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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/rser

Review of solar drying systems with air based solar collectors


in Malaysia
Ahmad Fudholi a,n, Kamaruzzaman Sopian a, B. Bakhtyar b, Mohamed Gabbasa a,c,
Mohd Yusof Othman a, Mohd Hadz Ruslan a
a

Solar Energy Research Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
School of Economy, Finance and Banking (SEFB), College of Business (COB), University Utara Malaysia (UUM), Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia
c
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
b

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 9 February 2014
Received in revised form
21 May 2015
Accepted 8 July 2015
Available online 28 July 2015

Solar drying systems (SDSs) are environment friendly and enhance energy conservation. Such systems
are a promising application of solar energy systems. SDS is an effective means of food preservation,
particularly for small groups of farmers and shers in Malaysia. Thus, these systems have been
developed for agricultural and marine products in this country. This review describes the design and
performance levels of different types of commercial-scale SDSs with air-based solar collectors
established in Malaysia. To this end, the performances of various such SDSs are summarized in detail.
Performance indices are presented as well, such as those for drying time, evaporative capacity, and
drying efciencies. Moreover, the SDSs are subject to energyexergyenvironmenteconomic analysis in
this review.
& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Solar drying system
Energy analysis
Exergy analysis
Environment analysis
Economic analysis
Performances

Contents
1.
2.
3.

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Prospect and status of SDS in Malaysia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Performance and energyexergyenvironmenteconomic analysis of SDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.1.
SDS performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.
Energy analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.
Exergy analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.4.
Environmental analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.5.
Economic analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1. Introduction
Solar energy is an abundant permanent and environmentally
compatible energy source in the world. Conversion to clean energy
sources such as solar energy facilitates improvement in quality of
life throughout the planet not only for humans but also for ora

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: a.fudholi@gmail.com (A. Fudholi).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.07.026
1364-0321/& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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and fauna. Most agricultural and marine products for storage must
rst be dried to preserve the quality of the nal products. The
majority of agricultural and marine products in Malaysia is subject
to open sun drying (OSD). This method requiring a large open
space; products are highly dependent on the availability of
sunshine and are susceptible to contamination with foreign
materials [1].
As an alternative to OSD, solar drying systems (SDSs) are an
attractive and promising application of solar energy systems. This
type of system is a renewable and environmentally friendly

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A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

Nomenclature
Ac
AC
Bt
C
Ct
d
E
E
f
ho
hi
has
i
L
L
Mi
Mf
Mt
Mt dt
_
m

collector area (m2)


dryer cost
annual benet
specic heat of air (J/kg/1C)
annual cost
rate of interest
evaporative capacity (kg/h)
energy absorbed from the sun
rate of ination
absolute humidity of air leaving the drying chamber (%)
absolute humidity of air entering the drying chamber (%)
absolute humidity of air entering the dryer at the
point of adiabatic saturation (%)
discount rate
solar dryer life
latent heat of water vaporization at the exit air
temperature (kJ/kg)
initial moisture content fraction on wet basis (wb)
nal moisture content fraction on wet basis (wb)
moisture content at time t
moisture content at time (t dt)
mass ow rate (kg/s)

technology. This method is also economically viable in most


developing countries. Drying is among the oldest and most
important preservation methods for reducing the moisture content of food or other heat-sensitive, biologically active products.
Upon removing the water content in the product, the quality of the
dried output must be considered. Product quality depends on
many factors, including drying temperature and duration. Products such as medicinal herbs require low temperature to prevent
active, volatile, essential ingredients from being stripped during
conventional high-temperature drying [2,3]. Numerous types of
SDSs have been designed, tested, and developed worldwide, and
these systems exhibit varying degrees of technical performance.
Various SDS designs for agricultural products have been reviewed
[46], such as chamber-type (rack-type/tray-, bin-, and tunneltype) and chimney-type SDS. These designs have been recommended for commercial use.
Several parties in Malaysia have investigated SDS use, including
local universities, the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Standards and Industrial Research
Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM), New England Biolabs (NEB), Forest
Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), and other agencies. The
following studies have been conducted: one by the Rubber
Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) on the drying of rubber
sheets, one on the drying of paddies by Joming Solar Systems Pvt.
Bhd in Butterworth, one on the drying of bananas, and one on the
drying of cocoa by Harrisons Malaysian Plantations Berhad. Moreover, several recommendations have been made by works involving the use of SDSs in Malaysia, such as drying processes for
anchovies, rubber, herbal tea, chili, medicinal herbs such as
Centella, and palm fronds. MARDI and the Solar Energy Research
Institute (SERI) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) have
performed solar drying activities on many commodities and
products, including paddies, tobacco, coffee beans, tapioca, noodles, groundnuts, banana, vermicelli, mussels, sh crackers, anchovies, and sh. RRIM has conducted technical and economic
analyses on solar-assisted rubber smokehouses. FRIM and

mo
_ da
m
mb  Hb
mi
Pf
Pt
S
St
t
tOS
tSD
SEC
SMER
Ta
Tat
Ti
To
Ts
t
v
W
Xa
X2m

d
p

initial total crop mass (kg)


mass ow rate of dry air (kg/s)
energy input by the additional energy source
maintenance cost in the ith year
fan power (W)
total energy input to the dryer (kW h)
solar radiation (W/m2)
saved drying time (h)
drying time (s)
time consumed by drying in open sun (h)
time consumed by solar drying (h)
specic energy consumption (kW h/kg)
specic moisture extraction rate (kg/kW h)
ambient temperature (1C)
air temperature in the dryer (1C)
inlet air temperature (1C)
outlet air temperature (1C)
sky temperature (1C)
time (h)
volumetric airow (m3/s)
mass of water evaporated from the product (kg)
ambient absolute humidity
dryer outlet absolute humidity
drying efciency (%)
pick-up efciency (%)
air density (kg/m3)

University of Malaya have tested a solar box dryer for bamboo.


Most commercial applications of solar thermal systems report a
favorable payback period (PP) of less than 3 y to replace conventional diesel-red dryers [79]. Table 1 shows the present status of
postharvest drying technology for selected tropical agricultural
and marine products [10], as well as the energy sources and the
required drying time. Most agricultural products are either sundried or dried using fossil fuels, such as kerosene, diesel, and
liqueed petroleum gas (LPG). However, SDS has not been used.

