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FABRICATION OF SOLAR FOOD DRYER

USING PARABOLIC REFLECTOR


PERUMAL A1,ANNAMALAI L2, BALAJI P2, BOOBALAN J2
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, SETHU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
STUDENTS, SETHU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Abstract— Solar energy is the most abundant stream of resources. Solar energy, which is environment friendly, is
energy. Solar energy is a term for describing a range of renewable and can serve as a sustainable energy source.
methods for obtaining energy from the sun. For instance,
wind, biomass, and hydropower are all forms of solar energy.
Sun sends out energy in the form of electromagnets radiation II. LITERATURE REVIEW
which is utilized in various forms so that reduction of Crop drying is the most energy consuming process
utilization of non-renewable resources is achieved. In this in all processes on the farm. The purpose of drying is to
project solar energy from the sun is received by the parabolic remove moisture from the agricultural produce so that it can
reflector and the solar energy is focused at the center point of be processed safely and stored for increased periods of time.
the hot air generator. The atmospheric air is passed through Crops are also dried before storage or during storage, by
the hot air generator is heated by the focused energy and the forced circulation of air, to prevent spontaneous combustion
heated air is used to dry the food materials in the separate by inhibiting fermentation. It is estimated that 20% of the
chamber which is called as food drier unit. The project will world‘s grain production is lost after harvest because of
be useful for small scale farmers. It also reduces the cycle inefficient handling and poor implementation of postharvest
time for drying food materials compared to open sun drying technology, says Hartman‘s (1991). Grains and seeds are
method. normally harvested at a moisture level between 18% and 40%
depending on the nature of crop. These must be dried to a
level of 7% to 11% depending on application and market
I. INTRODUCTION need. Once a cereal crop is harvested, it may have to be
stored for a period of time before it can be marketed or used
Drying is the oldest preservation technique of as feed. The length of time a cereal can be safely stored will
agricultural products and it is an energy intensive process. depend on the condition it was harvested and the type of
High prices and shortages of fossil fuels have increased the storage facility being utilized. Grains stored at low
emphasis on using alternative renewable energy resources. temperature and moisture contents can be kept in storage for
Drying of agricultural products using renewable energy such longer period of time before its quality will deteriorate. Some
as solar energy is environmental friendly and has less of the cereals which are normally stored include maize, rice,
environmental impact. beans.
Solar drying may be classified into direct and
indirect solar dryer. In direct solar dryers the air heater Solar drying is a potential decentralized thermal
contains the grains and solar energy which passes through a application of solar energy particularly in developing
transparent cover and is absorbed by the grains. Essentially, countries. However, so far, there has been very little field
the heat required for drying is provided by radiation to the penetration of solar drying technology. In the initial phase of
upper layers and subsequent conduction into the grain bed. dissemination, identification of suitable areas for using solar
However, in indirect dryers, solar energy is collected in a dryers would be extremely helpful towards their market
separate solar collector (air heater) and the heated air then penetration. Solar drying is often differentiated from sun
passes through the grain bed, while in the mixedmode type of drying by the use of equipment to collect the sun‘s radiation
dryer, the heated air from a separate solar collector is passed in order to harness the radiative energy for drying
through a grain bed, and at the same time, the drying cabinet applications. Sun drying is a common farming and
absorbs solar energy directly through the transparent walls or agricultural process in many countries, particularly where the
the roof. Energy is important for the existence and
outdoor temperature reaches 30 or higher. In many parts
development of human kind and is a key issue in
international politics, the economy, military preparedness, of South East Asia, spice s and herbs are routinely dried.
and diplomacy. To reduce the impact of conventional energy However, weather conditions often preclude the use of sun
sources on the environment, much attention should be paid to drying because of spoilage due to rehydration during
the development of new energy and renewable energy unexpected rainy days. Furthermore, any direct exposure to
the sun during high temperature days might cause case

