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  • Students develop solar dryer for cashew kernels

    Jun 3rd, 2016

    Four final year Mechanical Engineering students of the Bantakal-based Sri Madhwa Vadiraja Institute of Technology and Management have developed an eco-friendly solar-powered infrared dryer for cashew kernels.A press release issued by the institute here on Friday said that Anup G. Mendon, Jithendra Shetty, Prajwal Sherigar and Pranesh developed this device under the guidance of Raja Yateesh Yadav, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.Cashew processing and drying is carried out at two stages. The primary drying is done in sunlight before de-shelling. The secondary drying is done after de-shelling to facilitate the peeling process.After the de-shelling process, the moisture content in the cashew kernels will be about 15per cent to 20 per cent. This moisture content must be reduced to 4 per cent to 5 per cent in the secondary drying.

    For this purpose, most of cashew industries use the steam generated from conventional energy sources. But, here the students had tried solar energy for the secondary drying process. This technology uses infrared heaters powered by solar photovoltaic cells. The students have found appreciable results of this technology.Presently, a Research and Development Centre for Technology Upgradation of Cashew Processing Equipment, sponsored by the Karnataka Council for Technological Upgradation, Bengaluru, is functioning at the Department at the institute. This dryer was developed by the students as a part of activities of the Research and Development Centre and their final year academic project, the release added.