Techno-Economic Analysis of Integrated Solar Photovoltaic Winnower-Cum Dryer for Drying Date Palm Fruit

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number13686
Journal / PublicationSustainability
Volume14
Issue number20
Online published21 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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Abstract

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits are widely grown in rural areas of arid Rajasthan of India. The grown date palm fruits are generally dried in forced convection mode. However, given the socio-economic status of farmers, dryer facility affordability has become crucial. Additionally, there is a critical need for a simple winnower, especially with its operation. To address the highlighted issues with the dryer and winnower and given a location already receiving abundant solar radiation, a solar photovoltaic (PV) winnower cum-dryer was designed and developed. The developed winnower cum-dryer was tested in actual conditions to realize the performance. First, the drying experiment for dehydrating date palm fruits and, second, the winnower experiment for separating grains from straw were carried out. The date palm fruits used for experimentation have a moisture content of 65% on a wet basis. During the drying trial, the dryer reduced this moisture content by 39% in 6 days. In contrast, in the open sun drying, it took 8 days. The drying chamber’s temperature gradient was reduced to 2–3 °C from 6–8 °C in the system provided with a preheater, resulting in uniform drying. The observed effective moisture diffusivity and the dryer’s efficiency are 4.34 × 10−9 m2·s−1 and 16.1%, respectively. A high IRR of 57.4% and a shorter payback period of 2.10 years were found in the economic analysis, indicating that the dryer is cost-effective. The winnower operation results suggest that about 200–300 kg grains could be separated daily when used as a winnower without natural wind. Overall, the developed winnower cum-dryer produced better-quality dried date palms in a shorter time than open drying by efficiently using solar energy and separating the grains from straw to enhance the utility throughout the year.

Research Area(s)

  • Phoenix dactylifera L., date palm drying, solar dryer, PV winnower, economic evaluation, hybrid solar dryer

Citation Format(s)

Techno-Economic Analysis of Integrated Solar Photovoltaic Winnower-Cum Dryer for Drying Date Palm Fruit. / Poonia, Surendra; Singh, Anil Kumar; Jain, Dilip et al.
In: Sustainability, Vol. 14, No. 20, 13686, 10.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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