Performance study of a solar chimney dryer for preservation of agricultural products

By Medugu, D. W.

Abstract

The agricultural products that are dried under the sun exposed to the environment, especially high moisture crops are often unprotected from insects, pests, unexpected rain, contamination and are prone to fungus infection, which degrade the quality of the products. To alleviate this, a solar chimney dryer was developed. It is constructed in local materials then tested experimentally in food stuffs drying tomatoes, pepper and bitter leaves. With this dryer, 50kg of tomatoes, pepper and bitter leaves can be dried within 125, 102 and 84 h, respectively giving an average 65% of the time spent for the natural sun drying. The dryer reduces drying losses as compared to sun drying and show lower operational costs than the artificial drying. The color and the flavor of the food stuffs dried with this dryer are comparable to that of a high quality dried in markets. They are free from microbiological contamination.

 

Key Words : Agricultural Products; Solar Chimney; Operational Costs; Microbiological Contamination

 

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