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hardening, where a hard shell develops on the outside of the products are dried in a bin and subsequently moved to
agricultural products, trapping moisture inside. Therefore, the storage. Thus, they are usually known as batch-in-bin dryers.
employment of solar dryer taps on the freely available sun Continuous flow dryers are heated columns through which
energy while ensuring good product quality via judicious the product flows under gravity and is exposed to heated air
control of the radiative heat. Solar energy has been used while descending. Because of the temperature ranges
throughout the world to dry products. Such is the diversity of prevalent in high temperature dryers, most known designs are
solar dryers that commonly solar-dried products include electricity or fossil-fuel powered. Only a very few
grains, fruits, meat, vegetables and fish. A typical solar dryer practically-realized designs of high temperature drying
improves upon the traditional open air sun system in five systems are solar energy heated.
important ways. It is more efficient. Since materials can be
dried more quickly, less will be lost to spoilage immediately B. LOW TEMPERATURE DRYERS
after harvest. This is especially true of products that require
In low temperature drying systems, the moisture
immediate drying such as freshly harvested grain with high
content of the product is usually brought in equilibrium with
moisture content. In this way, a larger percentage of products
the drying air by constant ventilation. Thus, they do tolerate
will be available for human consumption. Also, less of the
intermittent or variable heat input. Low temperature drying
harvest will be lost to marauding animals and insects since
enables products to be dried in bulk and is most suited also
the products are in safely enclosed compartments. It is
for long term storage systems. Thus, they are usually known
hygienic. Since materials are dried in a controlled
as bulk or storage dryers. Thus, some conventional dryers and
environment, they are less likely to be contaminated by pests,
most practically realized designs of solar energy dryers are of
and can be stored with less likelihood of the growth of toxic
the low temperature type.
fungi. It is healthier. Drying materials at optimum
temperatures and in a shorter amount of time enables them to
retain more of their nutritional value such as vitamin C. An
added bonus is that products will look better, which enhances
their marketability and hence provides better financial returns
IV. PROBLEM IDENDIFICATION
for the farmers. It is cheap. Using freely available solar
energy instead of conventional fuels to dry products, or using
a cheap supplementary supply of solar heat, so reducing Food scientists have found that by reducing the
conventional fuel demand can result in significant cost moisture content of food to between 10% and 20%, bacteria,
savings. yeast, mold and enzymes are prevented from spoiling it. The
flavor and most of the nutritional value is preserved and
concentrated.
III. CLASSIFICATION OF SOLAR DRYING SYSTEM Drying and preservation of agricultural products
have been one of the oldest uses of solar energy. The
traditional method, still widely used throughout the world, is
All drying systems can be classified primarily open sun drying where diverse crops, such as fruits,
according to their operating temperature ranges into two main vegetables, cereals, grains, tobacco, etc. are spread on the
groups of high temperature dryers and low temperature ground and turned regularly until sufficiently dried so that
dryers. However, dryers are more commonly classified they can be stored safely. However, there exist many
broadly according to their heating sources into fossil fuel problems associated with open sun drying. It has been seen
dryers (more commonly known as conventional dryers) and that open sun drying has the following disadvantages. It
solar energy dryers. Strictly, all practicallyrealized designs of requires both large amount of space and long drying time.
high temperature dryers are fossil fuel powered, while the The disadvantages of open sun drying need an appropriate
low temperature dryers are either fossil fuel or solar energy technology that can help in improving the quality of the dried
based systems. products and in reducing the wastage. This led to the
application of various types of drying devices like solar dryer,
A. HIGH TEMPERATURE DRYERS electric dryers, wood fuel driers and oil burned driers.
High temperature dryers are necessary when very However, the high cost of oil and electricity and their scarcity
fast drying is desired. They are usually employed when the in the rural areas of most third world countries have made
products require a short exposure to the drying air. Their some of these driers very unattractive. Therefore interest has
operating temperatures are such that, if the drying air remains been focused mainly on the development of solar driers.
in contact with the product until equilibrium moisture content Solar dryers are usually classified according to the
is reached, serious over drying will occur. Thus, the products mode of air flow into natural convection and forced
are only dried to the required moisture contents and later convection dryers. Natural convection dryers do not require a
cooled. High temperature dryers are usually classified into fan to pump the air through the dryer. The low air flow rate
batch dryer and continuous flow dryers. In batch dryers, the and the long drying time, however, result in low drying

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capacity. One basic disadvantage of forced convection dryers C. UNIT-3-FOOD DRYER
lies in their requirement of electrical power to run the fan.
Since the rural or remote areas of many developing countries
are not connected, the use of these dryers is limited to
electrified urban areas.

