Saravanan Dhanuskodi, Vincent Wilson, Sudhakar Kumarasamy

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Drying of Cashew nut to remove testa is one of the most energy-intensive processes of cashew nut process industry. For this reason a hybrid dryer consisting of a solar flat plate collector, a biomass heater and a drying chamber is designed and fabricated. 40 kg of Cashew nut with initial moisture of 9 % is used in the experiment. The performance test of the dryer is carried out in two modes of operation: hybrid-forced convection and hybrid-natural convection. Drying time and drying efficiency during these two modes of operation are estimated and compared with the sun drying. The system is capable of attaining drying temperature between 50º and 70ºC. In the hybrid forced drying, the required moisture content of 3% is achieved within 7 hours and the average system efficiency is estimated as 5.08%. In the hybrid natural drying, the required moisture content is obtained in 9 hours and the average system efficiency is 3.17%. The fuel consumption during the drying process is 0.5 kg/hr and 0.75 kg/hr for forced mode and natural mode, respectively. The drying process in the hybrid forced mode of operation is twice faster than the sun drying. The dryer can be operated in any climatic conditions: as a solar dryer on normal sunny days, as a biomass dryer at night time and as a hybrid dryer on cloudy days. Based on the experimental study, it is concluded that the developed hybrid dryer is suitable for small scale cashew nut farmers in rural areas of developing countries.

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ISSN: 0354-2025 (Print)

ISSN: 2335-0164 (Online)

COBISS.SR-ID 98732551

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