2. Prospect and status of SDS in Malaysia


Malaysia is a tropical country wherein various fruits are
cultivated as shown in Table 2. Some of these fruits are native to
this country, whereas other types are imported from elsewhere
because of their high commercial potential. The area cultivated for
local fruit planting currently measures 298,429 ha and produces
1767,800 mt of fruit per year. The estimated amount of fruit
consumed per capita in Malaysia was 48.82 kg in 2010 [11].
SDS is a promising option for preserving agricultural products
in tropical and subtropical countries [12]. Malaysia is blessed with
a tropical and humid climate which is suitable for agricultural
industry [13], and agricultural products account for the majority of
national income. SDS has been installed by Joming Solar System
Sdn Bhd for the rice industry in Butterworth. This system saves RM
23,000 per year in energy costs in comparison with traditional
drying. Tobacco curing systems can save fuel by approximately
30%. Muniandy [14] reported the results of a study conducted by
RRIM. This research postulated that forced convection SDS, which
is a mutual aid system of energy sources for drying rubber wood
pieces, is economical. Furthermore, the surrounding operating
system uses solar power; at night, the system is supported by
wood energy. With this SDS, drying 2500 kg of rubber sheets takes
only takes 46 d. Unlike conventional systems, the estimated
energy saved by this system is RM 247.

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

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Table 1
Status of post-harvest drying technology for agricultural and marine products in Malaysia.
Produce

Present drying system

Energy source

Drying time

Paddy

Coffee
Pepper

Open drying
Fixed bed dryer
Moisture extraction unit
Sundry on cement/tray
Kerosene drying
Burner blower
Rotary drying
Sundry
Sundry

Open Sun
Diesel
Diesel/Electric
Open Sun
Kerosene
Kerosene/Diesel
Diesel
Open Sun
Open Sun

Tobacco

Conventional curing

Tea
Banana
Anchovies

Drying chamber
Sundry
Sundry
Fixed bed dryer
Sundry

Rubber wood
LNG
Diesel
Open Sun and wood for smoking
Open Sun
Diesel
Open Sun and wood for smoking

56 h
45 h
2 3 h
6 Days
3540 h
36 h
4548 h
14 Days
7 Days (black pepper)
3 Days (white pepper)
100 h
100 h
25 min at 951C
1 Day
7 Days
57 h
1 Day

Cocoa

Rubber

Table 2
Typical tropical fruits planted in Malaysia, source: Department of Agriculture, 2010
statistics [11].
Fruit name

Planted area (Ha) Production (metric


tonne)

Value (RM
Million)

Star fruit
Papaya
Cempedak
Ciku
Dokong
Duku
Durian
Guava
Langsat
Mango
Mangosteen
Jackfruit
Banana
Rambutan
Salak
Watermelon

1,276
3,403
11,158
1,115
16,130
5,775
104,655
1,525
6,925
9,760
7,685
3,962
29,790
25,460
1,190
11,750

31.6
68.4
130.2
18.1
97.3
65.0
1392
50.6
69.3
83.5
79.7
63.2
476
171
15.8
309

11,820
49,760
56,631
6,050
32,420
27,680
300,470
19,650
25,660
25,510
29,520
27,459
294,530
82,740
4,530
238,050

SERI UKM has developed different types of advanced SDS with


air-based solar collectors. These SDSs are suitable for drying various
agricultural and marine products and are listed as follows: (a) SDS
with V-groove solar collectors, (b) SDS with nned double-pass
solar collectors, (c) SDS with a double-pass collector containing an
integrated storage system, and (d) SDS with a photovoltaic thermal
(PVT) collector. Fig. 1 shows an image of the forced solar dryer with
a V-groove collector. The collector is depicted in Fig. 2. The main
components of the system are solar collectors, a blower, a drying
chamber, and an auxiliary electric heater. A back-pass V-groove
collector was selected for this work; this component displayed
dimensions of 1.0 m (width)  2.3 m (length)  0.14 m (height). The
designed system consists of six set collectors in series that cover
total area of approximately 13.8 m2. Air speed can be regulated with
two fans at an electrical power of 85 W and at 2700 rpm to send
6.1517.13 m3/min of hot air to the drying chamber. This chamber is
of cabinet type and measures 1 m (width)  3 m (length)  3 m
(height). The chamber contains an adjustable rack for drying trays.
Commodities for drying are placed on these trays. The hot air from
the collector enters the chamber from the bottom and exits through
an air vent at the top. Two units of thermostat-controlled, 5 kW
electric heaters are placed at the inlet of the chamber. The fraction
of solar energy used for the continuous process is approximately
24%. The fraction of energy contributed by solar sources to the
daytime drying process is 60%. Collector efciency is approximately

Fig. 1. Image of the forced convection solar dryer with a V-groove collector.

Glass cover

V-Groove Absorber

Air inlet
Fig. 2. Back-pass V-groove solar collector.

4065% at solar radiation levels of 400700 W/m2. Moreover,


ambient temperature range is 2730 1C with airow rate that
ranges from 6.1316.7 m3/min. Drying system efciency is approximately 2030%. The performance of the SDS with a V-groove solar
collector is measured when used on chilies and herbal tea. Fresh tea
leaves with an initial moisture content of 87% (wet basis) are dried
to 54% (wet basis) moisture at a drying temperature of 50 1C and a
ow rate of 15.1 m3/min. The initial weight of the fresh tea leaves is
10.03 kg, and the nal weight is 2.86 kg. Moreover, the drying
process began at 8:00 and ended at 18:00. The total energy required
to maintain this drying chamber temperature is 60.2 kW h. The
contribution of auxiliary energy is 17.6 kW h, whereas solar energy
provides 42.6 kW h of energy during the process. The latter also
contributes 70.2% of the overall energy requirement. Nonetheless,
the leaves needed further drying to drop the weight further to
2.86 kg. The drying process is resumed until 20:00, and the
contribution of solar energy to the total energy requirement
dropped to 56.3% [1517].
A SDS with a rotating rack drying chamber was installed at
Green Energy Technology Innovation Park, UKM, Malaysia in 2012.

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Fig. 3. Image of the solar dryer with a rotating rack chamber.

Fig. 5. Image of the PV-forced convection solar dryer with a V-groove collector.

Fig. 6. Image of tunnel type solar dryers.

Fig. 4. Image of red chili placed in the rotating rack drying chamber.

The system is classied as a forced convection indirect type, and


an image of the solar dryer is displayed in Fig. 3. The SDS consists
of an auxiliary heater, fans, a rotating rack drying chamber, and a
back-pass V-groove solar collector. This SDS has been tested on
24 kg of red chilies, which were divided equally and placed on
eight trays as shown in Fig. 4.
SERI has successfully implemented a drying mechanism and
technology for drying seaweeds at Pulau Selakan, Sabah in a study
funded by a grant from the Department of Fisheries. This technology uses solar thermal energy and is presented in Fig. 5. A hybrid
solar dryer that employs V-groove technology (a patented SERI
technology) enhanced by a greenhouse effect has overcome the
technical issues encountered during conventional open drying of
seaweeds. This dryer has improved the livelihoods of community
farmers in this area. The drying system not only follows a hygienic
drying process but also increases the productivity of farmers.
However, the drying design temperature is limited to below
50 1C to protect the quality of dried seaweed.
Two units of tunnel-type SDSs for shery products were
installed for the Islamic Youth Club in Kuala Terengganu by the

Fig. 7. Image of the hybrid V-groove collector and solar house dryer for seaweed.

