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International Journal of Energy for a Clean Environment
SJR: 0.195 SNIP: 0.659 CiteScore™: 1.2

ISSN Imprimir: 2150-3621
ISSN On-line: 2150-363X

International Journal of Energy for a Clean Environment

Anteriormente Conhecido Como Clean Air: International Journal on Energy for a Clean Environment

DOI: 10.1615/InterJEnerCleanEnv.2017020424
pages 123-131

DESIGN AND MEASURED PERFORMANCE OF A PHOTOVOLTAIC THERMAL COLLECTOR-POWERED DRYER

Nnamdi V. Ogueke
Mechanical Engineering Department, Federal University of Technology, PMB 1526, Owerri, Nigeria
U. J. Njokuocha
Mechanical Engineering Department, Federal University of Technology, PMB 1526, Owerri, Nigeria
E. E. Anyanwu
Mechanical Engineering Department, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 1526, Owerri, Nigeria

RESUMO

This project concerns the design and measured performance of a photovoltaic thermal collector (PVT)-powered dryer which primarily recovers waste heat from a photovoltaic (PV) panel and uses it for drying agricultural products. The system consists of a PV panel, a glazing material made of transparent 4-mm plain glass, a DC fan, and a drying chamber made from ply wood. The glazing is mounted such that air can be drawn through the space between it and the PV panel surface thus forming a photovoltaic thermal (PVT) collector. The air exit part of the PVT collector is connected to a drying chamber. Air movement through the system is achieved by a DC fan installed on the upper part of the drying chamber. Air heated in the process of its drawing through the PVT collector is used for drying grain in the drying chamber. The resulting PVT-powered dryer was tested under the meteorological conditions of FUTO for nine days. Three of the test days were without products in the drying chamber while the remaining tests were conducted with a loaded drying chamber. Each day of testing was begun at 8:00 h and ended at 17:00 − the period when solar radiation is experienced in the test location. The results obtained showed a maximum drying chamber temperature of 47.9°C and 46.2°C, representing an increase of 11.6°C and 9.2°C above the ambient temperature for the loaded and unloaded test, respectively. The PVT collector average thermal efficiency was determined as 18.9%, while the drying efficiency was 72–79%. Thus a PVT-powered dryer is an effective means of recovering and putting to use the energy hitherto lost during normal PV operation.


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