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Tray Dryer:

Construction: It is the simplest of the batch dryer and also known as cabinet or compartment dryer. The tray dryer shown in Fig. 6.6 is a batch operated direct dryer. It consists of an enclosed insulated cabinet or large compartment into which the material to be dried is placed on a number of removable trays. The trays may either be fabricated from sheets or from screens. The trays may be stacked on racks or loaded on trucks. It is provided with the inlet and outlet connections for sir. A heating coil either electrical or steam-heating is incorporated in it. In these dryers, steam, gas or electrically heated air to be used as a drying medium. The air is circulated in the dryer over the trays by means of fan fitted at the top or at the side.

The material to be dried is spread over the trays and put into the cabinet and then It ii closed. The steam is continuously passed through the coil and fan is started. Air is heated by heating coil. Its relative humidity decreases. (E.g.) its capacity to evaporate the moisture ii increased) and hot air then passes over the trays. The moisture is evaporated from wet feed, gets added in air and finally air leaves the dryer through the outlet. The process is continued until the solids are dried. The cabinet is then opened, dried material is removed from trays and a fresh batch is charged. For getting good drying, air after drying should be thrown out completely but by this way, a major portion of heat associated with hot gas will be lost and the operation will become costly. To avoid this heat loss, about 8095 % of air is re circulated by adjusting a damper at the outlet, and the remaining portion is exhausted out, and the same amount of air is taken in through the inlet. The overall rate of drying of such dryer is 0.2 to 2.0 kg water/(m2h) material surface and the thermal efficiency is of the order of 2025 %. The trays are generally 600 mm wide, 900 to 1500 mm long and 30 to 40 mm deep. They are made of mild steel stainless steel, enameled iron etc. and are fabricated from sheets of 3 mm to 6mm thick.

It is cheap and easy to construct. Low space requirement.

Ease of cleaning. Requires very low maintenance. No loss of product during drying.

It is expensive to operate due to high labor requirements for loading and unloading the dryer. Long drying time (4 to 48 h per batch). Small quantities are handled.

Tray dryer is well suited for small scale production (small production rate) and drying valuable materials like dyes and pharmaceuticals. It is especially useful for drying wet lumpy solids and wet filter cakes which must be spread over the trays. Tray dryers may be operated under vacuum, often with indirect heating. In such dryers, all joints must be air-tight. The trays may rest on hollow metal plates supplied with steam and vapours from wet solid are removed by a vacuum pump. Vacuum-tray dryers are suited for temperature I heat sensitive materials (i.e. thermally unstable materials).

Dryer control:
Refer to Fig. 6.7. Fresh air is taken through valve A by means of a blower or fan and then it enters a heater. Before entering the heater, the air is divided into two parts, one part of the air goes to the heater through valve B and remaining air is by-passed through valve C. The valves B and C are connected together by mechanical links in such a way that if o ne starts closing, other will start opening. Both the valves are operated by a diaphragm control valve which is getting signals from a dry and wet bulb recorder and controller. Hot air from the heater and cold by-passed air are mixed together and sent to the dryer for drying. For heat economy, a major part of the air leaving the dryer (moist air) can be re circulated in the system through valve D and the remaining air is vented to the

atmosphere through valve E. The valves A, D and E are connected together by mechanical links in such a way that if valve E starts opening, valve D will start doing, and valve A will start opening. All three valves are operated by a diaphragm control valve which is getting signals from a dry and wet bulb recorder and controller. The dry and wet bulb thermometer assembly is kept in the outlet from dryer. (Control valves instead of operating valve stem they operate a lever that actuates dampers)

When the temperature of the out going air from dryer increase. beyond a certain limit then the controller will give a signal to the valves B and C through the control valve which ii actuated by the dry bulb temperature controller in such a way that valve B starts opening and valve C starts closing so that ten hot sir is going to the dryer and vice versa. When the humidity of the outgoing air from the dryer increases, wet bulb temperature will increase. Controller will detect this increase in the wet bulb temperature and accordingly will give a signal to the control valve which operates valves A, D and E in such a way that when valve starts opening, D starts closing and A starts opening, so that more fresh air is taken into the system and the moist air is thrown out and recirculation is also reduced. Because of this action, the humidity is lowered. The dryer control of this type can be used for batch as well as for continuous dryers. Copy rights are reserved for other students.

Industrial Drying of Foods By Christopher G.J. Baker