Forced Convection Solar Drying: Agro-Food Application
Most food crops in Lebanon (fruits and vegetables, Kishk) are sun dried in open air, a commonly adopted method for its zero cost, however it affects the quality of the final product and has limits for large scale production. In order to overcome the constraints, minimize hazards and contamination of product during the drying process, and to reduce the time of drying, Dr. El Moussaoui is proposing the use of a closed system composed of a drying chamber, blowers, heat pump, solar water collector, photovoltaic panels and accumulators.
This system avoids the contamination agents and hazards getting into the product during drying, conditions the air used for drying in order to reduce drying time and improve the quality of final product by controlling drying parameters, and benefits from solar energy that helps in conditioning of drying air and almost reduces the operational cost of system to zero while respecting environment.
This project can improve food drying process and quality, thus expand dried food production and export by promoting large scale production. It contributes to improve the economic status of poor families and farmers in rural zones, especially woman who make up a considerable part of laborers in the agriculture sector.