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Agriculture contributes the largest share in the GDP. Unfortunately, the rate of agricultural production of the country is so low that it is not keeping at pace with the rate of population growth. The supply of food is in serious shortage. In the rural areas of Nepal, preservation of agricultural product is one of the central problems. The producer needs to bring their produce to urban areas as their local markets are too small to accommodate all the fresh vegetables and fruits. However, because of lack of transportation infrastructure, this is often difficult, and results in high rate of spoilage of products. A large quantity of agro products is also getting wasted every year simply because of the lack of appropriate food conservation technique. Drying reduces the moisture content of the product and also results in reduction inweight and volume. This eases packaging, storage, handling and transportation. The dehydration of the food product heaps in food preservation as the biological and biochemical process during storage is greatly reduced due to reduction in the moisture content. The dehydrated food products can be preceded for further processing and commercial use, so, it can be the source of income generation. Also during off or lean season (when the price is high) the product can be of greater convenience for users. Principle of Solar Drying Drying is the applied to the product, the rate at which the products internal moisture is released from its surface and the rate at which moist air is removed from the area surrounding the product. Thus, varying the heated airs temperature and humidity controls the drying rate of the product. Warm, dry air can absorb so much moisture at one time and it will become saturated thereby slowing the drying process considerably, unless the air is frequently replaced. Therefore, best drying is achieved when the air mass moves constantly over the product being subjected to the drying removal of moisture from the product to a moisture content level considered safe for storage. It is a simultaneous heat and mass transfer process that vaporizes liquid water, mixes the vapor with the drying air, and removes the vapor by carrying away the mixture mechanically. In order to adequately dry a material, it is first necessary to know the initial moisture content of the material to be dried and the desired moisture content of the final product. Drying rates are controlled by the rate at which heat is process. Problem Statement Locals of Lubhoo, Lalitpur (around 5 km far from Kathmandu City) used to cultivate tomatoes for two seasons in a year. They use to collect 50 -60 kg of tomatoes on every 3 4 days for each production month. Problem indicated by the locals are price fall up to Rs. 2 per kg during pick production of tomatoes and rise above Rs. 50 per kg during off-season. So, locals are very much

willing to preserve for sell in off-season. According to them, preservation around 20 kg per 4~5 days is required for off-season and selling of remaining during production.

Objectives To design Solar Cabinet dryer for Tomatoes drying. About Tomato Its scientific name is Lycopersicon esculentum Mill Tomato contain much Vitamin B and C, iron and phosphorus although a ripe tomato Cultivated in Falgun ~ Ashar and Shrawn ~ Magshir in Kathmandu Orange red in Color, Acidic, Average weight 50 g Optimum climatic conditions for cultivation are o 21 0c - 27 0c temperature o PH should be in between 5.8-6.8 o Elevation 1000-2000 m When tomatoes are dried to a low moisture content, so that they are hard (eg 5% water), they can be pounded or milled to a powder. o Tomato jam o Green tomato chutney o Tomato ketchup for 1kg o Tomato soup for 1kg

S.N Parameter 1 2 3 Wi (Initial Mass of fresh Product) Mi ( Moisture Content Initial) Mf( Moisture Content final) 15 90 5

Value Kg % %

4 5

5 55

Day C

Design Assumption S.N. Parameter 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ta (Ambient Temp) Ti (Initial Temperature of Cabinet ) Tf (Final Temperature of cabinet) K (Solar Drying factor) Solar Irradiance (Kathmandu) Collector Efficiency 25 60 50 1.25 5.19 70 KW hr/m2/day % Value

C C C

Design of Cabinet Solar Dryer Designing of solar drying systems is a very complex task consisting of both technical as well as practical design factors which differs along with the design and type of the solar dryer to be constructed. The elementary theoretical design based on the static parameters of Solar cabinet Dryer has been discussed in this section. While designing, following parameters have to be assumed or known before hand. Reference material/ product to be dried and its physical properties; o Initial moisture content in wet basis, Mi: o Desired final moisture content in wet basis, M f : o Maximum permissible temperature, Tmax(Ti): Capacity, wi: in kg of fresh product/ batch Desired drying time, t: in hrs Drying season Ambient conditions; o Average ambient air temperature, Ta: in oC o Average relative humidity of air, a: in % o Average velocity of air entering the collector, v: in m/sec o Average solar isolation on horizontal surface, I: in W/m2 Collector Parameters o Collector efficiency, c: in % o Temperature of absorber plate, Tw: in oC o Equilibrium relative humidity of air at chamber temp, e: in % o Slope of collector to horizontal (for winter season), : in degrees o Air flow through Dryer: Steady flow

