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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 which grow grapes to a sizeable extent as per the final data
designed for grape fruit and experimentally studied at of 2013 available on the website of Food and Agriculture
Miraj,India(16.830N).The system consist of flat plate air Organization. The annual yield of grapes in India during
heater connected to drying chamber. To study the effect of 2013 was 2,483,000 MT and the major grape growing states
drying time on indirect type forced convection solar dryer, are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and
30kg of good quality of grapes are loaded. It has been Tamil Nadu.
experimentally analysed that drying time can be reduced up There are different varieties of grapes grown in
to 6 days as compared to conventional method which India that are used for specific purposes. They are used in
requires 10-12 days. The main advantage of forced wine making, raisin making and for table purpose. The
convection solar dryer is to produce good quality raisins. raisin purpose varieties are—Thompson seedless,
This system is suited for farmers having small rate of raisins Manikchaman, Sonaka, Black corinth, Black monukka,
production. It is observed that grapes dried in solar dryer Arkavati, and Dattier. Traditional drying methods are
take lesser time to reach the safe level of moisture content successfully employed in almost all grape producing
for storage as compared to open sun drying and quality of countries. Drying is a dual process of heat transfer to the
raisins produced are more superior. product from the heating source. And mass transfer of
Key word: Solar dryer, Raisin, Drying time moisture from the interior of the product to its surface and
from the surface to the surrounding air. India receives an
I. INTRODUCTION enormous amount of solar energy: on average, of the order
Food is a basic need for all human beings along with air and of 5 kW h/m2day for over 300 days/year. This energy can
water. Food problem arises in most developing countries be used for thermal or electrical applications.
mainly due to the inability to preserve food surpluses rather Thermal drying, which is most commonly used for
than due to low production. Agricultural yields are usually drying agricultural products, involves vaporization of
more than the immediate consumption needs, resulting in moisture within the product by heat and its subsequent
wastage of food surpluses during the short harvest periods evaporation from the product. Thus, thermal drying involves
and scarcity during post-harvest period. Hence, a reduction simultaneous heat and mass transfer Drying is the most
in the post-harvest losses of food products should have common form of food preservation and extends the food
considerable effect on the economy of these countries. More shelf life. There has been notable improvement in the
than 80% of food is being produced by small farmers in traditional methods of drying grapes, but the quality of
developing countries. These farmers dry food products by raisin produced is unable to meet the international market
natural sun drying, an advantage being that solar energy is standards. In order to improve the quality of raisins,
available free of cost, but there are several disadvantages industrial dryers such as solar and hot air dryers were
which are responsible for degradation and poor quality of introduced. The main disadvantage of solar dryer is the
the end product. Certain variety of food products are not availability of solar radiation for a limited period of time.
supposed to be dried by natural sun drying because they lose The use of mechanical industrial dryers has been restricted
certain basic desirable characteristics. Experiments carried due to the high fuel and electrical energy costs. It is also not
out in various countries have clearly shown that solar dryers economically viable to develop industrial dryers only for the
can be effectively used for drying agricultural produce. It is sake of grape drying as they have a very short harvest
a question of adopting it and designing the right type of period.
solar dryer.
From the limited data available on post-harvest II. SOLAR DRYING TECHNOLOGY
losses in fruits and vegetables, it is understood that the
A. Direct Type Solar Dryers:
actual losses are much higher. The minimum reported loss is
21%, while some references indicate estimates of above 40– In the direct type of solar dryer, solar radiation passes
50%. The most notable feature is that many varieties of through a transparent cover, usually glass, to be incident on
fruits are seasonal and many of them are consumed in their the grapes placed for drying. The glass cover reduces direct
dried form to a large extent which has been made possible convective losses to the surroundings and increases
by the process of drying. temperature inside the dryer.
Drying is quite a simple ancient skill. It is one of 1) Solar Cabinet Dryer:
the easily accessible and the most widespread processing A solar cabinet dryer loaded with grapes to be dried is
technology. Drying grapes either by open sun drying, shade shown in figure-1. It is a small hot box, usually made up of
drying or mechanical drying produces raisins. Historically, wood and having a length of about three times its width. The
production of raisins from grapes can be traced back to 1490 sides and bottom of the cabinet are painted black internally
BC in Greece. There are sixty one countries in the world 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


