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|Title:||Potential of roof-integrated solar collectors for preheating air at drying facilities in Northern Thailand|
|Abstract:||Longan is one of the most widely cropped fruits in Northern Thailand, where a significant amount of the annual harvest is commercially dried and exported as a commodity. Liquefied petroleum gas is generally used as the energy source for heating the drying air, but concern is growing as fuel prices are expected to increase for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, with the ample solar radiation in Thailand, the roofs of drying facilities could be adapted to serve as solar collectors to preheat the drying air, thus reducing the energy requirement from fossil fuels. In this study, a simulation program for a flat-plate solar air heater was used to estimate the potential to preheat drying air given the conditions of several longan drying facilities. Results showed that solar collectors can replace up to 19.6% of the thermal energy demand during the drying season. Bigger collectors and smaller air channels result in more useful heat, but attention has to be paid to costs and pressure drop, respectively. Annual monetary savings can reach up to THB 56,000 (≈US$ 1800 at US$ 1 = THB 31). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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