Specific Energy Consumption and Drying Efficiency Analysis of Commercial Mixed-Flow Batch Type Seed Drying System
Keywords:specific energy consumption, drying, efficiency, paddy, seed, mixed-flow dryer
In Malaysia, numerous extensive researches to gauge the performance and energy requisite of paddy dryers and milling quality of rice were conducted by past researchers. These studies gave valuable insights into paddy drying and its effects under Malaysian climate and promoted further research opportunities, especially in engineering and studies on energy. However, the study of commercial grain dryer’s performance for paddy seed drying still lacks in Malaysia. The absence of fundamental information, such as the drying rate, drying efficiency and energy requisite in regard to paddy seeds drying leads to ill-informed judgements and poor decision-making which can be detrimental, especially in regards to the national policy on food security. This study was therefore undertaken to evaluate the performance efficiency of a commercial, mixed-flow, batch type seed dryer at Loji Pemprosesan Benih Padi Sah (A) at Telok Chengai, Kedah. Two types of performance indices were studied, namely drying efficiency (DE) and specific energy consumption (SEC). DE examines the drying process more analytically whilst SEC draws an overall conclusion and provides a better comparison among other commercial dryer performances. It can be inferred that, to analyze the performance of a certain dryer system, it is best to initially use SEC as it gives an overall state of efficiency level. Further analysis by using DE best described the design options available for future modifications. From the obtained results, the overall efficiency of seed dryer showed that SEC was calculated to be 50% lower (5.482 MJ/kg water removed) than the commonly recorded dryer efficiency. Analysis of DE revealed a decreasing trend, following the pattern of seed drying rate curve. The average DE was 0.546.