In this present study, two similar solar tunnel dryers with different sensible and latent heat energy storage configurations were designed, realized and experimentally investigated. In this view, the performance of natural convection solar tunnel dryer has been investigated. Meanwhile, the performance of a natural convection solar tunnel dryer equipped with a heat energy storage configuration (HESC) has been compared experimentally to a similar solar tunnel dryer with another HESC. Accordingly, four thermal energy storage configurations (TESC) have been studied to determine the best configuration and its corresponding thermal performance. The experimental tests were carried out on the Demo-site implemented at the Applied Research Unit for Renewable Energies (URAER) in Ghardaia city, Algeria. The local real climatic condition (semi-arid) is considered as the operating environment of the new solar tunnel dryer, while the recorded results based on temperature distribution on the different parts of the solar tunnel dryer were applied to the system thermal performance analysis. The obtained results confirmed that the natural convection solar tunnel dryer with the third storage configuration, where a bed of cans filled with paraffin wax is placed, fit a better thermal performance than others. Moreover, at the day end, a difference temperature between storage mediums of two similar solar tunnel dryer averred an increase of 6°C for the first configuration, 10°C for the second configuration, 17°C for the fourth configuration and 26°C for the third configuration.
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The authors would like to thank the Renewable Energy Applied Research Unit (URAER), Ghardaia, Algeria and Algeria Sun Power company, Hassi Messaoud for providing fund and technical support.
This work was supported by Renewable Energy Applied Research Unit (URAER-CDER), Ghardaïa, Algeria.
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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Benseddik, A., Boubekri, A., Bensaha, H. et al. Combined Sensible and Latent Heat Energy Storage Systems for a New Solar Tunnel Dryer—An Experimental Study. Appl. Sol. Energy 59, 14–25 (2023). https://doi.org/10.3103/S0003701X21101229