Energy and Exergy Analysis of an Indirect-Mode Natural Convection Solar Dryer for Maize

  •  Isaac N. Simate    


The energy and exergy analysis of an indirect-mode natural convection solar dryer for maize grain is presented. Two different sizes of maize grain bed depths of 0.04 m and 0.02 m translating into grain loads of 10 kg and 5 kg respectively, are used in the study to determine their effects on the collector energy and exergy efficiencies and the drying chamber exergy efficiency. Experiments were carried out using an indirect-mode laboratory solar dryer under a solar simulator with a radiation setting of 634.78 W/m2. The analysis gave average collector energy efficiencies of 33.3 % and 46.2 % for the 10 kg and 5 kg loads, respectively, which are higher than the collector exergy efficiencies of 2.4 % and 2.6 % for the 10 kg and 5 kg loads, respectively. The drying chamber exergy efficiencies are 45.2 % and 28.4 % for the 10 kg and 5 kg loads, respectively. In view of this, the 5 kg load is considered to be more efficient at extracting energy from the collector due to higher air flow resulting from its relatively thin grain bed depth of 0.02 m, but less efficient in utilising the extracted energy to evaporate moisture from the grain which has resulted in a lower drying chamber exergy efficiency. Further, the exergy loss in the drying chamber for the 5 kg load is higher than that in the 10 kg load as 72.3 % of the exergy entering the drying chamber is lost through emissions as well as destroyed through internal irreversibility compared to 57.0 % for the 10 kg load. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0569
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0577
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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