Comparative Drying Performance Study of Natural Convection Solar Dryer with Traditional Grape Drying Methods

Dilip R. Pangavhane


A natural convection solar dryer, a unit of agicultural produce processing system using solar energy as a renewable energy source for producing heat, was developed and tested. This natural convection solar dryer consists of solar air heater and drying chamber. In the developed natural convection solar dryer, Thompson seedless grapes were successfully dried. For quantitative analysis, the traditional; (open sun and shade) drying tests were carried out. The result shows that the solar dryer reduces the drying time of grapes significantly and is most efficient and more effective. Sensory evaluation shows that the organoleptic qualities of raisins produced in solar dryer are of superior quality than those produced using traditional drying methods.

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