DEVELOPMENT OF AN ELECTRIC DRYER FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS USING A SCRAP REFRIGERATOR
Publication Date : 31/03/2020
The present study modified a scrap refrigerator into a useful electrical dryer for agricultural products and its performance evaluation was carried out. The dryer consists of a drying chamber having drying trays, two electrical heaters, and a blower all coupled together in the scrap refrigerator and mounted on a stand. The dryer works on the principle of forced convection as the heat generated by the heaters is being distributed inside the drying chamber by the blower. The effect of drying time on the moisture content of two agricultural products namely tomatoes and beef were determined. This was carried out using a drying interval of 45 minutes for both the tomatoes and the beef. The moisture contents of tomatoes and beef decreased from initial values of 92% and 69% to a minimum of 9.98 % and 16 % respectively each in 7hrs 30 minutes. The electric dryer is faster when compared with the traditional sun-drying of tomatoes that takes 3-4 days depending on the weather condition. The moisture content of the samples in the upper tray was the highest followed by the middle tray and bottom tray has the least moisture content. The results of the analysis of variance show that the drying time and the products being dried have a significant effect on the drying rate at 1% probability level, while the tray position has no significant effect on the drying rate.
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