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Energy and exergy analysis of solar drying


process of Mint
Article in Energy Procedia June 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2011.05.067

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Amel Boulemtafes

Ahmed Benzaoui

Centre de Dveloppement des Energies Reno

University of Science and Technology Houari

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Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

MEDGREEN 2011-LB

Energy and exergy analysis of solar drying process of Mint


Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM1 , Ahmed BENZAOUI2 a*
1

Laboratoire Solaire Thermique et Gothermie, Centre de Dveloppement des Energies Renouvelables, B.P. 62 Route de
lobservatoire, Bouzarah, Alger ALGERIE
2

Laboratoire de Thermodynamique et des Systmes Energtiques, USTHB, Bp. 32 El Alia, 16111 Alger Algrie

Abstract

Renewable energy in food industry and particularly in drying process is growing and mainly in
developing countries. Solar energy is often used by direct products exposure through a glass or to heat
drying air through a solar collector. However, the random and intermittent nature of solar radiation leads
to use conventional energy sources as supplement.
Hence, optimization and design tend to reduce the drying time of products for minimum possible energy
use. These cases are often preceded by rigorous energy and exergy drying process analysis. That is the
aim of our work in this paper.
The used dryer is an indirect type, passive, without extra energy and discontinuously operating. It is
composed of a solar air heater and a drying room. The experiment took place at Bouzareah on the heights
of Algiers in the summer season. The choice of mint is because its abundance and its wide use in Algeria.
Using the first and second principles of thermodynamics, we could estimate useful energy received by the
heater and that really used during drying. Energy analysis has allowed us to quantify the solar energy
received by solar heater and available for drying. Exergy analysis has allowed us to estimate the energy
losses during the drying process.
2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of [name organizer]
Keywords: Energy analysis, exergy, solar energy, drying, solar dryer , efficiency

Nomenclature
A

solar air heater area. m2

Cp

heat capacity. kj/kg.K

* Corresponding . Tel.: +213 21 90 15 03; fax: +213 21 90 15 60.


E-mail address: a_boulemtafes@cder.dz, aboukadoum@gmail.com

18766102 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.05.067

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Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

Ex

exergy.kj/kg

gravitation. m/s2

tilted global solar irradiation.W/m2l

Enthalpy .Kj/Kg
.

mass flow rate kg/s

atmospherice Pressure. kPa

net heat rate kj/s

Entropy.Kj/Kg.K

temprature, K

internal Energy.Kj

velocity. m/s

volume.m3

spcific humidity. g/g

energy utililization rate. kj/s

greec symbols

relative humidity%

exergetic efficiency %

Subscripts

inlet

as

air drying

outlet

ac

solar heater

amb

ambiant

ambiance

loss

sat

saturation

1. Introduction
The solar heater is a particular type of heat exchanger allowing the conversion of received solar
radiations to thermal energy. In opposition to the conventional exchangers where the radiation transfer is
negligible, it is the main transfer mode in the solar heater where the solar energy converted into thermal
one is transferred to flowing air. However this rate of transfer remains rather weak in comparison to solar
concentrators and that remains the major disadvantage of the flat plate solar heaters [1].

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

Among the most widespread applications of solar heaters, one can note water domestic heating, space
buildings heating and the solar drying of agricultural products. However, randomness and intermittent
characteristic of solar radiation motivates the use of conventional energies sources as supplement. Thats
why precise optimization dimensioning studies, are required in order to reduce the drying time and energy
use. Those studies must be preceded by rigorous energy and exergy analysis of the drying process, which
is the aim of this work.

2.

Experimental Setup

The experiments have been done at C.D.E.R site (Centre


of Renewable Energy Development) (Latitude 368 North,
Longitude 312 east , Altitude 345m, Albedo 0.2) on summer
season. The solar air heater tested and used [2] for mint dying
is made up:
 A flat plate solar collector that heats the drying air at
desired temperature. It is a simple circulation and
simple glazing collector with external dimensions
(2mx1mx0.1m). The air is flowing between absorber
and bottom of the collector inside wood corridors.
 A parallelepiped box drying, made in galvanized
metal sheet, insulated from the indoor. The products
to be dried are laid out on trays allowing the passage
of the air. Device operates in natural convection and
in a discontinuous way (diurnal).

Fig. 1 The indirect solar dryer

Measurements have been carried out during experiments [3]:


A pyranometer (Kypp Zonnen) is used to measure tilted global solar radiation every hour .
Temperature and relative humidity of the drying air are measured in various locations of the
device.
The drying air flow rate is determined after measuring air drying velocity .
The mass loss curve of mint is drawn afterwards successive weightings of the product.
3

Energy Analysis

Drying is a very complex process whose goal is to remove partially or completely the moisture contained
in a product. This process involves a double transfer of heat and mass, thus it is a very inefficient
operation. The energy needed for drying depends mainly on the nature of the product to be dried and the
drying rate. Hence the usefulness of an energy and exergy analysis for each product in order to quantify
the energy needed for drying and to locate the exergy losses in each step of the process.
Theoretical and experimental studies of drying process are necessary; those concerning energy and exergy
aspects of the process are more interesting.
In this work, we give an overview of the results of energy and exergy analysis of mint drying process
using solar energy. Energy analysis of the drying process of mint is made on the basis of mass and energy
equations, in steady state [4]:

585

586

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

Mass conservation equation the drying air


.

ase

= m ass

(1)

Moisture conservation equation of the drying air

(m

+ m

ass

W e + m xp ) =

xp

) =

we

ws

Or,

(m

ass

Ws

(2)

Energy conservation equation


.

