Experimental Studies on Drying Characteristics of Coconuts in a Solar Tunnel Greenhouse Dryer
S. Arun1, K. Velmurugan2, S. Shankar Balaji3
1S.Arun, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi (Tamil Nadu), India.
2K.Velmurugan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi (Tamil Nadu), India.
3S.Shankar Balaji, Department of Automobile Engineering, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi (Tamil Nadu), India.
Manuscript received on 17 October 2014 | Revised Manuscript received on 24 October 2014 | Manuscript Published on 30 October 2014 | PP: 51-55 | Volume-4 Issue-5, October 2014 | Retrieval Number: E1831104514/14©BEIESP
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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Abstract: A natural convection solar tunnel greenhouse dryer was designed and fabricated for studying the drying characteristics of coconuts in Pollachi region of Tamil Nadu. Three experimental runs with 5000 coconuts were carried out in the dryer during the month of March 2014. The drying time and the product quality were the main deciding performance parameters of the dryer which are studied in comparison with the traditional drying method (open sun drying). It was found that the coconuts which has an initial moisture content of 53.84% (w.b.) were dried to final moisture content of 7.4% (w.b.) in the solar tunnel greenhouse dryer for a time period of 56 hours whereas the open sun drying method took 147 hours for the same. Also, the quality of dried coconuts in the solar tunnel greenhouse dryer was found to be free from fungal and bacterial infections which prove the possibility of production of superior quality coconuts from the dryer than that of open sun drying method.
Keywords: Coconuts, Drying Time, Moisture Content, Open Sun Drying, Quality, Solar Tunnel Greenhouse Dryer.
Scope of the Article: Quality Control