at 0.0275 kg/s air mass flow rate because of higher greenhouse room air temperature. Hardness of dried bitter gourd flakes was found to be highest as 365 g at 0.0275 kg/s air mass flow rate due to less air exchange rate and high inside room temperature. On the basis of statistical analysis, Prakash and Kumar model and Logarithmic model were selected as best drying models for greenhouse and open sun drying, respectively. The dehydration of higher moisture content crops inside developed greenhouse dryer was found to be more consistent. The designed greenhouse system is recommended for small farmers.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Forced convection greenhouse dryer with solar collector

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Fig. 2

Experimental setup for bitter gourd flakes drying under (a) forced convection mode with solar collector and (b) open sun mode

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Fig. 3

(ac) Hourly variation of ambient air, inlet air, greenhouse outlet air, and solar collector outlet air temperatures at three different air mass flow rates with respect to solar radiation. (a) Air mass flow rate 0.0275 kg/s, (b) air mass flow rate 0.0551 kg/s, and (c) air mass flow rate 0.0826 kg/s.

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Fig. 4

Hourly variation of solar collector temperatures at three different air mass flow rates

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Fig. 5

The average temperature rise at three different air mass flow rates

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Fig. 6

Moisture content of bitter gourd flakes at three different air mass flow rates inside greenhouse and open sun mode

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Fig. 7

The variation in moisture ratio at three different mass flow rates for bitter gourd flakes drying inside greenhouse and open sun mode

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Fig. 8

Specific moisture extraction rate from bitter gourd flakes

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Fig. 9

Greenhouse dryer thermal efficiency

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Fig. 10

Percentage of shrinkage of dried bitter gourd flakes using two different drying methods and three different air mass flow rates

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Fig. 11

Rehydration ratio of dried bitter gourd flakes using two different drying methods and three different air mass flow rates

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Fig. 12

Hardness of dried bitter gourd flakes using two different drying methods and three different air mass flow rates

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Fig. 13

Solar dried bitter gourd slice (a) under indirect solar dryer, (b) under greenhouse dryer, and (c) open sun

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Fig. 14

The predicted and experimental values of moisture ratio for greenhouse dryer

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Fig. 15

The predicted and experimental values of moisture ratio for open sun drying

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