Q W = m ass hass + V

ass

m h + V 2 ase
2 ase ase
2

(3)

3.1 Thermodynamic parameters


Wet air is considered as one phase homogeneous system with only two components governed by
ideal gas law for fluid mixtures.
3.1.1Relative humidity
It is defined as the ratio between the partial vapour pressure of water in the mixture at a given temperature
(pv,T), and the saturated vapour pressure at the same temperature (psat,T):

(Pv , T ) x100 (% )
(Psat , T )

(4)

3.1.2 Specific humidity


Defined as the water vapour mass per drying air unit mass
W =

Pv , t
mv
= 0 . 622
m as
P Pv , t

(5)

3.1.3Enthalpy (of the drying air)


It is expressed by [5]:
h as = C

pas

T as + wh sat , t

(6)

where Cpas defines the specific heat of drying air, Tas is the drying air temperature, w is the specific
humidity and hsat,T is the enthalpy of the saturated vapour.
3 2 Determination of the outlet conditions of the solar air heater
It is considered that the conditions of entry are those of the ambient conditions.
3.2.1 Useful energy received by the collector [1]
.

Q cas = m as C pas (T acs T ace )

(7)

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

3.2.2 The instantaneous efficiency (performance) of the solar air heater


It is given by the following relation:
.

Qcas
AG

(9)

3 3 Determination of inlet and outlet conditions of the drying room:


It is considered that the characteristics of the air at the entry of the box of drying (temperature, moisture)
are those of of its solar collector exit [5].
Tase= Tacs
Wase = Wacs
(10)
ase = acs
hase = hacs
Using the equations (1) and (2), one obtains
.

Wass = Wase +

m xp

(11)

m as

The relative humidity and the enthalpy of the air of drying at exit of the drying room are given
determinated from the equations (4) and (6).
3.3.1 Energy used
The energy required to transfer moisture during the drying process (inside the drying box) can be
quantified by the following relation
.

Q as = m as ( hase hass )
4.

(12)

Exergy analysis

Based on the second law of thermodynamics, we calculated the exergy at the inlet and outlet of the
dryer and the exergy loss. Exergy analysis is based on the determination of exergy values at different
points in the process steady. Those are calculated on the basis of thermodynamic parameters from the first
law of thermodynamics. Exergy is defined as the energy available and actually converted into work [4]
Ex=Eph+Ekn+Ept+Ech

(15)

Where
Eph Physical exergy, Ekn Kinetic exergy, Ept Potential exergy, Ech Chemical exergy
expanding terms that gives:
Ex= (UU0)+P0(V-V0)-T0(S-S0)+1/2mv2 +mgz+(ER+EN)

(16)

In considering the conditions, we neglect some terms and found [5]:


Ex=m.aCp[(T-T0)-T0 ln(T/T0)]

(17)

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588

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

From the equation (15), one can calculate the inlet and outlet exergy as well as the loss of exergy. These
are given by [6]:
Exe=maCp[(Tase-T0)-T0 ln(Tase/T0)]

(18)

Exs=maCp[(Tase-T0)-T0 ln(Tase/T0)]

(19)

Exl=Exe-Exs

(20)

One defines also the exergy effectiveness as being:


=1-(Exl/Exe)=Exs/Exe
5.

(21)

Results and discussion

G(W/M2)
Qcas(J/s)

9h

10h 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h 16h 17h


tem ps(h)

500
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0

800
700

Qcas(J/s)

Qcas(J/s)

1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0

G(W/m2)

900

G(W/m2)

The energy and exergy analyses of the thin-layer drying process of mint via an indirect solar dryer
were performed with data obtained from the experiments .The curves representing the drying
experimental results as well as energy and exergy analysis are given below. In the figure1 (a,b.), we
show global irradiation evolution and useful energy received by the solar air heater curves. The
experiment was conducted during sunny days with light clouds. The values of global irradiation vary
between 400 and 850 W/m2 with a peak around 13H local time. One can note similarity in curve shape of
useful energy received by the solar heater and global irradiation. It was observed that values of the useful
energy during the first day were although similar or even higher than that of the second. Finally, let us
note that the maximum recorded was 450 J/s in the first day and 300 J/s in the second.

350
300
250

600
500

200

400

150

300

100

200
G(W/m2)

100

50

Qcas(J/s)

0
9h

10h 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h 16h 17h

tem ps(h)

(a)

(b)
st

nd

Fig. 1 Tilted global solar radiation received by the solar heater and useful energy (a 1 day, b 2

day)

In the figure 2 (a.b), the evolution of instantaneous solar air heater efficiency (performance) is given
for the two days. The values vary between 10 and 30 %, which is very acceptable, with higher
maximumvalues the first day. These values reflect the rate of solar energy received by the collector and
actually transferred to the coolant (air).

