Department of Mechanical Engineering, VIT Vellore, Vellore-632014, India
Research Scholar, NIT Durgapur; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Usha Martin University, Ranchi-835103, India
Department of Thermal and Energy Engineering,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
VIT University, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India
Solar dryers hold a great importance in processing industries as they make use of renewable energy sources and are pollution free. These dryers have gained attention in the fields of agricultural products. To achieve faster drying rate than open sun drying, mixed mode solar dryer is used in which, forced convection is incorporated in the system. In the present work, horizontal mixed mode forced convection solar dryer is analyzed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach. The dryer is modelled in ANSYS-FLUENT software, mesh study is performed and input parameters such as inlet air temperature, solar irradiance are considered. Transient analysis is performed with courant number of 0.71. By analyzing the results obtained for the existing design; a new design of dryer is proposed with double inlet where more uniform distribution of air is achieved. When the average value of air velocity inside the drying chamber from CFD analysis is compared with the experimental value, an accuracy of 11.9% is found. Percentage increase in velocity at upper tray for new design is found to be 106.7% from existing design. The difference between velocities at upper tray and lower tray is reduced to 0.1 m/s from 0.7 m/s in existing design. This will result in more uniform distribution of air, thus will produce product with even moisture content.