Modeling and Experimental Investigation a Solar Tray Dryer with Indirect Forced Convection using Phase Change Materials

Document Type : Original Article


1 Chemical Engineering Department, University of Isfahan, Hezar Jerib Ave., Isfahan, Iran.

2 University of Mohagheghe Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran


Solar energy is rapidly gaining attention in different industries, especially agricultural industries. Application of this clean energy in drying industry resulted in many investigations in academia. Dryers with energy storage can reduce thermal fluctuations of solar irradiations and also enhance drying efficiency of agricultural products. In this study, paraffin phase change material has been used as energy storage and the performance of a solar tray dryer with indirect forced convection has been investigated. The mathematical model of the energy balance for the process has been derived. The effect of parameters namely inlet air velocity and collector surface area on the final moisture content of samples and air outlet temperature have been studied. Air inlet temperature has been tested at two levels of 1 and 3m/s using a collector surface area of 2m2 with and without energy storage. The integration of energy storage enhances the efficiency by 37% and reduces the outlet moisture content. Lower inlet air velocity and larger collector surface area results in lower final moisture content of samples. On the other hand, for higher ambient temperature even higher inlet air velocity can result in lower moisture content of products. Comparison of experimental data with simulation results shows correlation coefficient of 96.27.