Thermal Performance Analysis of Solar Dryer Integrated with Heat Energy Storage System and a Low-Cost Parabolic Solar Dish Concentrator for Food Preservation
Abstract: Solar energy has become a viable alternative energy because it is a clean type of energy that converts solar radiation into heat energy for various applications such as heating water, power generation, cooking, and food drying. The solar dryer, integrated with the heat energy storage system, uses nitrate salt as a heat storage medium which was designed and tested by drying 1000 grams of red pepper at 19.6 to 62.4°C. The average ambient temperature ranged from 19.3 to 37.4°C, and the maximum temperature of the heat storage media ranged from 87.8 to 125°C. The solar drying process was compared to open sun drying system loaded with 1000 grams of red pepper. The findings showed that the solar dryer maintained color and flavor and lowered the original moisture content from 86% to 10% for 24 hours compared to 36 hours of drying in open air. In this study, nitrate salt is shown to be the perfect heat storage medium for drying food products; it preserved heat for about 4 hours when there is no active sunlight.
Keywords: salt / Heat / medium / pepper / Hours / viable / solar dryer / Grams
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