SERI research and development team as indicated in Fig. 6. The


second SDS is a seaweed dryer utilized in Sabah, Malaysia. This
component represented a joint effort by SIRIM and the Sabah
Fishermen Association. Fig. 7 shows an image of the photovoltaic
(PV)-forced solar dryer with a V-groove collector that was used on
seaweed in Sabah, Malaysia. This system consists of fans, a drying
chamber, nonstick trays with Teon screen tape, and a back-pass
V-groove solar collector. PV panels are employed to run the fans.
Fig. 8 depicts an image of the SDS with a nned double-pass
solar collector. The main components of this system are a solar
collector array, auxiliary heater, blower, and drying chamber. The
chamber is 4.8 m long, 1 m wide, and 0.6 m high. The four
collectors are set in series. The collector area measures 11.52 m2.
The mass ow rate is between 0.05 and 0.12 kg/s, and the average
drying temperature range is 5065 1C. This system is used to dry

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

medical herbs [18], chili, and seaweed. Specically, this SDS has
been evaluated in drying seaweed. The initial and nal moisture
contents of seaweed were 90% (wb) and 10% (wb), respectively,
and drying time is approximately 14 h at an average solar radiation
of roughly 544 W/m2 and an airow rate of 0.06 kg/s. The
efciencies of the collector, drying system, and pick-up of 40 kg
seaweed are 37%, 27%, and 92%, respectively [19].
A forced convection SDS using a nned double-pass solar collector
has been installed at OPF FELDA Kuantan, Malaysia as exhibited in
Fig. 9. The system consisted of a drying chamber, heaters, blowers, and
six double-pass solar collectors. The second pass of the collector
contains ns. Each collector is 4.8 m long and 1.2 m wide. The collector
is covered by glass. Moreover, the sides are insulated and painted black
on an aluminum absorber plate. The upper and lower channels are
3.5 and 7.0 cm deep, respectively. The bottom and sides of the collector
are installed with 2.5 cm-thick berglass wool to minimize heat loss.
This system has been evaluated in terms of its capability to dry oil
palm fronds. The drying time of 100 kg of oil palm fronds is
approximately three drying days in sunny weather (without heater).
The initial moisture content drops from 60% to 10% (wb). A temperature of 55 1C can be reached at a solar radiation level of 650 W/m2.
Furthermore, mass ow rate is 0.13 kg/s and overall system efciency
is roughly 20% [20,21].
Fig. 10 shows the SDS that uses a double-pass collector with an
integrated storage system. This system consists of a solar air
collector, blower, auxiliary heater, and drying chamber. The second
or lower channel of the solar collector is lled with porous media
that act as heat storage systems. The auxiliary heater is equipped
with an on/off controller. The temperature is set at 50 1C based on
the temperature of the inlet to the drying chamber. The solar
collector array is composed of six solar collectors. Outlet

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Fig. 10. Image of the solar dryer using a double-pass solar collector with an
integrated storage system.

Fig. 11. Image of the solar dryer using a double-pass solar collector with a PV solar
thermal collector.

Fig. 8. Image of the solar dryer using a double-pass solar collector with ns.

Fig. 9. Image of the solar dryer using a double-pass solar collector with ns.

temperature does not drop drastically, as in any conventional solar


air collector; this temperature gradually decreases in the evening
even at low solar radiation levels because the porous media in the
second channel store heat for the system. This system can be used
to dry oil palm fronds by reducing an initial moisture content of
approximately 63% to approximately 15%. Drying time is roughly
7 h long. System efciency is roughly 2530%, and evaporative
capacity is 1.26 kg/h. In addition, the auxiliary heater is applied
during unfavorable solar radiation conditions, particularly in the
morning and in the evening [22].
An SDS that uses a double-pass solar collector with an integrated storage system has been installed at Universiti Sains
Malaysia in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. The
system consisted of a drying chamber and six double-pass solar
collectors. The second channel of the collector contains porous
media. The collector is 2.4 m long and 1.2 m wide. Furthermore,
the collector area measures 17.3 m2. This system has been evaluated in terms of its capability to dry empty fruit bunches [23,24].
Fig. 11 depicts an image of the solar dryer and the nned
double-pass solar collector with a compound parabolic concentrator. The main components of this system are a PVT solar
collector array, controller, blower, and drying chamber. In conventional solar thermal systems, external electrical energy is required
to circulate working uid through the system. The need for an
external electrical source can be eliminated with this hybrid
system and a suitably designed, self-sufcient solar collector
system. The double-pass concepts have been extended to include
heat transfer augmentation features, such as ns for enhancing
heat removal through convective and conductive heat transfers
and compound parabolic collectors to boost solar radiation. The

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Fig. 12. Image of the hybrid convection SDS with a biomass backup burner.

performance of the double-pass solar collector can be improved by


including these features. The intensity of the solar radiation
incident on the PV panel can be increased by installing a booster
concentrator [25].
Fig. 12 shows an image of the hybrid convection SDS with a
biomass backup burner. This system is tested on an empty fruit
bench. The entire body of the dryer is composed of 4 mm-thick
Perspex to maximize the penetration of direct solar radiation into
the drying chamber. The base is 1 m long  1 m wide and is
composed of 10-mm thick plywood. The dryer model is 1 m high
overall, and the xed dimensions of the wood base are
0.9 m  0.9 m. A PVC pipe is installed at the upper part of the
dryer to enhance drafting of moist air from within the drying
chamber. Two aluminum-corrugated plates painted in matte black
are installed at the base [26].
A natural convection SDS with a biomass backup burner was
developed. This system consists of a drying chamber, biomass
chamber, and solar collector. The drying chamber can easily be
placed on top of the biomass chamber. No physical fastening
mechanism was applied. The solar collector is mounted on the
dryer using four bolts and nuts. Overall, the main SDS structure is
composed of 12 mm  12 mm mild steel angle iron. The system
consists of two drying modes. The rst is the solar drying mode,
which is appropriate given sufcient sunlight during day time. The
second is backup mode (biomass drying mode), which is suitable
for rainy or cloudy days and at nights. The usual drying duration of
pepper berries (57 d) is shortened to a single day of continuous
drying. This system has been studied and adapted to suit the needs
of small-scale pepper farmers in Malaysia, and the system model
has been evaluated by using commercially available computational
uid dynamic software [27,28].
Fig. 13 shows an image of the PV-forced convection solar dryer
with a V-groove collector. This drying system used a customized,
parallel ow V-groove-type collector. A fan powered by a PV
source assisted the airow through the drying system. A funnel
whose diameter increased in ascending order toward the top with
a ventilator turbine is incorporated into the system to facilitate
airow in the absence of a PV energy source. The solar dryer also
includes two 12 V, 1.2 A direct current (DC) fans attached to the
chimney intake. This drying system is designed for high efciency
and portability such that it can be readily used at plantation sites

Fig. 13. Image of the PV-forced convection solar dryer with a V-groove collector.

