Design and experimental study of solar agricultural dryer for rural area

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The solar dryer described in this paper can be used for drying various products in rural area under hygienic conditions. This solar drying system was constructed, consisting of two parts (solar collector and solar drying cabinet). Solar collector with area of 1.2m2 (1.2mx1mx0.2m) has black painted rocks to absorb solar radiation and a cabinet that is divided into five divisions separated by four removable shelves. Each shelf is 0.3m width and 0.5m length and made of nylon wire net framed in wooden border. Three sides of the drying chamber walls are covered by fibreglass sheet and a door in the back. Grapes were dried during the present work. The moisture content of grapes was reduced from 81.7% to 36.7% within five days of drying. The drying air flows through the product by natural circulation.

In this work two modes of operation are discussed. The results were applied to the design of modified large scale solar agricultural dryer. This paper deals with a suitable design of a solar agricultural dryer that can be built in rural area with locally available construction materials and skills.

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