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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 5 NO 1, JUNE, 2007

THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR MAIZE DRYER WITH SUBSIDIARY HEATING SOURCES FOR THE RURAL FARMER

SAMUEL I. IWUOHA
DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OWERRI NIGERIA

ABSTRACT
A solar Dryer with a subsidiary heating source for drying maize seed is designed and constructed. The dryer is made up a solar collector (heat source), the drying chamber (Product storage), and a subsidiary heating source (local oil). The plant when put in operation by expositing it to the solar rays, is capable of attaining a temperature of 60°C, while the drying chamber, at a temperature of 50°C, is capable drying 5kg of maize in size hours reducing the moisture content of the same from 45% to 14%. The designed is provided with rollers which make it possible for relocating the plant to a building for the application of an auxiliary heating source a t night when the sunshine is no longer available. Since the plant has no moving parts, its maintenance cost is low. The cost of the dryer is about N10,000, the plant can be used to dry other agricultural products such as rice, beans etc. it has a service life of about three years.

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