Fig. 14. Image of the prototype SDS with PV.

wherein crops are harvested or produced. Daily mean efciency is


approximately 44% given a mean airow rate of 0.16 kg/s at a
mean daily radiation intensity of 800 W/m2. The daily mean
temperature of the air entering the drying chamber under the
condition above is 46.8 1C. The temperature of the air entering the
drying chamber was measured as 45.8 1C on a bright sunny day
with instantaneous solar intensity of approximately 600 W/m2. In
the absence of PV or during natural convection ow, instantaneous
efciency decreases when solar radiation increases. The recorded
instantaneous efciencies are 35% and 27%, respectively, at 570
and 745 W/m2 of solar radiation. The drying chamber temperatures are 42.8 1C and 48.8 1C at the same amount of solar radiation.
Thus, the solar dryer shows great potential for application in the
drying process of agricultural and marine products.
Fig. 14 depicts a natural/forced convection SDS with PV. This
system was tested with respect to drying fodder. The prototype
solar dryer was constructed in 2011 at Malaysia Veterinary
Institute, Kluang. The components developed for this system
include a blower, a heater, PV panels, an inverter, a charge
controller, and solar rechargeable batteries. The dimensions of

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

the SDS are 3.0 m  2.5 m  2.5 m. Moreover, the system is composed of metal deck. The SDS walls and the oor are insulated by a
single layer and three layers of plywood, respectively. The drying
chamber contains a single drying bed that measures
1.0 m  0.6 m  0.8 m with a loading capacity of 3 kg of fodder
per batch. This design consists of four units of 24 V DC/100 W PV
panels that trapped the sunlight used to generate DC electricity.
These panels also supplied 220 V alternating current (AC)/200 W
to the heater to provide heat. In addition, a blower of 220 V AC/
20 W was used as force ventilation to remove moisture. The PV
panels were connected to the charge controller. Two units of 12 V
DC/100 AH solar rechargeable batteries connected in series and a
power inverter are used to convert 24 V DC into 220 V AC given
that both heater and blower operate with AC electricity. A charge
controller was installed to protect the batteries [29].
Fig. 15 displays a new design called greenhouse SDS with PV
panels, which was established in 2012. This system is designed
such that the drying process can be conducted continuously
throughout the night and in both cloudy and rainy conditions.
The dimensions of this SDS are 3.7 m  3.0 m  3.0 m. The walls of
the system are built with polycarbonate plates, and the oor is
concrete. The transparency of the drying chamber walls enables
the majority of solar radiation to pass through this chamber such
that products can be dried naturally during the day without any
additional heating. This system is equipped with two drying beds
with and without heaters. An exhaust fan and two units of energysaving uorescent light bulbs are installed to ventilate and to
illuminate the drying chamber, respectively. The system is also
installed with 10 units of 24 V DC/100 W solar panels, 6 units of
12 V DC/100 AH solar rechargeable batteries, a charge controller,
an inverter, a 220 V AC/300 W heater, and a 220 V AC/24 W
blower. The blower was installed inside the drying bed. Excess
moisture is forced out of the drying chamber by the exhaust fan.
The greenhouse SDS with PV panels should be operated at a
constant temperature of 60 1C throughout the day. The blower and
heater activate automatically when the internal temperature drops
below 60 1C [29].
Fig. 16 displays a greenhouse SDS with a diesel burner that has
been installed at MARDI station in Pasir Putih, Kelantan. This
system is used to dry grain crops. The same system is installed at
the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia) at Kuala Terengganu to dry marine products
such as sh, squid, and shrimp. This system consists of a squareshaped, blackened drying chamber. This chamber is then covered
with half-cylinder-shaped transparent sheets. The system is also
tted with an auxiliary heating system that runs on diesel power
to ensure that the drying process can be conducted continuously
throughout the day and night. A diesel heating system is installed

Fig. 15. Image of the greenhouse SDS with PV.

1197

at the rear of the drying chamber. Fans are used to move air from
the back of the system. Air enters through the bottom of the
drying chamber and passes into the chamber through a gap. The
material to be dried is placed on nets hanging from the top of the
system at the back. This system can also effectively dry tapioca,
banana, vermicelli, noodles, and other food ingredients. This
system is advantageous over others in that it can control the
temperature of the air in the drying chamber by varying
airow speed.
Fig. 17 exhibits an image of a hybrid, forced convection indirect
type solar dryer for salted sh caught in Johor. This dryer consists
of a V-groove solar air collector, a diesel burner, fans, a rotating
rack drying chamber, and a PV array. Six collectors are connected
in series for a total area of 13.8 m2. A diesel engine is equipped
with an on/off controller and attached to the system to provide
continuous heat as required by the drying commodity. Drying
chamber temperature can be controlled by setting the required
drying temperature [30].

Fig. 16. Image of the greenhouse SDS with a diesel burner.

Fig. 17. Image of salted silver jewsh placed in the hybrid solar dryer with a
rotating rack chamber.

1198

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

3. Performance and energyexergyenvironmenteconomic


analysis of SDS

products to be dried. This variable is dened as follows [38]:

3.1. SDS performance

System drying efciency is dened as the ratio of energy


required to evaporate moisture through the heat supplied to the
dryer. Global efciency is estimated with the following equations
[3944]:
The system efciency of natural convection SDS can be calculated as

Drying time is the most important parameter to consider in


evaluating an SDS. This period, which is typically measured in
hours or days, is estimated from the time during which SDS is
loaded with fresh product until the product dries to the required
moisture level [31]. Mohsin et al. [32] reported on the prospect
and future of SDS in Bangladesh. These researchers concluded that
the use of SDS considerably shorten drying time in comparison
with OSD. Furthermore, the quality of the product dried through
SDS is superior to that of products dried through OSD. Moreover,
SDS is appropriate for producing quality dried herbs, sh, fruits,
medicinal plants, spices, and vegetables.
Bala and Janjai [33] dried coffee from an initial moisture
content of 58.36% to 8.3% (wb) within 6 d of drying via solar
tunnel dryer, whereas moisture content dropped to only 26.65% in
a similar sample when OSD was used. The moisture content of a
mushroom was reduced from 89.4% to 6.14% (wb) within 8 h using
a solar tunnel dryer. In the same time period and under similar
conditions, the moisture content of a mushroom drops from
89.41% to only 15% (wb) when OSD is employed. A mango was
dried from 78.87% moisture to 13.47% moisture (wb) using a solar
tunnel dryer in 3 d; by contrast, the moisture of this fruit drops
from 78.87% to 22.48% when OSD is used during the same time
period. The moisture contents of chili from the bottom to the top
dropped to 01.58% (wb), 7.13% (wb), and 16.70% (wb) from 76.96%
(wb) in 27 h (3 d drying) at three different locations, whereas the
moisture content of a similar sample was 53.78% (wb) in OSD in
the same drying period. The moisture content in pineapple was
reduced from 87.32% to 14.13% (wb) in 3 d using a solar tunnel
dryer. By contrast, this moisture dropped to only 21.52% (wb) in
the same period with OSD.
Desai et al. [34] evaluated the time saved in the chili drying
process when solar drying is employed as compared with the time
saved through OSD. The performance of solar drying in contrast to
that of OSD was calculated with the following equation:
St

