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IJSRD - International Journal for Scientific Research & Development| Vol.

3, Issue 03, 2015 | ISSN (online): 2321-0613

Design Development and Performance Evaluation of Indirect Forced

Convection Solar Dryer for Grapes
Mr. Avesahemad Sayyadnaimutulla Husainy1 Prof. P. R. Kulkarni2
M.E Student (Heat Power Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr.J.J.Magdum College of Engineering, Jaysingpur, India
Abstract In this paper, forced convection solar dryer are
designed for grape fruit and experimentally studied at
Miraj,India(16.830N).The system consist of flat plate air
heater connected to drying chamber. To study the effect of
drying time on indirect type forced convection solar dryer,
30kg of good quality of grapes are loaded. It has been
experimentally analysed that drying time can be reduced up
to 6 days as compared to conventional method which
requires 10-12 days. The main advantage of forced
convection solar dryer is to produce good quality raisins.
This system is suited for farmers having small rate of raisins
production. It is observed that grapes dried in solar dryer
take lesser time to reach the safe level of moisture content
for storage as compared to open sun drying and quality of
raisins produced are more superior.
Key word: Solar dryer, Raisin, Drying time
Food is a basic need for all human beings along with air and
water. Food problem arises in most developing countries
mainly due to the inability to preserve food surpluses rather
than due to low production. Agricultural yields are usually
more than the immediate consumption needs, resulting in
wastage of food surpluses during the short harvest periods
and scarcity during post-harvest period. Hence, a reduction
in the post-harvest losses of food products should have
considerable effect on the economy of these countries. More
than 80% of food is being produced by small farmers in
developing countries. These farmers dry food products by
natural sun drying, an advantage being that solar energy is
available free of cost, but there are several disadvantages
which are responsible for degradation and poor quality of
the end product. Certain variety of food products are not
supposed to be dried by natural sun drying because they lose
certain basic desirable characteristics. Experiments carried
out in various countries have clearly shown that solar dryers
can be effectively used for drying agricultural produce. It is
a question of adopting it and designing the right type of
solar dryer.
From the limited data available on post-harvest
losses in fruits and vegetables, it is understood that the
actual losses are much higher. The minimum reported loss is
21%, while some references indicate estimates of above 40
50%. The most notable feature is that many varieties of
fruits are seasonal and many of them are consumed in their
dried form to a large extent which has been made possible
by the process of drying.
Drying is quite a simple ancient skill. It is one of
the easily accessible and the most widespread processing
technology. Drying grapes either by open sun drying, shade
drying or mechanical drying produces raisins. Historically,
production of raisins from grapes can be traced back to 1490
BC in Greece. There are sixty one countries in the world

which grow grapes to a sizeable extent as per the final data

of 2013 available on the website of Food and Agriculture
Organization. The annual yield of grapes in India during
2013 was 2,483,000 MT and the major grape growing states
are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and
Tamil Nadu.
There are different varieties of grapes grown in
India that are used for specific purposes. They are used in
wine making, raisin making and for table purpose. The
raisin purpose varieties areThompson seedless,
Manikchaman, Sonaka, Black corinth, Black monukka,
Arkavati, and Dattier. Traditional drying methods are
successfully employed in almost all grape producing
countries. Drying is a dual process of heat transfer to the
product from the heating source. And mass transfer of
moisture from the interior of the product to its surface and
from the surface to the surrounding air. India receives an
enormous amount of solar energy: on average, of the order
of 5 kW h/m2day for over 300 days/year. This energy can
be used for thermal or electrical applications.
Thermal drying, which is most commonly used for
drying agricultural products, involves vaporization of
moisture within the product by heat and its subsequent
evaporation from the product. Thus, thermal drying involves
simultaneous heat and mass transfer Drying is the most
common form of food preservation and extends the food
shelf life. There has been notable improvement in the
traditional methods of drying grapes, but the quality of
raisin produced is unable to meet the international market
standards. In order to improve the quality of raisins,
industrial dryers such as solar and hot air dryers were
introduced. The main disadvantage of solar dryer is the
availability of solar radiation for a limited period of time.
The use of mechanical industrial dryers has been restricted
due to the high fuel and electrical energy costs. It is also not
economically viable to develop industrial dryers only for the
sake of grape drying as they have a very short harvest
A. Direct Type Solar Dryers:
In the direct type of solar dryer, solar radiation passes
through a transparent cover, usually glass, to be incident on
the grapes placed for drying. The glass cover reduces direct
convective losses to the surroundings and increases
temperature inside the dryer.
1) Solar Cabinet Dryer:
A solar cabinet dryer loaded with grapes to be dried is
shown in figure-1. It is a small hot box, usually made up of
wood and having a length of about three times its width. The
sides and bottom of the cabinet are painted black internally
for absorbing solar radiation transmitted through the glass
cover. Ventilation holes are provided at the bottom and

