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Development of Solar Poly House Tunnel Dryer (STD) for Medicinal Plants

Authors: N. C. Shahi, Anupama Singh, A. E. Kate


There was a scenario present day that drying of fresh fruits and vegetables by indirect solar drying by using mechanical device; hence, an effort was made to develop a small scale solar tunnel dryer (STD). Drying of spinach is carried out to analyze the performance of the dryer and to study its drying characteristics. To evaluate the performance of dryer the independent variables were selected as air flow rate, loading density and shade net while collector efficiency, drying efficiency, overall efficiency and specific energy consumption were selected as responses during performing the experiments. The spinach was dried from initial moisture content 88.21-94.04% (w.b.) to final moisture content 3.50-5.13% (w.b.). The drying time considerably reduced as compared to open sun drying of spinach as sun drying took 15 h for drying. The average collector efficiency, drying efficiency and overall efficiency were in the range 28.73-61.15%, 11.63% to 22.13%, and 7.61-14.66%, respectively.

Keywords: Solar dryer, collector efficiency, drying efficiency, spinach.

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