Development and performance evaluation of a natural draft mixed-type solar dryer for agricultural products
Orisaleye, J. I.
Ogbonnaya , M.
Ogundare, A. A.
Ismail, Sikiru O.
Reduced moisture content enhances storage properties of agricultural products and reduces post-harvest losses. Effective drying can be achieved using solar dryers in regions with abundant solar radiation. In this study, a natural draft mixed-type solar dryer suitable for rural communities of developing countries was developed. The performance of the solar dryer was also investigated using pepper, okra and tomato. The temperature taken at different points of the drying chamber and the auxiliary collector show that the temperature within the drying chamber is higher than the ambient temperature. The temperature within the drying chamber was also found to depend on the atmospheric conditions. The maximum drying rate was obtained at periods between 1200 and 1400 hrs Nigeria local time during which the temperature within the solar dryer is also maximum. Temperature within the solar dryer reached up to 62°C. The solar collector efficiency was 52.0% while the drying efficiency was 21.9%.