INTERNATIONAL ENERGY JOURNALVolume 22, No. 02, Month JUNE, Year 2022, Pages 167 - 176
Performance of a solar greenhouse dryer for water hyacinth
Phatchareephon Niroka, Gunn Panprayun, Piangjai Peerakiatkhajohn
Abstract Download PDFThe development of new methods to utilize solar energy is critical to lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide sustainable livelihoods for small business owners in rural areas. Solar greenhouse dryers are simple and low-cost structures that can be modified for a variety of applications. This study evaluated the performance of a solar greenhouse dryer for drying water hyacinth. The solar dryer was established in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand and consisted of a parabolic roof structure covered with polycarbonate sheets. A ventilation system was designed using fans controlled by relative humidity sensors and powered by a solar panel. The drying system had an overall efficiency of 63% for 100 kg of fresh water hyacinth with a highest temperature of 59°C. In comparison with natural sun drying, the solar dryer produced more product in a shorter amount of time. In addition to regulating the climatic conditions, this solar greenhouse prevented insect infestation, and improved the product quality. The payback period was estimated to be about 1.5 months. This study can be used as a guideline to produce dried water hyacinth for cushioning material, or other products. Also, this solar dryer offers a promising solution for effective drying of other agricultural or food products.
Relative humidity sensor; Solar greenhouse dryer; Solar dryer performance; Ventilation system; Water hyacinth