t OS  t SD
 100
t OS

Elicin and Sacilik [35] indicated that solar tunnel drying


reduced the moisture content of 2.5 kg of apples from 82% to
11% in 28 h. On the contrary, OSD required 32 h to achieve the
same level of reduction. Furthermore, solar tunnel drying saved
13% more drying time than OSD did. Medugu [36] studied two SDS
designs for 50 kg of bitter leaves and of tomatoes. The moisture
content of the former decreased to 10% from 60% (wb) following
84 and 90 h of drying in SDS. By contrast, OSD required 114 h to
lower the moisture content in a similar sample. Moreover, SDS
saved 26% and 21% more drying time than OSD did. This researcher
also reported that the moisture content of tomato reduced from
90% to 58% (wb) following 129 and 138 h of drying in SDS. By
contrast, OSD required 198 h to lower the moisture content in a
similar sample. Moreover, SDS saved 35% and 30% more drying
time than did.
Drying rate (DR) is expressed as the amount of moisture
evaporated over time. This rate is dened as follows [37]:
DR

M t dt  M t
dt

Evaporative capacity is used as a performance index for SDSs and


is the weight of water that can be extracted with the airow from the

_ da X 2m  X a
Em

WL
SAc

The system efciency of forced convection SDSs should account


for the energy consumed by the fan or the blower and can be
calculated as

WL
SAc P f

For hybrid SDSs that use additional energy from a second


source (e.g., biomass and LPG), the system efciency is given by
W L

Ac S P f mb  H b

d 

Pick-up efciency determines the efciency of moisture removal


by the drying air from the product and can be calculated as

h0  hi
W

has  hi vt has  hi

The thermal efciency of the solar collector was estimated


according to the following equation:

_ T o  T i
mC
Ac S

The thermal efciency of the OSD was estimated according to


the following equation:


m L Mi  Mf
9
t o
E100  M i
SDS with a nned double-pass solar collector (Fig. 8) required
33 h (not including nights) to reduce the moisture content of red
chili by approximately 80% to 10% (wb). By contrast, OSD required
65 h. Solar drying also saved 49% more drying time than OSD did.
Moreover, the evaporative capacity range of solar drying varied
from 0.13 kg/h to 2.36 kg/h, with an average capacity of 0.97 kg/h.
Given an airow rate of 0.073 kg/s and an average solar radiation
of 420 W/m2, collector, drying system, and pick-up efciencies
were approximately 28%, 13%, and 45%, respectively [45].
Several studies reported on methods used to dry red chili using
SDS, as listed in Table 3. SDS performance with a rotating rack drying
chamber (Fig. 3) were evaluated in terms of its capability to dry out
Malaysian red chili (Capsicum annuum L.), which is also known as chili
bangi. Red chili is a spice that is a common main ingredient in
cooking; in particular, the Malaysian red chili is nutritious, with high
concentrations of vitamin C (175 mg/100 g), calcium (15 mg/100 g),
ber (4.8%), protein (2.8%), iron (1.8 mg/100 g), ash (0.9 mg/100 g),
and lipids (0.7 mg/100 g). These values were compared with those in
several local foodstuffs. Red chili is not just used to improve food
palatability; a number of studies have shown that this product is also
benecial to human health. Furthermore, red chili is a good source of
antioxidants and is rich in vitamins A and C, minerals, and other
phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are an important source of
nutrients in the human diet. The SDS with rotating rack drying
chamber (Fig. 3) reduces the moisture content of chili bangi from
approximately 80% (wb) to 10% (wb) at a drying time of 31 h. In
comparison, OSD required 65 h. SDS also saved 52.3% more drying
time than OSD did. Given an average solar radiation of 420 W/m2 and

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

SMER is calculated as follows:

Table 3
Performances of SDSs for chili as reported by different authors.
Load
(kg)

M (%
wb)

t (h)

80
76
75
74

90
73
80
80

10
9
10
9

10
9
10
18

St

(kg/
h)

(%) t

Efciency (%)

IP

PP

SMER

Ref.

W
Pt

11

The SEC of the SDS can be calculated as [54,55]:

Mi Mt OS

24
350
300
500
80
118
115
38
40
40
200

SEC

1199

65
105
45
70

65

SDS (kW h/
kg)
31
50
27
30

32
24
33
24

5.26

0.97

52
52
40
57

38

62

49 28

28
28
28
24
21
13

Ex (W) (y)

30

22

45

57

47

2.5
2.0
4.0
3.2
3.2
3.3

SEC
a

[46]
[47]
[48]
[49]
[50]
[50]
[50]
[51]
[52]
[75]a
[98]

SDS in Malaysia.

an airow rate of 0.07 kg/s, collector, drying system, and pick-up


efciencies were 38%, 6%, and 30%, respectively [46].
Palled et al. [47] reported that a solar tunnel dryer required
50 h (67 d of sun) to reduce the moisture content of chili from an
initial value of 76% (w.b.) to a nal moisture content of 9% (w.b.).
By contrast, OSD required an average of 105 h (1314 d of sun) to
obtain the same moisture content. As a result, solar tunnel dryers
saved 52.38% more drying time than OSD did. Janjai et al. [48]
reported that a solar greenhouse dryer was installed at Champasak
in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic for the commercial drying of
1000 kg of fruits or vegetables. This dryer reduced the moisture
content of 300 kg of red chili from approximately 75% to 15% in
3 d, and the estimated PP was 2.5 y. Moreover, six units of greenhouse dryers were installed for agro-industries in Thailand in the
period of 20082009. Kaewkiew et al. [49] investigated the
performance of a large-scale greenhouse dryer for drying red chili
in Thailand. This dryer reduced moisture content from roughly 74%
to 9% in 3 d, and the estimated PP was approximately 2 y. Hossain
and Bala [50] indicated that drying 80 and 118 kg chili using an
SDS had a drying efciency of 28%, and the estimated PP was
3.2 and 4 y, respectively. Banout et al. [51] evaluated a double-pass
solar dryer (DPSD) and compared its performance with that of a
cabinet dryer and of OSD in terms of drying red chili in central
Vietnam. DPSD reduced the moisture content of approximately
40 kg of this product from roughly 90% to 10% in 32 h (including
nights), and the estimated PP was estimated 3.26 y. Mohanraj and
Chandrasekar [52] reported that a forced convection solar drier
integrated with gravel as heat storage material reduced the
moisture content of chili from 73% (wb) to 9% (wb) in 24 h with
a drying efciency of 21%.

