Nigeria is in dire need of an alternative and sustainable drying system. This is to reduce wastage during harvest and enhance it's target on mechanizing agriculture, especially in terms of rice production. In view of this, a modern hybrid solar dryer is designed, fabricated and tested which is presently installed at a rice processing and packing plant in Kano state. The dryer utilizes solar photovoltaics to rotate electric blowers which remove humid air from the drying chamber, and electricity from the grid or generator to create heat for homogeneous mixing with produce's steam for fast and complete removal.
The system reduces time of drying; for example, rice from 12 hours to 4 hours. It also does not depend on grid electricity supply as it is hybridized.
The system has four (4) major components. Solar thermal chamber on top of the roof, supply and return ducts which brings in hot air and discharges warm air to the outside, drying chamber which accommodate the produce under consideration and blowers which sucks in and push out heated air by forced convection. The dryer's drying chamber is protected from both sides in order to separate the produce and protects it from excessive sun light and contamination from birds, insects, animals, etc.
This environmentally friendly, low-cost solar dryer is designed to dry paddy rice. The dryer is built with locally available and low-cost materials.