Condition And
Sr.No Content
Fig. 1: Solar cabinet dryer Assumption
1 Location
B. Indirect Solar Drying Of Grapes: Latitude 16.830C
There are many drying systems which use the indirect 2 Crop Thompson Grape
means of solar drying. Two types of indirect solar drying 3 Drying period March
systems are discussed. They are: Natural circulation and Loading rate, mp
4 30Kg
Forced circulation. [kg/days]
1) Natural Circulation Type: Initial moisture content,
5 79.24%
In these solar dryers, air movement is due to natural Mi [%] w.b
circulation. Grapes get heated due to direct absorption of Final moisture content,
6 20.76%
heat or due to high temperature in the enclosure and then Mf [%] w.b
moisture evaporated from the grapes escapes out of the Ambient air temperature,
7 320C
chamber by natural circulation of air. tam [0C]
2) Indirect Type Conventional Solar Dryer: Incident solar radiation,
8 700-1200 W/m2
This type of solar dryer has a solar collector for heating air Ir (W/m2)
and a drying chamber to accommodate trays over which 9 Wind speed, Ws[km/hr] 5Km/Hr
grapes are spread as shown in figure-2. The solar collector Drying time (sunshine 8hr(considering
uses a transparent foil cover and a black absorber sheet. The 10
hours) td [hrs] sunshine hr)
drying chamber is covered by a transparent foil which Table 1: Design specifications and assumptions
protects the grapes from rain and dust. The solar collector
collects the solar energy and heats the air entering through IV. CALCULATIONS
an inlet. Heated air enters the drying chamber from beneath
The various parameters related to raisins formation and
the tray and flows upwards through the grapes carrying
other are calculated.
moisture with it. This moist air goes out of the opening
1) The amount of moisture removed from the grapes,
provided at the top.
Mw (kg) was calculated by using the following
Mw=Mp (Mi-Mf)/100-Mf (1)
2) Final relative humidity or Equilibrium Relative
Humidity, ERH (%) was calculated using ―Sorption
Isotherms Equation‖
aw=1e^ ((-e^ ((0.914+0.5639ln (M)) (2)
3) Calculations for collector area
Ac=E/I×Td×n (3)
4) Air flow rate calculated by,
(Q)=Cd×A√ (4)
Fig. 2: Natural convection solar dryer
A. Calculating Parameters:
C. Forced Circulation Type:
In these types of solar dryers air is forced into or out of the Sr.No Parameters
drying chamber using a blower or fan which is electrically Value
or mechanically operated. Amount of moisture to be
1 22.14 kg
2 Equilibrium Relative Humidity 69.02%

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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 six days until required good quality raisins were obtained.
3 54083.14 KJ
water Moreover three sprays of chemical treatment were carried
4 Collector area 0.9 m2 during this span. After this final weight of resins was done
5 Air flow rate 0.04165 m3/s and the netting procedure was carried out to separate the
6 Mass of air 0.047 kg/s raisins according to quality. The sample of raisins was again
Table 2: Calculating parameters tested in laboratory.
Collector Inlet Collector Outlet Cabinet Outlet
V. MATERIALS AND METHOD Temp 0c Temp 0c Temp 0c
A schematic diagram of the forced convection solar drier is 32.9 38.7 38.1
shown in Fig. 3. The solar drier consists of flat plate solar 11:00
air heater of area 0.9 m2 connected with drying chamber. am
34.2 41.9 40.8
The solar air heater has 3 mm thick G.I. absorber plate 12:00
coated with black paint to absorb the incident solar 34.8 42.3 41.3
radiation. The absorber plate is placed directly behind the 01:00
transparent cover (glass) with a layer of air separating it 36.2 42.6 41.2
from the cover. The air to be heated passes between the 02:00
transparent cover (glass) and the absorber plate. To increase 35.5 44.9 40.8
the temperature of air by green house effect, a glass cover of 03:00
35.4 45.7 40.8
5 mm thickness was placed. The gap between the glass and pm
the absorber surface was maintained at 25 mm for air 04:00
35.2 46.8 39.5
circulation. One side of the collector was connected to the pm
blower with the help of reducer and the other side was Table 3: Average temperature variation in different location
attached with drier cabin. The drying chamber is made up of of collector and cabinet (one day)
mild steel sheet of 3 mm thickness with width, depth and
height of (762×762×889) 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 Graph 1 Temperature vs time
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 Graph 2 Radiation vs sunshine hours (one day)
content and nutritional values of grapes was calculated by
laboratory testing of the sample of the grapes before starting VII. CONCLUSION AND RESULT
experimental procedure and the information was used for The maximum utilization of solar energy is possible with
various purposes. The experimental procedure was started our system as the maximum temperature obtained is 48oC in
by loading of grapes on the trays of drier cabinet. After the cabinet .The hygienic conditions can be maintained
loading complete sealing of cabinet was done so that there easily as the whole system is air tight hence contamination
no any air leakage. Then the blower was connected to the by the dust particles and other contaminants can be avoided
setup and the flow was adjusted as per calculation. The which is not possible in conventional system. Drying time
temperatures at various sections of the dryer were taken can be reduced up to 6 days as compare to conventional
from digital thermometers at regular intervals of time up to method which requires 10-12 days as we obtained better
six days. At the same time solar radiations were measured quality raisins in 6 days from our experiment. With our
with digital pyranometer. This procedure was continued for 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)

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Fig. 4: Photograph of Experimental Set- up
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Fig. 6: Raisins

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