Dehydration of Agro Products in a Hybrid Solar Dryer Controlled through a Fuzzy Logic System


Drying is one of the most energy-intensive processes in agro-products industry. For this reason, using solar energy appears as an attractive not polluting alternative to be used in drying processes. However, the daily and seasonal fluctuations in the radiation level require using energy accumulators with phase change materials (paraffin wax), to have a continuous drying processes. In hybrid solar dryers with energy accumulation system, a control system is essential to coordinate the control valves that allow the income of air that comes from the solar panel or from the energy accumulator. In this work, we implemented an advances multivariable control system that uses fuzzy logic in the hybrid solar dryer. The dryer includes an energy accumulator panel with paraffin wax as phase change material. The input variables were ambient temperature and solar radiation, both not controllable. The controlled variables were the opening level of the solar panel and accumulator energy valves. The control program consisted in an algorithm implemented with the “Fuzzy” toolbox in Matlab. Data were acquired with OPTO 22. The control system performed adequately when used to dehydrate mushroom slices and plums. Closing or opening the respective valves as a response to the variations of solar radiation and ambient air temperature allowed optimizing the use of solar energy.


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Reyes, A. , Cubillos, F. , Mahn, A. and Vásquez, J. (2014) Dehydration of Agro Products in a Hybrid Solar Dryer Controlled through a Fuzzy Logic System. International Journal of Modern Nonlinear Theory and Application, 3, 66-76. doi: 10.4236/ijmnta.2014.33009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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