Development and performance investigation of a solar dryer integrated with latent heat storage

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In this study, a hybrid solar dryer consisting of a solar air heater panel, a latent heat storage module, a blower, and a drying chamber has been developed. Performances of the solar dryer has been tested by drying some of the agricultural products available in the prevailing weather conditions of the North - Eastern part of India. The preliminary experiments on the dryer were carried out without the thermal energy storage material. The first experiment was performed to study the drying kinetics of the of Ghost chilli. A comparative study was also made by drying the products simultaneously in the open sun. The Ghost chilli samples were dried from its initial moisture content of 85.5% (w.b.) to the final moisture content of 10.5% (w.b.) in 123 h and 193 h in the developed solar dryer and the open sun, respectively. The moisture ratio data obtained from the drying experiment was used to perform non - linear curve fitting with eleven thin layer drying models available in the literature.
Supervisor: P. Muthukumar