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Development of Solar Assisted Multi-Crop Dryer

Authors:

G. M. A. S. Galappaththi,

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura (50000), LK
About G. M. A. S.
Department of Agricultural Engineering and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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G. V. T. V. Weerasooriya ,

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura (50000), LK
About G. V. T. V.
Department of Agricultural Engineering and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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A. J. Fernando,

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura (50000), LK
About A. J.
Department of Agricultural Engineering and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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D. P. Senanayaka

National Institute of Post-Harvest Management, Research & Development Centre, Jayanthi Mawatha, Anuradhapura (50000), LK
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Abstract

Appropriate technology for the conversion of solar radiation to thermal energy is vital for food dehydration. Solar drying considered an advancement of sun-drying is an efficient solar energy system. A reliable and low-cost multi-crop solar drying technique is required for small scale farmers in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop a solar heater assisted multi-crop dryer for small scale farmers. The main components of solar dryer are flat plate solar collector, drying chamber, solar panel with air DC heater, turbo ventilator, exhaust fans, and temperature control system. The performance of the fabricated solar assisted multi-crop dryer with DC air heater was evaluated for drying rate and drying efficiency of three agro-products; bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). The drying rates were 0.151 kgh-1 for bitter gourd, 0.145 kgh-1 for jackfruit, and 0.154 kgh-1 for mushroom. The efficiency of solar collector was 25.84%. The drying efficiencies for bitter gourd, jackfruit, and mushroom were 12.85%, 12.35%, and 13.15%, respectively. Further, favorable colour could be achieved by the modified solar assisted multi crop dryer. Therefore, the solar assisted multi-crop dryer designed in the present experiment is an effective method of converting solar radiation to thermal energy and could be recommended for small scale farmers in Sri Lanka for drying agro products. Further improvements are required to increase solar thermal efficiency.
How to Cite: Galappaththi, G.M.A.S., Weerasooriya, G.V.T.V., Fernando, A.J. and Senanayaka, D.P., 2021. Development of Solar Assisted Multi-Crop Dryer. Sri Lankan Journal of Agriculture and Ecosystems, 3(1), pp.17–29. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljae.v3i1.58
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Published on 29 Jun 2021.
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