Multi-objective design optimization of solar air heater for food drying based on energy, exergy and improvement potential

Benhamza A., Boubekri A., Atia A., El Ferouali H., Hadibi T., ARICI M., ...More

Renewable Energy, vol.169, pp.1190-1209, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 169
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.renene.2021.01.086
  • Journal Name: Renewable Energy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1190-1209
  • Keywords: Optimization, Solar drying, Improvement potential (IP), Response surface methodology, Exergy efficiency, FLAT-PLATE, THERMOHYDRAULIC PERFORMANCE, THERMAL COLLECTORS, DRYER, OBSTACLES, FINS
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 Elsevier LtdSolar air heaters (SAHs) are commonly utilized in different applications due to their simple structure and low setup cost. Optimizing operating parameters of the SAH is highly linked to the desired application. The aim of this study is to determine the optimal geometric and operational parameters of finned SAH for food drying. In order to achieve this goal, response surface methodology was combined with an experimentally validated thermal model of the SAH system. Multi-objective optimization is carried out according to energy-exergy analysis, improvement potential (IP) and outlet temperature suitable for food drying (40–70 °C). Length/width ratio (L/W) (1–5), height of air duct (0.02–0.2), and number of fins (0-60) were the operating variables. The experimental tests were carried out on the indirect type solar dryer composed of SAH and the drying chamber. The developed code led to consistent numerical results that have been confirmed by experimental tests. The optimal parameters were defined as 1.28 L/W, 0.067 m air duct height and 49 fins. In these optimal conditions, the outlet temperature, thermal efficiency, and IP were 52 °C, 51.78% and 1397.34W, respectively. The optimal design improved the thermal efficiency by 15.76% and IP by 19.33%.