3.2. Energy analysis

Pt
;
W

12

where the mass of water removed (W) from a wet product can be
calculated as [55,56]:


mo M i  M f
W
13
100 M f
3.3. Exergy analysis
Exergy analysis is a powerful tool for evaluating the performance
of a food drying system and has become essential to the design,
analysis, and optimization of thermal systems. This analysis is
signicant in enhancing efciency, is environmentally benign, sustainable, and uses energy economically in drying systems [57,58].
Several studies were conducted on the exergy analyses of food
drying. Chowdhury et al. [58] reported that exergy inow, outow,
and loss follow a similar pattern. Variations in these processes during
solar drying are attributed to differences in daily solar radiation.
Akpinar [59] conducted an exergy analyses of the solar drying
process of parsley leaves and of the variations in exergy inow,
outow, and loss with drying time. Akpinar et al. [60] also analyzed
the pumpkin drying process according to the rst and second law of
thermodynamics. Akpinar [61] conducted an exergy analysis of the
process of drying red pepper slices using a convective type dryer.
Ozgener and Ozgener [62] examined exergy variation during the
drying process in a passively heated solar greenhouse. Corzo et al.
[63] performed an exergy analysis of the process of drying thin
coroba slices at three different air temperatures. Colak and Hepbasli
[64] conducted an exergy analysis on a thin layer of green olive
placed in a tray dryer. Dincer and Sahin [65] developed a new model
for the thermodynamic analysis of drying processes. Midili and
Kucuk [66] performed an exergy analysis on the drying process of
shelled and unshelled pistachios using a solar drying cabinet.
Exergy analysis is based on the second of law of thermodynamics. Therefore, the general form of the exergy equation that is
applicable to steady ow systems may be expressed as [6770]:


T
_ T T a  T a ln
Ex mC
14
Ta
For the exergy inow to the drying chamber,


T
_ T dci  T a  T a ln dci
Exdci mC
Ta
For the exergy outow from the drying chamber,


T
_ T dco  T a  T a ln dco
Exdco mC
Ta

15

16

Exergy loss during solar drying is determined by:


SDS energy analysis is based on the rst law of thermodynamics, which never reects the quality of energy destruction.
During the solar drying process, the energy utilization ratios of the
drying cabinet were estimated using the following equation [53]:
EUR

_ ia hia  hoa
m
_ ia C T ia  T aai
m

10

The specic moisture extraction rate (SMER) is commonly


measured as well. SMER describes the effectiveness of SDS, which
is the energy required to remove 1 kg of water. This variable also
reects the reversal effect on specic energy consumption (SEC).

Exloss Exdci  Exdco

17

Exergy efciency can be dened as the ratio of energy use


(investment) in product drying to the exergy of the drying air
supplied to the system. However, this efciency can also be
dened as the ratio of exergy outow to exergy inow in the
drying chamber. The exergy efciencies of the drying chamber can
be determined on the basis of this denition. Therefore, the
general form of exergy efciency is expressed as follows:

Ex;da

Exdco
Ex
1  loss
Exdci
Exdci

18

1200

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

Given a greenhouse tunnel-type SDS with a chimney that uses


solar radiation energy, system efciency is given by [71]:

Ex;net Ex;da  Ex;solar

19

For a greenhouse SDS, the exergy utilization efciency (Ex;solar )


required to raise internal air temperature is determined as follows:

Ex;solar

Exout
Exrad

20

where the exergy output (Exout ) and the exergy of solar radiation
input (Exrad ) to the dryer are calculated as follows:



_ T at  T a
T a mC
21
Exout 1 
T at
t
"

 
  #
4 Ta
1 Ta 4

Exrad S  A 1 
3 Ts
3 Ts

22

The exergy efciency of a system or process is maximized when


exergy loss Exloss is minimized. The concept of exergetic improvement potential (IP) can be applied to analyze systems or processes efciently. This IP is given by [7274]:


IP 1  Ex Exloss
23
Fudholi et al. [75] conducted energy and exergy analyses of the
SDS with a nned double-pass solar collector in terms of its
capability to dry out red chili (Fig. 8). A SEC of 5.26 kg/kW h was
obtained. IP values ranged from 0 W to 135 W, with an average of
47 W. Exergy efciencies varied between 43% and 97% with an
average of 57%. Variations of exergy with drying time determined
when and where exergy losses were minimized and maximized
during the drying process.
Table 4 shows performances of SDSs for marine products as
reported by different authors. Fudholi et al. [76] performed energy
and exergy analyses of SDS with a nned double-pass solar collector
(Fig. 8) with respect to its capability to dry out red seaweed. The
seaweed was dried from an initial moisture content of 90% (wb) to a
nal moisture content of 10% (wb) in 15 h. The efciency rates of the
solar collector, drying systems, and pick-up were roughly 28%, 13%,
and 45%, respectively, at an average solar radiation of approximately
500 W/m2 and an airow rate of 0.05 kg/s. Minimum and maximum
collector efciencies were approximately 23% and 80%, respectively.
Moreover, drying temperature varied between 35 1C and 60 1C, with
an average of 48.6 1C. A SEC of 2.62 kW h/kg was obtained. Exergy
efciencies varied between 1% and 93%. IP values were in the range of
0.3 and 630 W, with an average of 247 W.
Fudholi et al. [77] studied the performance of a hybrid SDS
(Fig. 17) for Malaysian silver jewsh (Johnius saldodo), which are
also known as ikan gelama papan. This SDS reduced the moisture
content of this sh from roughly 64% (wb) to 10% (wb) at a drying
time of 8 h. Given an average solar radiation of 540 W/m2 and an
airow rate of 0.0778 kg/s, collector and drying system efciencies
were approximately 40% and 23%, respectively. A performance
index was applied to solar drying, and the SEC obtained was
2.92 kW h/kg.
Basunia et al. [78] dried 52 kg of sh sardines in Oman using
solar tunnel dryers. The moisture content of these sardines was
reduced from roughly 67% (wb) to 16% (wb) in 30 h. By contrast,
OSD required 70 h. Solar drying also saved 57% more drying time
than OSD did. Drying system efciency was approximately 30%.
Chavan et al. [79] examined the drying performance, quality
characteristics, and cost of drying 25 kg of Indian Mackerel
(Rastrilliger Kangurta) using a solar tunnel dryer. The moisture
content of this sh was reduced from roughly 72% (wb) to 16%
(wb) in 27 h. By contrast, OSD required 48 h. Solar drying also
saved 44% more drying time than OSD did. Drying system
efciency and PP were approximately 20% and 1.5 yr.

Table 4
Performances of SDSs for marine products as reported by different authors.
Load M (%wb)
(kg)

Mi

Mt

Seaweed
40
90 10
Silver jewsh
51
64 10
Fish sardines
52
67 16
Mackerel
25
72
16

t (h)

St

OS SDS

(%) kW h/kg t

15

2.62

35

27

95 30

2.92

40 23

70

30

57

48

27

44

SEC

Efciency (%)

IP

PP

Ref.

