Accelerating and Mitigating Postharvest Losses in Nigeria Through an Automated Hydrid Dryer

Suleiman Abubakar Ibrahim, Atanda Emmanuel Olugbenga, Eriakha Ehis Collins


Africa has the world's biggest population of people without access to electricity, with an estimated 600 million people without access today and 700 million by 2030. Currently, almost two-thirds of Nigeria's population lacks access to reliable energy, and the majority of rural regions are not connected to the national grid. Given these staggering statistics, farmers in Nigeria, especially those in the production section are exposed to postharvest losses annually.  Every year, Nigeria loses N3. 5 trillion in post-harvest losses due to a lack of suitable storage facilities and bad road conditions across the country. To mitigate this trend and help accelerate the adoption and acceptability of technology that will solve these postharvest problems, a hybrid dryer is developed. This research involved the development of an automated passive, hybrid dryer developed in the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State Nigeria with a research grant from TETFUND. A detailed AUTOCAD model for the dryer is developed and validated through experimentation. Energy and environmental analysis of the proposed dryer system were equally evaluated. Two crop produce, yam and tomatoes were used in evaluating the machine. One of the major highlights of the machine is that it is an automated dryer with power sources from both solar and mains supply. The drying process was conducted during the day, and it was compared with open sun drying and oven drying. The highest solar drying temperature obtained under the same condition for both yam and tomatoes were 38 0C. At the average solar radiation of 2462 W/m2 and air flow rate of 19.74 kg/s, the thermal efficiency of the hybrid dryer was obtained at 23.74 %. It was observed that the thermal efficiency of the collector was high when compared to similar dryers from literatures. Further analysis to established the commercial scalability of the system is however, recommend.

Keywords: Postharvest losses, Hydrid, Automated, Accelerate, Mitigate

DOI: 10.7176/ISDE/12-4-02

Publication date:October 31st 2021

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