Computational fluid dynamic analysis of innovative design of solar-biomass hybrid dryer: An experimental validation

Highlights

A solar-biomass hybrid dryer was designed and constructed for natural rubber sheet drying.

An attempt has been done to reduce consumption of biomass by introducing solar energy in rubber drying.

CFD technique was used to simulate the temperature and air flow distributions in an innovative design of drying chamber.

The simulation results for temperature were very close to experimental values in terms of statistical parameters.

The solar-biomass hybrid dryer took only 48 hr in reducing moisture content of rubber sheet from 34.26 to 0.34% (db).

Abstract

A solar-biomass hybrid dryer is designed and constructed for natural rubber sheet drying. The dryer consists of solar collector cum drying chamber, heat exchanger and biomass furnace. There is indirect heating of rubber sheet instead of direct exposure to smoke in ribbed smoked rubber drying. An attempt has been done to reduce consumption of biomass by introducing solar energy application. Computational fluid dynamics technique is used to simulate the temperature and air flow distributions in an innovative design of drying chamber. The simulation results for temperature are found very close to experimental values in terms of statistical parameters. CFD simulation is done for air flow distribution inside solar-biomass hybrid dryer to ensure the utility of air circulating fans. The solar-biomass hybrid dryer is tested for drying of 100 number of natural rubber sheets. Moisture content of rubber sheet is reduced from 34.26% to 0.34% (db) in only 48 h, a notable reduction in drying time as well as consumption of biomass. The color and texture of the natural rubber sheet were noticed better than the traditional smoke rubber drying.

Keywords

  • Computational fluid dynamics;
  • Natural rubber sheet;
  • Drying chamber;
  • Solar-biomass hybrid dryer;
  • Temperature and air flow distribution

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