Ex (W) (y)

247

[76]a

[77]a

30

[78]

20

1.5 [79]

OSopen sun; SDSsolar drying system; tdrying time; Stsaving in time; SEC
specic energy consumption; tthermal efciency; ddrying efciency; ppickup efciency; IPimprovement potential; PPpayback period.
a

SDS in Malaysia.

Table 5 shows the SDS performance levels given agricultural


products. Chowdhury et al. [80] conducted an energy and exergy
analysis of the process of solar drying jackfruit leather. The
moisture content of this leather decreased from roughly 76%
(wb) to 12% (wb) in 14 h (daytime drying). Collector, drying
system, and exergy efciencies were approximately 33%, 48%,
and 41%, respectively.
Mohanraj and Chandrasekar [81] compared the drying characteristics and qualities of copra dried using a forced convection
SDS with those dried through OSD. The moisture content of 50 kg
of copra was reduced from 52% (wb) to a nal moisture content of
9% (wb) in 66 h. By contrast, OSD required 168 h. Solar drying also
saved 61% more drying time than OSD did. SEC and pick-up
efciency were 1.19 kW h/kg and 29%, respectively.
Shanmugam and Natarajan [82] studied a desiccant integrated
solar dryer for green peas. The moisture content of 20 kg of green
peas decreased from 80% (wb) to a nal moisture content of 5%
(wb) in 1421 h. corresponding SEC and pick-up efciency were
1.221.82 kW h/kg and 2542%, respectively.
Forson et al. [83] reported that the initial moisture contents of
49, 66, and 192 kg of cassava were reduced from 66% and 67% (wb)
to a nal moisture content of 17% (wb) with drying efciencies of
34% and 36%.
Prasad et al. [84] evaluated the performance of a hybrid SDS
given turmeric (Curcuma longa L.). This SDS reduced the moisture
content of 15 kg turmeric from 78% (wb) to 9% (wb) at a drying
time of 36 h. By contrast, OSD required 266 h. The hybrid SDS also
saved 86% more drying time than OSD did. Drying efciency
was 29%.
Zomorodian et al. [85] optimized and evaluated a SDS for rice. A
total of 132 kg of rough rice was dried in 3 h using SDS and in 13 h
using OSD. The SDS saved 76% more drying time than OSD did, and
drying efciency was 18%.
Rathore and Panwar [86] studied a hemi-cylindrical walk-in
type tunnel dryer for grape drying. The moisture content of 320 kg
of grapes decreased from 85% (wb) to 16% (wb) in 70 h. Drying
efciency was 30%.

3.4. Environmental analysis


Renewable energy technology signicantly mitigates greenhouse
gas emission and can prevent global warming by replacing natural
energy sources. At present, fossil fuel consumption is increasing
considerably because of an increasing world population, improvements in quality of life, and the industrialization of developing
countries. The most important factor that causes global warming is
carbon dioxide, which is mainly produced by fossil fuels. Therefore,

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

Table 5
Performances of SDSs for agricultural products as reported by different authors.
Load

M (%wb) t (h)

(kg)

Mi

Mt

OS

Apple
2.5
82 11 32
Bitter leaves
50
60 10 114
50
60 10 114
Tomato
50
90 58 198
50
90 58 198
Jackfruit leather
50
76 12
Copra
60
52 9
168
Green peas
20
80 5

20
80 5

20
80 5

Cassava
49
66 17
66
67 17
162
66 17
Turmeric rhizomes
15
78 9
266
Rough rice
132

13
Grapes
320 85 16
Rosella owers
200 90 18
Bamboo
40
96 17
Banana
300 69 30 54
100 70 24
Longan
100 81 12
Mushroom
160
89 6

Tomato
1000 54 17
Chili

89 7
104

SEC

St

Efciency (%)

SDS (kW h/kg) (%) t

IP

PP

Ex (W) (y)

Ref.

28

13

[35]

84
90

26
21

[36]
[36]

129
138

35
30

[36]
[36]

41

[80]

1201

3.5. Economic analysis


Financial viability is key for any SDS to compete successfully
with other dryers. Economic analysis generally examines xed SDS
cost, drying cost, and payback. Payback is estimated as the period
(number of months/years) in which the initial cost and annual
expenses (including compound interest for operation and maintenance) equal total savings. The economic analysis of a SDS
should incorporate the cost benet as a result of improved quality
and yield, a reduced oor area, and accelerated drying [93,94].
Fudholi et al. [94] suggested two economic SDS indicators,
namely, PP and net present value (NPV). SDS capital cost (FC) is
dened as the sum of the costs of all components, including the
collector, drying chamber, blower, auxiliary heater, distribution
system, and installation. The cost of drying (products) can be
divided into xed and direct costs. Direct costs include fresh
materials, labor cost control, electrical, maintenance, and insurance costs. Product cost can be calculated as follows:

14

33 48

66

1.19

61

29

[81]

14
18
21

1.22
1.54
1.82

42
35
25

[82]
[82]
[82]

34
34
36

[83]
[83]
[83]

where

36

86

29

[84]

76

18

[85]

70

30

[86]

27

[98]

In these equations, PC is production cost, MTC is the cost of


fresh materials, LBC represents labor costs, ELC denotes electricity
costs, MC is maintenance cost, and IC is insurance cost.
Investment performance can be determined by analyzing
production. Prot is dened as the difference between total sales
(TS) and all expenses. Prot can be calculated by:

33

56 23 61

1.6 [99]

PR TSFCPC

36
36

44

3
[100]
2.3 [101]

Return of capital is also known as prot from investment and is


inuenced by time. This variable can be calculated by:

27

2.3 [101]

ROR

34 52

0.7 [102]

40

0.6 [103]

PP is the investment cost per average annual net income.


Returns indicate recovered invested capital. PP is calculated by:

56

46 34

0.6 [104]

PP

OSopen sun; SDSsolar drying system; tdrying time; Stsaving in time; SEC
specic energy consumption; Eevaporative capacity; tthermal efciency; d
drying efciency; ppickup efciency; IPimprovement potential; PPpayback
period.

renewable energy is a welcome alternative as a clean energy source


[87,88].
Solar energy systems, especially for solar drying, are widely
distributed in developing countries [89,90]. Kumar and Kandpal
[89] studied the mitigation of CO2 emission through the implementation of solar drying for selected cash crops in India.
Ekchhukwu and Norton [90] suggested that the development of
a SDS for agricultural products such as coriander, onion akes,
small cardamom, seeds, tea, and tobacco is a potential area for the
immediate introduction of solar energy to limit CO2 emission.
The annual CO2 emitted from different fuels was estimated
with the fuel analysis approach proposed by the North Carolina
Division of Air Quality [91]:

CO2 emission kg fuel comsumption kg


24
CO2 emission factor
Annual CO2 emission is inuenced by fuel type and its
consumption per annum. The CO2 emissions by light diesel oil
and LPG were 2.752 and 1.529 kg CO2/kg, respectively [92].

