Abstract: Among the various renewable energy resources solar energy potential is the highest in the country. The global solar radiation over India varies from 4-7 kWh/sq. m/day. The solar energy is also used for heating the air that air is applied to dry the clothes, food dehydration, natural rubber, etc. Circulation of atmospheric temperature air from solar flat plate collector and then that high temperature air is supplied to room. In India, we have 12 sunshine hours and 12 non-sunshine hours so solar air heater is limited to run only in sunshine hours. To run it night time it required external energy supply, so cost of the solar air heater is increase. Our requirement is to supply the hot air to the room up to 60 ºC to 65 º C temperatures during day and night time. To achieve such high temperature we need to modified the conventional solar air-dryer in such way that it will gives us hot air temperature in the range of 60 ºC to 65 ºC. For the use of Solar Air Dryer during night time, some form of energy storage is required during sunshine hours and that stored energy can be used during non-sunshine hours. Present work is focused towards incorporation of heat pipes with LHTES is of interest. Heat pipes increase heat transfer rates to or from the Phase change material (PCM), while maintaining small temperature differences between the PCM and heat transfer fluid (HTF) in heat pipe. This experimental setup, solar air-dryer assisted with TES unit including PCM and heat pipe. This study focuses on to the performance enhancement of flat plate collector solar air-dryer.
Keywords: Heat pipe, solar air-dryer, Phase change material (PCM), TES.