Computational drying model for solar kiln with latent heat energy storage: Case studies of thermal application

Publication date: January 2019

Source: Renewable Energy, Volume 130

Author(s): A. Khouya, A. Draoui


The use of solar energy in wood drying systems can reduce the often-heavy energy bill that manufacturers in this promising sector complain about. In this context, the study of solar kilns has received increasing attention and the work presented in this paper is a contribution for developing theoretical investigation during drying process of wood using solar energy. The system of drying consists of four units, solar air collector, cylindrical parabolic solar collector, drying and thermal storage unit. Two mathematical models of storage and drying are developed. The governing equations are solved by Newton Raphson’s method for storage and finite difference techniques for the drying model. The results show that the size of the latent storage unit increases when the temperature level is raised. The integration of thermal storage unit into the solar kiln has the effect of reducing the drying time up to about 26.5%. The recovered heat process is efficient to improve markedly the amount of the energy supplied to the drying unit and reduce drying time up to about 47%. The effect of choosing the phase change material on the thermal storage unit is significantly important in terms of increasing the evaporation capacity and drying efficiency.

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