Potentials of Industrial Solar Drying of Agricultural Produce

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Author(s) Oyetunde Adeoye Adeaga | Ademola Adebukola Dare | Fatai Olasunkanmi Raji
Pages 400-414
Volume 3
Issue 7
Date July, 2014
Keywords Humidity, Produce, Convection, Software, Collector- Area, Auxiliary Source

The applications of solar energy in all spheres of endeavours are now becoming more complex and demanding in developing nations of Africa like Nigeria. As such necessary analysis for the potentials of this renewable and sustainable energy source is essential. This paper focused on the potentials of solar drying for industrial purposes in three strategic locations in Nigeria (i.e. Ibadan, Kano and Port-harcourt).An editable data based software was developed using material balance equation and moisture content expression. Data of average sunshine and relative humidity were used to simulate 50,000kg (50 tonnes) of agricultural produce per month. The software (which was coded in Visual Basic Language )considers, the location of the site on the globe and a tilted flat plate solar collector using air as the collector fluid in a forced convection heat transfer system. The choice of fan depends on the mass flow rate of air required for the drying. With the economic analysis duration of 20 years for the three locations, a solar collector area of 85.46m2 supplied about 67% of the annual energy needed for Ibadan, a collector area of 80.71m2 supplied about 88% of the annual energy needed for Kano while for Port Harcourt with collector area of 75.96m2 supplied about 55.8% of the annual solar energy needed. The make- up energy needed is expected to be supplied by auxiliary source.

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