Conceptual design of Pilot Scale Solar Dryer for Seaweeds
Drying algal biomass with the use of solar radiation is an economical and environmentally compatible option. The aim of this work was to design an indirect solar dryer with natural air circulation for seaweeds drying. The equipment supports discrete quantities of wet biomass and is protected from environmental situations that may damage the product; it does not need electricity to operate and the construction and operating costs are low. This comprises a collector made of copper plates for air circulation, heated by solar radiation, a glass cover and drying trays with a wooden structure. The dryer was designed to obtain 0, 3 kg / day of dry biomass. The methodology allows construction and operation of a flexible solar dryer in different operating conditions for research on seaweeds. Correspondingly with environmental and operating conditions the design included estimation of drying time, the determination of drying area, number of trays, air flow from the collector to the trays, collector sizing; heat transfer area, temperature reached by air and collector efficiency.