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Design Development and Performance Evaluation of Indirect Forced Convection Solar Dryer for Grapes
(IJSRD/Vol. 3/Issue 03/2015/320)

holes are also provided on the upper sides of the dryer.

Grapes are spread on aluminum trays, having wire mesh at
the bottom and exposed to solar radiation, the temperature
of grapes rises resulting in evaporation of moisture.

Fig. 3: Indirect type forced convection solar dryer

Fig. 1: Solar cabinet dryer

B. Indirect Solar Drying Of Grapes:
There are many drying systems which use the indirect
means of solar drying. Two types of indirect solar drying
systems are discussed. They are: Natural circulation and
Forced circulation.
1) Natural Circulation Type:
In these solar dryers, air movement is due to natural
circulation. Grapes get heated due to direct absorption of
heat or due to high temperature in the enclosure and then
moisture evaporated from the grapes escapes out of the
chamber by natural circulation of air.
2) Indirect Type Conventional Solar Dryer:
This type of solar dryer has a solar collector for heating air
and a drying chamber to accommodate trays over which
grapes are spread as shown in figure-2. The solar collector
uses a transparent foil cover and a black absorber sheet. The
drying chamber is covered by a transparent foil which
protects the grapes from rain and dust. The solar collector
collects the solar energy and heats the air entering through
an inlet. Heated air enters the drying chamber from beneath
the tray and flows upwards through the grapes carrying
moisture with it. This moist air goes out of the opening
provided at the top.

Fig. 2: Natural convection solar dryer

C. Forced Circulation Type:
In these types of solar dryers air is forced into or out of the
drying chamber using a blower or fan which is electrically
or mechanically operated.


Condition And
Latitude 16.830C
Thompson Grape
Drying period
Loading rate, mp
Initial moisture content,
Mi [%] w.b
Final moisture content,
Mf [%] w.b
Ambient air temperature,
tam [0C]
Incident solar radiation,
700-1200 W/m2
Ir (W/m2)
Wind speed, Ws[km/hr]
Drying time (sunshine
hours) td [hrs]
sunshine hr)
Table 1: Design specifications and assumptions
The various parameters related to raisins formation and
other are calculated.
1) The amount of moisture removed from the grapes,
Mw (kg) was calculated by using the following
Mw=Mp (Mi-Mf)/100-Mf
2) Final relative humidity or Equilibrium Relative
Humidity, ERH (%) was calculated using Sorption
Isotherms Equation
aw=1e^ ((-e^ ((0.914+0.5639ln (M))
3) Calculations for collector area
4) Air flow rate calculated by,
A. Calculating Parameters:



Amount of moisture to be

22.14 kg

Equilibrium Relative Humidity


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Design Development and Performance Evaluation of Indirect Forced Convection Solar Dryer for Grapes
(IJSRD/Vol. 3/Issue 03/2015/320)


Heat required to evaporate the

54083.14 KJ
Collector area
0.9 m2
Air flow rate
0.04165 m3/s
0.047 kg/s
Mass of air
Table 2: Calculating parameters

six days until required good quality raisins were obtained.

Moreover three sprays of chemical treatment were carried
during this span. After this final weight of resins was done
and the netting procedure was carried out to separate the
raisins according to quality. The sample of raisins was again
tested in laboratory.


