CFD Simulation of Temperature and Air Flow in a Natural Convection Solar Tunnel Dryer with a Bare Flat-Plate Chimney

  •  Maona Mukanema    
  •  Isaac N. Simate    


Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation of a natural convection solar tunnel dryer with a bare flat-plate chimney is presented. The chimney’s function is to create airflow in the dryer through the buoyancy effect by re-heating the air coming from the drying unit and is therefore a major factor in the drying rate. CFD simulation was therefore employed to study the temperature and airflow in the dryer and determine the areas that could be improved upon. The design of the solar tunnel dryer geometry used in this simulation was done in SOLIDWORKS 2016 whereas the simulation of temperature distribution of airflow inside the dryer was performed using SOLIDWORKS 2016 flow simulation program in a steady-state regime. The boundary conditions were set using the obtained experimental data. The simulation results showed that the chimney losses heat, that there is air recirculation in the collector, that the airflow experiences some pressure loss as it moves from the drying chamber to the chimney, and that there is some reduction of the velocity in some parts of the dryer. The simulated and experimental collector efficiencies were found to be 33.09 and 37.63%, respectively, giving a mean relative deviation of collector temperature of 5.1%. To improve the performance of the dryer, insulating and glazing of the chimney is suggested as well as using a curved joint between the chimney and the drying chamber.

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

Journal Metrics

(The data was calculated based on Google Scholar Citations)

h-index (July 2022): 19

i10-index (July 2022): 53

h5-index (July 2022): N/A

h5-median(July 2022): N/A