Design Development of Solar Dryer for Fruit Chips, Ready Kit, 100% Tested


Agricultural and other products have been dried by the sun and wind in the open air for thousands of years. The purpose is either to preserve them for later use, as is the case with fruit; or as an integral part of the production process, as with timber, tobacco and laundering. In industrialised regions and sectors, open air-drying has now been largely replaced by mechanised dryers, with boilers to heat incoming air, and fans to force it through at a high rate. Mechanised drying is faster than open-air drying, uses much less land and usually gives a better quality product. But the equipment is expensive and requires substantial quantities of fuel or electricity to operate. Solar fruit dryer are simple devices to heat fruit chips by utilizing solar energy and employed in many applications requiring low to moderate temperature below 80oDrying processes play an important role in the preservation of agricultural products. ‘Solar drying’ in the context of this technical brief, refers to methods of using the sun’s energy for drying, but excludes open air ‘sun drying’. The justification for solar dryers is that they may be more effective than sun drying, but have lower operating costs than mechanised dryers. A number of designs are proven technically and while none are yet in widespread use, there is still optimism about their potential. The solar dryer can be seen as one of the solutions to the world’s food and energy crises. With drying, most agricultural produce can be preserved and this can be achieved more efficiently through the use of solar dryers. Thus, the solar dryer is one of the many ways of making use of solar energy efficiently in meeting man’s demand for energy and food and fruit supply, total system cost is a most important Consideration in designing a solar dryer for agricultural uses. No matter how well a solar system operates, it will not gain widespread use unless it presents an economically feasible alternative to other available energy sources.

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