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Performance Analysis of Flat-Plate and V-groove Solar Air Heater Through CFD Simulation

1Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Jimma Institute of Technology, Jimma University, Ethiopia

2Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, Wolkite University, Ethiopia

Received: 14 Feb 2020; Revised: 11 May 2020; Accepted: 20 Jun 2020; Available online: 29 Jun 2020; Published: 15 Oct 2020.
Editor(s): H Hadiyanto
Open Access Copyright (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE) under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0.

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Abstract

The simplicity of solar flat plate air collector and free availability of solar energy sources attract attention to the optimization of the collector. This study aims to assess the effect of double pass air flow on the performance of flat plate air collectors. The analysis of the performance characteristics of the indirect solar dryer was carried out by CFD simulation with three different smooth, rough and V-grooved surfaces, keeping the lower and lateral collector well insulated and the drying chamber acting as a vertical chimney. The average thermal efficiency of the V-grooved surface, smooth surface, and rough surface is 90%, 78%, and 62% respectively. The total area of the collector is 1.20 × 2.0 = 2.40 m2 with the dimension of drying cabinet width, depth, and height 1200 × 650 × 1000 mm respectively. The pressure drop observed at the entrance to the drying chamber is high in the case of a smooth surface, medium in a rough surface and low in a V-grooved plate which will allow sufficient gas pressure to pass through completely.The air mass flow rate is the most important and effective factor during drying. The humidity of the air, as well as air velocity, is also an important factor in improving the drying rate. 

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Keywords: CFD simulation; v-grooved surface; smooth surface; rough surface; double pass

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