Thermal performance of a solar hybrid dryer for Conilon coffee (Coffea canephora)
¹Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Engineering Department, Campus Seropédica, ZIP Code BR23890000, Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
²Federal University of Lavras, Agricultural Engineering Department, ZIP Code BR37200000, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil
³University of Florence, Department of Agricultural, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), Via San Bonaventura, 13, IT50145, Florence, Italy *Correspondence: email@example.com
The study was aimed at design and development of an energy efficient hybrid solar dryer suitable for drying of organic Conilon coffee placed in the town of Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The energy efficiency and the drying efficiency were the evaluation criteria for thermal performance of the hybrid solar dryer during the coffee drying. Temperature and relative humidity (RH) of the drying and ambient air, solar radiation intensity and coffee weight loss were monitored during the drying process. The process occurred over six consecutive days; the drying time was from 07:00 to 17:00 h, totalling 120 h of operation with an intermittent period (at night) of 14 h. During intermittence, the exhaust system kept off and solar collector and drying chamber sealed. The effective drying period took 60 h, with temperature and RH, respectively, of 38.3 °C and 60.6% outlet of the solar collector, 32.7 °C and 72.2% outlet drying chamber and 27.8 °C and 74.5% ambient air. The maximum temperature in the solar collector and drying chamber reached 54 and 47.7 °C, respectively, with an ambient air temperature of 32 °C at 12:00 h. These values showing temperature increase 22.2 °C in solar collector and 10 ºC drying chamber. The mean variation for the reduction in RH between the drying air inside the solar collector and the ambient air was 28%, while in the chamber obtained in a range of 10.5% at 13:00 h. The solar collector and dryer chamber efficiency were 29.1 and 40.8%, respectively, while the overall dryer efficiency 39.7%.