A. In open sun drying


 Time consumption is high for a drying process.
 More space needed.
 Crops are eaten by birds and animals.
 Crops are ruin due to the vehicles.
 Less efficiency as compared with modern type
of dryers.
 A backup heating system is necessary for
products require continuous drying. D. ANALYSIS

B. In solar food drying


 Need more space for hot air collector.
 Limited crops are to be feed at one cycle time.
 Skilled personnel is needed to operate and
maintenance.
 A backup heating system is necessary for
products require continuous drying.
VI. CALCULATION

V. DESIGN AND ANALLYSIS


A. FOCAL POINT

A. UNIT-1- PARABOLIC REFLECTOR


a = FD * D
where,

a = Focal Point

D = Diameter= 736.6

FD = Focal to Diameter ratio = 0.5

a = FD * D= 0.5 * 736.6

focal point = 381 mm

B. UNIT-2- HOT AIR GENERATOR B. HEAT TRANSFER RATE

Fluid temperature Ti = 35
Velocity V = 24m/sec
Tube surface temperature = 120
Flim temperature Tf= (Tw+Ti)/2
= (120+35)/2
= 77.5≈ 80

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From HMT databook,
Properties of air at 80
p = 1 kg/m3
V = 21.09*10-6 m²/sec
Pr = 0.692
k = 0.03047 w/mK
Heat transfer co-efficient
L = 0.2m
Reynolds number,
Re = UL/V
= (21*0.2)/(21.09*10-6)
= 2.276*105
Nusselt number, Dryer efficiency is the ratio of collection efficiency
Nu = C*(Re)n *(Pr)0.33 (ηc) and the system efficiency (ηs).
From HMT databook, (ηc) = Qu/ AcIs
n = 0.675 Where,
C = 0.092 Qu = mCp∆t
Nu = 0.092*(2.276*105)0.675* (0.692)0.3033 Ac = collector surface area
= 336 Is = Insulation on tilted surface
Nu = hL/k
336= (h*0.2)/0.03047 Efficiency (ηs) = WL / AcIs
h = 51.2 w/ m² K Where, W = mass of moisture evapourated.
Heat transfer rate Q = hA(Tw-Ti) L = latent heat of evapouration in the
= 51.2*0.2*(120-35) dryer temperature.
= 870 W.
Determination of moisture content
Mwb = (Mi– Md)/ Mi× 100
VII. DRYING MECHANISM Where,
Mwb = moisture on wet basis
Mi = initial mass of the sample
In the process of drying, heat is necessary to Md = final mass of the sample
evaporate moisture from the material and a flow of air helps
in carrying away the evaporated moisture. There are two The thermal efficiency of a collector is calculated by using
basic mechanisms involved in the drying process: the formula bellow:
1) The migration of moisture from the interior of an P = [(Ti– Ta) / I]
individual material to the surface. Where,
2) The evaporation of moisture from the surface to the P = Inlet Fluid Parameter
surrounding air. Ti = Inlet fluid temperature to the collector (ºF)
The drying product is a complex heat and mass T a = Ambient air temperature surrounding the
transfer process which depends on external variables such as collector (ºF)
temperature, humidity and velocity of the air stream and I = solar radiation intensity striking the collector
internal variables which depend on parameters like surface (BTU)
characteristics (rough or smooth surface), chemical
composition (sugars, starches, etc.), physical structure
(porosity, density, etc.), and size and shape of product. B. SAMPLE DRYING

VIII.TESTING AND RESULT The paddy and Potato purchased from a local
market. Potatoes were cut manually into slices of diameter 15
mm and thickness 3 mm and 5 mm. The paddy were spread
A. BASIC THEORY FORMULATION evenly in a single layer on eight similar stainless steel wire
mesh trays, three kept inside the drying chamber of forced
Some important formulae used are given as follows: convection solar dryer and another one over wooden blocks
in open air sun. Solar drying experiments were carried out
Dryer efficiency(η d) : simultaneously under both drying conditions on a clear sunny
day. The temperatures of the drying air were measured by

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P = [(Ti– Ta) / I]
calibratedDimble thermometer (0 to 400 ). The sample
weight loss was measured at regular intervals of time, using a Ti = 30 = 86
precision Goldtech Brand electronic weighing machine
maximum capacity 20 kg and minimum 0.40 gm. Moisture Ta = 60 = 140
content (dry basis) was calculated from weight loss data and I = 221 BTU
dry solid weight of the samples. The dryer contributed to P = [(86-140)/221]
reduction in drying time in comparison with open sun drying. P = 0.2

The experimentation was carried out and data were


obtained on the experimental setup shown in Fig.8.2. On the
basis of the experimental data, the results have been reported.
Figs. 3 and 4 show the variation of solar radiation intensity
on 24 march 2018 under local climatic conditions of
Madurai, India.

C. SETUP TIME
Set up time can be defined as the amount of time
taken to change a machine from the last part of a production
lot to the first good part of the next production lot.

