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Development of a solar-assisted dryer and evaluation of energy requirement for the drying of onion

Development of a solar-assisted dryer and evaluation of energy requirement for the drying of onion

Renewable Energy 32(15): 2529-2547

A solar-assisted forced convection dryer was developed to study the effect of airflow rate (2.43, 5.25, 8.09 kg/min), air temperature (55, 65, 75 °C), and fraction of air recycled (up to 90%) on the total energy requirement of drying of onion slices. The dryer was provided with a flat plate solar air heater having both the corrugations and triangular fins to the absorber plate. For drying of onion slices from initial moisture content of about 86% (wet basis) to final moisture content of about 7% (wet basis), the energy required per unit mass of water removed during without using recirculation of air was found between 23.548 and 62.117 MJ/kg water. The percent energy contribution by the solar air heater, electrical heater, and blower was found between 24.5% and 44.5%, 40.2% and 66.9%, and 8.6% and 16.3%, respectively. The savings in total energy due to fraction of air recycled were determined at 65 and 75 °C air temperature for the above three airflow rates. The maximum saving in total energy up to 70.7% was achieved by recycling of the exhaust air. The energy required per unit mass of water removed was found between 12.040 and 38.777 MJ/kg water. The percent energy contribution by the solar air heater, auxiliary heater, and blower was found between 22.4% and 40.9%, 33.6% and 62.6%, and 11.2% and 37.2%, respectively.

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Accession: 018720735

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DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2006.12.019

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