PC MTC LBC ELC EC;

EXC MC IC

PR
FC

25

26

27

28

FC
PR

29

Rate of return of capital and PP do not consider the effect on value


for money. Thus, NPV calculates the present value of excess cash ow
throughout the project, and is the total present value for annual net
cash ow minus capital costs. NPV is calculated as follows:
NPV

N
X

P n 1 in  FC;

30

n1

where
P n S1 i  n ;

31

where Pn is the discounted present value (S) to be invested during n


years in the future. The investment with a positive NPV is selected.
Traditional OSD was excluded from the economic evaluation
because of irrelevancy. Dryer cost is calculated as the sum of the
costs of used construction materials, including labor expenses.
Drying cost (DC) is estimated as the ratio of annual cost (AC) to the
quantity of dried product per annum (QG). Mathematically, DC can
be determined with [95]:
DC

AC
QG

Annual costs are calculated using [95,96]:


!
L
X
1


AC C T
mi i

L  1
i1

32

33

1202

A. Fudholi et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 11911204

Maintenance costs were assumed 2% of total dryer cost. Lifespans


were 5 and 10 y for the natural convection cabinet dryer and the
forced convection SDS, respectively. The quantity of dried product
per annum is calculated from dryer throughput per hour (Qh) and
the number of operating hours in years (Dh). QG is given by the
following equation:
Q G Q h  Dh

34

The economic analysis of SDSs usually aims to determine PP


(N). This variable is calculated by [96]:


ln 1  CSvT d  f


N
35
f
ln 11
d
Panwar et al. [97] suggested four different economic SDS
indicators, namely, net present worth (NPW), benetcost ratio
(BCR), internal rate of return (IRR), and PP. These indicators were
estimated by the following equations:
NPW

tX
n

t
t 1 1 i

tP
n

BCR

Bt  C t

1
tt
n
P
t1

Bt t
1 it

36

37

Ct
1 it

IRR can be obtained through a systematic procedure of trialand-error that identies the discount rate. As a result, the NPW of
the incremental net benet stream is zero. Mathematically, IRR
can be determined by:
tX
n

Bt  C t
t
t 1 1 i

38

Janjai et al. [98] studied the performance of a roof-integrated


SDS for drying herbs and spices. The initial moisture content of
200 kg of Rosella owers decreased from 90% (wb) to a nal
moisture content of 18% (wb) at a drying time of 27 h. PP was 5 y.
Moreover, the moisture content of 200 kg of chili dropped from
80% (wb) to a nal moisture content of 18% (wb) in 24 h. The
corresponding PP was 5 y as well.
Banout and Ehl [99] used a DPSD to dry bamboo. Moisture
content decreased from 96% (wb) to 17% (wb) at a drying time of
33 h. The efciencies of the collector, drying system, and pick-up
were approximately 56%, 23%, and 61%, respectively. PP was 1.6 y.
Hence, DPSP is technically and economically suitable for drying
bamboo shoots under specic conditions in central Vietnam.
Schirmer et al. [100] studied the performance of a solar tunnel
dryer for bananas. The moisture content of 300 kg of bananas
decreased from 69% (wb) to a nal moisture content of 30% (wb) at
a drying time of 36 h. By contrast, OSD required 54 h. Solar drying
also saved 44% more drying time than OSD did. PP was 3 y.
Janjai et al. [101] investigated the performance of a PVventilated solar greenhouse dryer for drying peeled longans and
bananas. The moisture content of 100 kg of bananas was reduced
from 70% (wb) to a nal moisture content of 24% (wb) at a drying
time of 36 h. PP was 2.3 y. The moisture content of 100 kg of
longans dropped from 81% (wb) to a nal moisture content of 12%
(wb) at a drying time of 27 h. PP was 2.3 y.
Bala et al. [102] subjected mushrooms to solar drying using a
solar tunnel dryer. The moisture content of 160 kg of mushrooms
was reduced from 89% (wb) to a nal moisture content of 6% (wb)
in 8 h. Collector and drying efciencies were 34% and 52%,
respectively. PP was 0.7 y.

Janjai [103] reported that the moisture content of 1000 kg of


tomatoes decreased from 54% to 17% (wb) in 40 h when greenhouse SDSs were used. PP was 0.6 y. Kamble et al. [104] dried chili
using a solar cabinet dryer coupled with a gravel bed heat storage
system. The moisture content of this product dropped from 89%
(wb) to 7% (wb) in 56 h. By contrast, OSD required 104 h. Solar
drying also saved 46% more drying time than OSD did. Collector
efciency and PP were 34% and 0.6 yr, respectively, as shown in
Table 5.

4. Conclusion
SDSs can be cost-effective with respect to energy savings,
manufacturing labor requirements, and construction materials. In
Malaysia, such systems with air-based solar collectors exhibit stable
output temperature and high performance. Construction materials
for these solar collectors are also available locally. Technical directions in SDS development include compact collector design, high
efciency, integrated storage, and long-lasting drying system. Universities and research institutions have evaluated SDSs for agricultural and marine products. Small-scale trials have also been
conducted for solar drying experiments by various agencies.
SDSs with PVT collectors can easily be constructed using simple
tools and limited labor. Dryers are simple to load and unload.
Furthermore, these systems can be maintained by farmers themselves. The performance of the solar collector in heating the drying
air is satisfactory. Moreover, quality attributes of chili, such as
color, avor, and taste, are signicantly improved as this product is
protected from rain, dust, and insects, unlike in OSD. The method
of powering the fans with the solar module of the PVT collector is
suitable and appropriate for use in remote rural areas in which
power is not supplied from the grid.
SDS performance was measured by different authors in terms
of capacity, drying time, energy consumption, and efciencies.
SDSs with air-based solar collectors were compared with OSD. SDS
saved 46% more drying time than OSD did as per this review, and
saved drying time ranged from 13% to 86%. The rates of thermal
efciency, drying system, and pick-up efciency were 39%, 27%,
and 41%, respectively. Minimum and maximum drying efciencies
were 6% and 52%, respectively. SEC values also ranged from
1.19 kW h/kg to 5.26 kW h/kg, with an average of 2.37 kW h/kg.
The exergy efciency of SDS ranged from 30% to 57%, with an
average of 43%. The IP of SDS ranged from 47 W to 247 W, with an
average of 147 W. In addition, the minimum and maximum PPs
were 0.6 and 5 y, respectively, with an average of 2.6 y.

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Higher
Education Malaysia (FRGS/1/2014/ST02/UKM/03/1) and UKM
(PHUM-2013-010) for providing funding, as well as SERI, UKM
for providing laboratory facilities and technical support.
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