CFD Simulation of Temperature and Air Flow Distribution inside Industrial Scale Solar Dryer
Keywords:solar dryer, CFD simulation, air flow distribution, temperature distribution
Drying is an important process in many industries to reduce moisture content inside the product to a safe limit to reduce losses or as a requirement for the downstream processes. It’s also contribute in reducing the handling and storage cost. In convective drying, temperature and velocity of the drying air have been identified as the important factors that effecting the drying rate of the product. New solar drying have been developed for sericite mica drying process. The objectives of this paper are to simulate and analyze the effect of product arrangement and different operating condition on the temperature and airflow distribution inside the drying chamber of the newly developed solar dryer. Commercial CFD software, Ansys Fluent was used in the study. The results from CFD simulations shows that the zig zag pallet arrangement produces higher and more uniform air flow compared to the straight pallet arrangement. Three possible operating conditions for the solar dryer have been identified and simulated which are greenhouse effect with passive ventilation, greenhouse effect with active ventilation and greenhouse effect with intermittent active ventilation. CFD simulation results show that the operating condition with intermittent active ventilation produce the highest temperature for both inside the drying chamber and inside the sericite mica which is up to 59.8 and 55.6oC respectively.