A schematic diagram of the forced convection solar drier is
shown in Fig. 3. The solar drier consists of flat plate solar
air heater of area 0.9 m2 connected with drying chamber.
The solar air heater has 3 mm thick G.I. absorber plate
coated with black paint to absorb the incident solar
radiation. The absorber plate is placed directly behind the
transparent cover (glass) with a layer of air separating it
from the cover. The air to be heated passes between the
transparent cover (glass) and the absorber plate. To increase
the temperature of air by green house effect, a glass cover of
5 mm thickness was placed. The gap between the glass and
the absorber surface was maintained at 25 mm for air
circulation. One side of the collector was connected to the
blower with the help of reducer and the other side was
attached with drier cabin. The drying chamber is made up of
mild steel sheet of 3 mm thickness with width, depth and
height of (762762889) mm respectively. The drier is
capable of holding about 30 kg of grapes per batch.
The drying chamber was insulated with thermocol
of 10 mm thickness. The solar air heater was tilted to an
angle about 25o with respect to horizontal. The system is
oriented to face south to maximize the solar radiation
incident on the solar collector, where the experiment was
conducted had about 10 hours 30 min of sunshine, but
potential sunshine duration was about 8 hours per day only.
Three Digital thermometer are used with temperature range
(-50 to +800C) were fixed at different locations. The solar
intensity was measured using solar intensity meter having
accuracy of about 10W/m2. A digital electronic balance of
1 kg capacity having an accuracy of 0.01 g was used to
weight the samples.
Only good quality grapes (Thompson seedless) were used in
the experiments. About 30 kg of fresh grapes were taken
from farm, with dipping chemical pre-treatment. The
chemical pre-treatment was carried at the same location for
were the grapes were harvested. The chemical pre-treatment
includes the dipping of grapes in the solution which is
prepared by mixing water, potassium carbonate and dipping
oil. For dipping procedure of 500 kg grapes generally 50
liters of water, 1 liter of dipping oil and 1200 grams
potassium carbonate is taken. Firstly the initial moisture
content and nutritional values of grapes was calculated by
laboratory testing of the sample of the grapes before starting
experimental procedure and the information was used for
various purposes. The experimental procedure was started
by loading of grapes on the trays of drier cabinet. After
loading complete sealing of cabinet was done so that there
no any air leakage. Then the blower was connected to the
setup and the flow was adjusted as per calculation. The
temperatures at various sections of the dryer were taken
from digital thermometers at regular intervals of time up to
six days. At the same time solar radiations were measured
with digital pyranometer. This procedure was continued for


Collector Inlet
Temp 0c

Collector Outlet
Temp 0c

Cabinet Outlet
Temp 0c






















Table 3: Average temperature variation in different location

of collector and cabinet (one day)

Graph 1 Temperature vs time

Graph 2 Radiation vs sunshine hours (one day)

The maximum utilization of solar energy is possible with
our system as the maximum temperature obtained is 48oC in
the cabinet .The hygienic conditions can be maintained
easily as the whole system is air tight hence contamination
by the dust particles and other contaminants can be avoided
which is not possible in conventional system. Drying time
can be reduced up to 6 days as compare to conventional
method which requires 10-12 days as we obtained better
quality raisins in 6 days from our experiment. With our
system 470C temperature can be obtained easily at any

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Design Development and Performance Evaluation of Indirect Forced Convection Solar Dryer for Grapes
(IJSRD/Vol. 3/Issue 03/2015/320)

location where ambient temperature is about 300C as the

location selected for experiment procedure is Miraj (India).
The maximum temperature allowable for raisin formation is
500C, Moreover as the airflow is reduced the temperatures
increases and vice versa, but this variation in temperature
due to airflow can be avoided with our system because we
used forced convection. Our system is best suited for
farmers having small rate of raisin production as preparation
of conventional drying system is difficult for him. This
system can be utilized for other food stuffs like chilies,
tomato, a bitter guard, fig etc with small modifications.
Continuous air flow can be achieved with this system which
is not possible in conventional system as it is dependent
natural air circulation.

Fig. 4: Photograph of Experimental Set- up

Fig. 5: Raisins after experiment

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Fig. 6: Raisins
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