Amount of water to be removed from the drying product The amount of water to be evaporated, mw from the product during drying process can be calculated by using the value of its initial moisture content Mi and desired final moisture content M f as given below. mw (kg) = wi (Mi Mf) / (100 - Mf) (1) Where, wi is initial mass of fresh product to be dried. (Exell, R.H.B., 1980, Basic Design Theory for a Simple Solar Rice Dryer) Energy Required for Drying The amount of energy required, E, to evaporate the mw quantity of water can be calculated as; E = mw x L (2) Where, L = latent heat of evaporation of water, L (kJ/kg) = (2500 - 2.34T) (GTZ, Solar Drying) (3)

Where, T is average inside air temperature in oC. The temperature of air leaving the drying material (Tf) can be determined with the help of psychometrics chart using initial ambient air conditions. The average air temperature inside the drying chamber is given by, T = (Ti + Tf) / 2

This amount of energy (E) from eqn.1 is theoretical value required to evaporate the mw amount of water from a free water surface. But in general, this water is bounded with commodity and thus, more heat is required to evaporate it. At the same time, in practice, some amount of air will not come in contact with the moisture of material and there will be some heat loss by the air through sides of drying chamber. Therefore, the total amount of energy required is given by, Et = kxE (GTZ, Solar Drying) Where k is constant (1<k<4) Required Mass and Volume of Air for drying Let ma be the mass of drying air. Then the basic energy balance equation for drying process is Et = ma Cp (Ti Tf) Where Cp is specific heat capacity of air at constant pressure. Thus, ma = Et / Cp (Ti - Tf)

(4)

The quantities of air are usually expressed in terms of the volume (V) at atmospheric pressure (P) and temperature (T) instead of in term of the mass, ma. Hence, it can be expressed in volume as, V (m3) = Where, R = P = Detailed Designs The detailed design of different parts of dryer is given below. Air Inlet Passage into the Collector For natural convection type dryer, the air-circulation inside the dryer is assumed to be steady. The airflow rate Q, inside the collector is given by, Q (m3/s) = V / (t) Where, t is drying time in sec. (6) maRTa / P 0.291 kPa m3/kg.oK is the gas constant. 101.325 kPa is atmospheric pressure. (5)

The air inlet area into the collector is given by; Ai (m2) = Q/v Let, h be the height of air inlet passage, the width, b of air passage is given by; b = Ai / h In order to prevent the entering of dusts and insects inside the collector and drying chamber, the air inlet passage of collector is covered with wire net. This wire net covers certain area of inlet passage hindering the airflow into the collector. To compensate this factor, the inlet area should be slightly increased. Collector The collector must provide the energy required to increase temperature of air from the ambient temperature to specified temperature. The energy that is be provided by collector to air is Ec (kJ) = Where, Cp = ma Cp (Ti - Ta) (7)

The energy received by collector from the sun is given by; Er = I x Ac x t Where, Ac I = = collector area (m2) Solar insolation (W/m2)

Assuming collector efficiency (c), the energy supplied by collector to the air will be:

or, or ,

Ec Ec Ac

= c x Er = c x I x Ac x t = Ec /( c x I x t)

(8)

The effective width of the collector is equal to that of air passage without insulation, and the effective length of the collector is given by, lc = Ac / bc

In solar drying systems, insulation is one of the important factors, which greatly affects its performance. The bottom and sides of the collector and all sides of drying chamber must be properly insulated with the insulation material. Different types of insulation materials may be used based on practical experiences. Rubber gasket is used in between the upper face of collector box sides and glazing to avoid air leakage.

Absorber Plate

The temperature of absorber plate in collector increases to certain value when solar radiation falls on its surface. The surface area of the absorber plate may be insufficient to transfer required amount of energy to the flowing air, if only flat surface is used, the calculated value of the surface area determines whether the surface area with flat plate is adequate or not. The detail calculation is performed as follows. In the collector, absorber plate is placed in between glazing and inner collector box. So, it divides collector air passage into two parts- upper part and lower part. Thus, both the faces of absorber plate must be checked for surface area requirements. It can be assumed that both of these parts transfer equal amount of energy to air. The calculation can be performed by assuming the values for absorber plate temperature (Tw), temperature of inner face of glazing (Tg) and temperature of inner face of collector box (Tb) Calculation of Surface Area for Upper Face of Absorber Plate Temperature difference between absorber plate and glazing; T1 = Tw Tg Mean temperature, T1 = (Tw + Tg) / 2 Using the relation for natural convection between enclosed parallel plates, Raleigh number, Ra = (g T1 l3) / (9) Where, g = acceleration due to gravity, l = plate spacing, = Kinematic viscosity (m2/s) of air at T1,

k = Thermal conductivity (w/mC) of air at T 1, = Thermal diffusivity (m2/s) of air at T1, = 1 / T1, Volumetric coefficient of expansion, Nusselt number, Nu = 1 + 1.44 [ 1 1708/RaCos] x [ 1 {(Sin 1.8)1.6 x 1708}/ RaCos ] + [(RaCos / 5830)1/3) 1] (10) (Duffie, John A. and Beckmann, W.A., 1985) Heat transfer coefficient, h = Nuk / l Now, using energy balance equation for absorber plate, Ec/ 2 = h As T1 t Where, T1 = temperature difference = T1 - Ta

