Design and Construction of Indirect Solar Coffee Dryer

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Abstract

Drying is the process of removing moisture contents from solid. Solar drying refers to a technique that utilizes incident solar radiation to convert it into thermal energy required for drying purposes. This project presents the design, construction and performance of an indirect type solar dryer for coffee product. In the dryer the air inters into the solar collector from the atmosphere through air inlet hole. This air will be heated in the collector and then pass to the drying chamber through the hole. Then the air exhausts through the outlet hole at the top of the drying chamber. The system designed can handle a capacity of up to 50kg of wet coffee per m2at a depth of 100 mm. The average sunshine at Bale Robe was found to be 12 hours per day. The daily solar insolation at the site was found to be 5.86kW/m2 of surface per day. By utilizing the solar collector in question and assuming a collector efficiency of 20 %, the total solar energy received is 5.86 kW-hrs/m2/day or 46.88 kW-hours per day (assuming the sunshine hours per day to be 8 hours). This solar dryer has a collector efficiency of 39.1%, a pick-up efficiency of 49.3%, and a system efficiency of 32.2%. the collector area of the system is calculated to be 1.11m2 and the total length of 1000mm by 300mm. The drying chamber is essentially a cabinetry dryer and measures 1020mm × 800mm × 30mm. It accommodates a drying bin which acts as the holding compartment for the wet coffee to be dried. The base of the drying chamber is made of a block of wood material 50mm deep, since wood is a good thermal insulator. The wood must be well seasoned and pre-treated to ensure it is protected from the humid environment. The air outlet is fitted at the top of the drying chamber which serves as the exit for the moisture ridden air. It is important since it ensures that moisture does not condense at the top of the drying chamber and speeds up the rate of drying through creating the suction effect. The drying bin measures 800mm × 800mm × 20mm.

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Gachen*, A., Hirpesa, Z., & Woyessa, L. N. (2020). Design and Construction of Indirect Solar Coffee Dryer. International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineering, 4(9), 2943–2956. https://doi.org/10.35940/ijitee.d2004.029420

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