SI.No Set up Time taken F. DRYER EFFICIENCY


(minutes)
1 Hot air generator to be 20
heated
2 Food dryer container to be 40
heated
Total setup time 60

D. Temperature variation on 24th march 2018

G. MOSTURE CONTENT

After the harvesting of the paddy the moisture


content is to be of 18% to 24%.
For the storage period of the paddy for 3 months the
moisture content is to be of 14%.
For storage period for 9 months the moisture content
is to be of 13%.
For storage period of 1year the moisture content is
to be of 9%.

E. COLLECTOR EFFICIENCY

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H. TESTING  Dairy industries for production of milk powder,
casein etc.
 Seasoning of wood and timber.
The paddy is first procured and weight of 3 kg.  Textile industries for drying of textile materials.
The setup time of the hot air generator and the chamber from
10 am to 11am. The setup time is because of the hot air to be
generated inside the generator.
When the setup time is achieved the crops are fed inside the
chamber. X. CONCLUSION
The operation time is of 3 hours.
The paddy which are then dried are weighed is of 2.6 kg. From the test carried out, the following
Therefore, conclusions were made. The solar dryer can raise the ambient
For 3 kg of paddy = 26% of moisture content is air temperature to a considerable high value for increasing the
present drying rate of agricultural crops. This project, ensure the
For 2.6 kg of paddy = 13% of moisture content is safety of the product inside the dryer requires less attentions,
present like attack of the product by rain or pest (both human and
After drying the paddy has only 13% of moisture content animals), compared with those in the open sun drying. The
which is suitable for storage purpose. project is eco-friendly. Its not affect the
environmental.Although the dryer was used to dry Potato, it
can be used to dry other crops like yams, cassava, maize and
I. RESULT AND DISSCUSSION
plantain etc. There is ease in monitoring when compared to
the natural sun drying technique. In this paper we took paddy,
After study we have found that the solar dryer gives some of the paddy we put inside the dryer and some in the
more than three-four times heat inside the chamber than the ordinary air and then compare their moisture removed with
outside atmosphere temperature. In 4 hours of continuous respect to time and temperature. We find that temperature
drying under the same climatic condition and same time it inside the dryer is two times outside the temperature. As per
removed 13% moisture content from inside chamber paddy our experiment the maximum peak temperature inside the
whereas at outside(open sun drying) only 9% moisture drying chamber is 75°C during mid-day(2pm) and in an
content was removed. average approximately 60°C-62°C in a full sunny
day(10:00AM to 03:00PM). In 4 hours continuous drying in
one full sunny day under the same climatic condition and in
same time the solar dryer removed a maximum of 10% to
IX. ADVANTAGES AND APPLICATION
13% moisture content from drying chamber for drying of low
moisture content food products.
A. ADVANTAGES In future, the sun tracking device can help the
parabolic reflector for automatic motion. The unit-2 is the hot
air generator when extended the heat efficiency can be
 Time consumption is less compared with open sun increased and operating time can be reduced. In large scale
drying. food drying industries implementation of hybrid methods can
 No wastages of crops. be achieved.
 Space is limited compared with solar dryer.
 Efficiency is high.
 Food is enclosed in the dryer and therefore protected
from dust, insects, birds and animals. XI. REFERENCE
 The higher temperature deters insects and the faster
drying rate reduces the risk of spoilage by
 Çengel, Yunus (2003). Heat Transfer: A practical
microorganisms.
approach (2nd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN
 The cycle time is decreased when compared with
978-0-07-245893-0.
open sun drying and the existing solar food drier.
 Heat and mass transfer, Vijayaraghavan
 Singh PP, Singh S, Dhaliwal SS. Multi-shelf
B. APPLICATION domestic solar dryer. Energy Conversion &
Management 2006; 47: 1799
 Ajayi, C., Sunil, K.S., and Deepak, D. 2009.
 Agriculture crop drying. “Design of Solar Dryer with Turbo ventilator and
 Food processing industries for dehydration of Fireplace”. International Solar Food Processing
fruits, potatoes, onions and other vegetables. Conference 2009.

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 Parabolic Trough Thermal Energy Storage
Technology Archived 2013-09-01 at the Wayback
Machine. Parabolic Trough Solar Power Network.
April 04, 2007. Accessed December 2007
 Food Dehydrator reviews.
www.dehydratorjudge.com.
 Fodor, Eben (2006). "Build a Solar Food
Dehydrator" (PDF). Mother Earth News.
 Robishaw, Sue (1999). "Drying Food with the Sun".
Countryside & Small Stock Journal. 1999