(11)

(12)

Therefore, the required surface area of the upper face of absorber plate is given by, As = Ec/ (2 h T1 t) (13) The surface area for lower face of absorber plate should also be calculated in the similar way as above taking temperature difference between absorber plate and bottom base plate (inner plate of collector box). The highest value of the As among upper and lower face of absorber plate should be taken as the required surface area of the absorber plate. If this area is greater than that of effective collector area, the absorber plate should be corrugated. Trays Depending upon the batch capacity of fresh product to be dried and area required for spreading the product, required number of trays is to be placed inside the drying chamber. The total length of the drying chamber will be equal to the width of collector without insulation. The gap between each row should be maintained around 20cm. Chimney In most real situations, the air leaving the drying chamber is moist and close to ambient temperature (Sodha et al., 1987; Akachuku, 1986). So, a solar chimney would not have an effect on dryers performance unless the solar heating of the air within the chimney is signicant, capable of inducing upward ow of air through the chimney. The role of chimney can be suppressed if a constant air ow is induced by an electrical fan. However, for chimney designed for natural air ow, following considerations have to be made. The momentum equation along the chimney yields: P = H(a - ch)g(B/760) - w [2(S+P)H/(S*P)] (14) where P is the required suction pressure (N/m2; usually ~ 0.5 mm of water for solar chimneys, Das and Kumar, 1989), g is the acceleration of gravity (m/s2), a is the average density of air,

ch is the average air density in the chimney, B is the barometric pressure (mm Hg), P is the depth of the chimney (m), S is the width of the chimney (m) and H is the height of the chimney (m) and w is the shear stress acting on the air in contact with the chimney surface (N/m2). The latter is given by: w = chuch2fch/2 (15) fch can

Where uch is the average air velocity in the chimney (Q/[S*P]) while the friction factor be found for laminar ow as: fch = 64/Re with the Reynolds number given as: Re = Dhchuch/ch where Dh is the hydraulic mean diameter of the chimney dened as: Dh = 2S*P/(S+P) andch is the average air viscosity in the chimney. Solving the Eqns. (4.14 4.18) gives the effective dimensions of the chimney. (18) (17) (16)

The chimney should be provided with a roof to prevent the drying chamber from rain or other foreign particles.

Design Calculations Design of Solar Cabinet Dryer for Tomatoes Drying Step 0 Let Tomato Tomato Tomato Assume Parameter Wi (Initail Mass of fresh Product) Mi ( Moisture Content Initial) Mf ( Moisture Content final) Total Time required to dry Tomato Sunshine Hour per Day Value 15 Kg 90 % 5 % 5 Day 5.19 hr /day

Step 1

Mass of Water to be Removed from Drying Ta (Ambient Temp) Ti (Intial Temperature of Cabinet ) Tf (Final Temperature of cabinet) T (Average Temperture) L (Laten Heat of Water) E (Energy req for Drying total tomatoes) K (Solar Drying fator Et (Actual Heat requied for drying)

Step 2

Step 3

Given Calculation Given Given Calculation Air Inlet to Collector Design Assume Assume Calculation Calculation Let Calculation

Cp (Specific Heat Capacity of air Mass of air required for drying R P Volume of air required for drying

Step 4

Velocity of Air requied Irradiance Q (Flow rate required) Ai (Area of Inlet Passage) Bi (Breath of inlet passage) Li (Length of inlet Passage) Including edges

Step 5

Collector Area

Calculation Assume Calculation Calculation Calculation Calculation Step 6 Cabinet Design Also dia. Mm Calculation

Collector Efficiency Ec (Energy Provided by Collector to air) Area of the Collector Bc (Breath of collector) Lc (Length of Collector)

Weight of each tomato No of tomato Lc (Lenght of Cabinet) No. of Tomato in Length Wise Rw

No. of Tomato in requied in Breath Wise No. of Tray required Bc (Breath of Cabinet)

Calculation

H (Height of Cabinet )

1166 300

References Mohammed Solar Drying , A practical manual Volume 2, Renewable Energy Product, Khumaltar Exell, R.H.B., 1980, Basic Design Theory for a Simple Solar Rice Dryer GTZ, Solar Drying Effects of Storage Period on Some Nutritional Properties of Orange and Tomato ,Peter AbahIdah, John Jiya Musa* and Abdullahi Solar engineering , http://solarcooking.org/drying/Whitfielddrying1.htm

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