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

30%

30%

25%

25%

20%

20%

15%

15%

10%

10%
5%

5%
tem ps(h)

0%

tem ps(h)

0%
9h

9h 10h 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h 16h 17h

10h 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h 16h


(b)

(a)
Fig. 2 Instantaneous performance of the solar heater (a 1st day, b 2nd day )

400

600

Q a s ( J /s )

500

500
400

300

Q as(J/s)

Figures 3 (a.b) show the evolution of the energy used to dry mint samples over the two days of drying
time. We note this energy is more important the second day, in our opinion this due to the internal
structure of mint leaves and moisture transfer mechanism within them.

300

200

200

100
temps(h)

100
temps(h)

9h 10h 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h 16h 17h


(a)
Fig.3 Energy used for drying Q as (a 1st day, b 2nd day )

9h 10h 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h 16h


(b)

The dependence of exergy with drying time can be observed in the curves shown below. The evolution
of exergy (input, output) and exergy loss are represented in figure 4 (a,b) for the two days of drying time.
We notice a significant increase in these values in the first 4 hours of the first day with a peak at 13H
local time, which corresponds to the maximum of solar irradiation. The curves keep the same pace for the
two days of drying. The maximum value of the exergy inflow to the system was obtained as 0.120 kJ/kg
the first day and 0.105 kJ/kg the second day.

589

590

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

120

140

Exe(J/Kg)

Exe(J/Kg)
100

Exs(J/Kg)

120

Exs(J/Kg)

Exl(J/Kg)

Exl(J/Kg)

100

80

80

60

60

40
40

20
20

t(H)
0

0
9:00

11:00

13:00

15:00

11:00

17:00

13:00

15:00

17:00

t(H)

(b)

(a)
Figure 4 Evolution of exergy as function of drying time(a 1st day, b 2nd day )

In the figure 5 (a,b), the exergy loss evolution according to the energy used Qas is given for two days of
drying time . It may be noted that Exl varies linearly with Qas. The exergy losses ranged between 0 kJ/kg
and 0.125 kJ/kg approximately during the first day, and between 0 kJ/kg and 0.09 kJ/kg during the
second. As it can be seen, the exergy loss shows a linear increase as the energy utilization of the drying
chamber is also increased. Most of the exergy losses were developed during the solar drying of mint
performed in the second day.

0.25

0,10

0.20
0,08

Exl(J/Kg)

Exl(J/Kg)

0.15

0.10

0,06

0,04

0.05
0,02

0.00
0,00

50

100

(a)

150

200

250

300

350

150

200

Qas(J/s)

250

300

350

400

450

500

55

Q as(J/S )

(b)

Fig.5 Exergy loss E xl according to energy used Qas (a 1st day, b 2nd day )

The curves representing the change in the exergy efficiency as a function of drying time are shown in
figure 6 (a,b). A decreasing pattern was described during the first 4.5 h, then changing to an increasing
behaviour following a parabolic function. Similar behaviour is observed the two days of the drying time.

591

0,6

0,6

0,5

0,5
E fficacit E xerg etiq u e

Efficacit Exerg etiq ue

Amel BOULEMTAFES-BOUKADOUM and Ahmed BENZAOUI / Energy Procedia 6 (2011) 583591

0,4
0,3

0,2

0,4
0,3

0,2
0,1

0,1

t(H)

t(H)

0
9:00

11:00

13:00

15:00

17:00

(a)

9:00

11:00

13:00

15:00

(b)

Fig. 6 Exergetic efficiency according to time (a 1st day, b 2nd day )

5.

Conclusion
In this work, we had obtained the results of the energy and exergy analysis of the mint drying
process in an indirect solar drier operating in natural convection and in a discontinuous way (only the
day).
The mint drying samples lasted two days (14 h). The device operates slowly, not exceeding (0.2m/s).
By using the 1 st and 2 2nd principles of thermodynamics, we could consider energy useful received by the
collector and that is really used during drying. We also determined the efficiency of the solar air heater as
well as the energy needed for the drying of mint.
The exergy analysis enabled us to have an estimation of the really supplied energy for drying as well
as losses of exergy. The results obtained seem acceptable to us and in agreement with the results found in
literature. The insufficiencies observed are in our opinion due to low recorded flows, It appears necessary
to repeat these experiments and measures using an air dryer in forced convection.
References
[1] Duffie, Beckman Solar Engineering of Thermal Process , Ed.1980 WIB.
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Valorisation Tlemcen, 23-24 Novembre 1999, Tome 1 P. 97-100.
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menthe. Proceeding du 1er Sminaire Maghrbin sur les Sciences et Technologies de Schage SMSTS2006,17-19 Dcembre 2006
Tozeur, Tunisie.
[4] A.Hepbasli A key review on exergetic analysis and assessment of renewable energy resources for a sustainable future
,Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 12, Issue 3, April 2008.
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(2009).
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