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Dissertation By Sunil Kumar M.Tech. 2nd Year Roll No. 12161005 Under the guidance of Dr. Mahesh Kumar Assistant Professor Mr. Pankaj Khatak Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology Hisar- 125001


1. Introduction
Todays climate of growing energy need to replace the non-renewable and polluting fossil fuels which must be replaced by renewable and eco-friendly energy resources such as solar energy. Solar energy is quite the simply energy produced directly by the sun which is an abundant source of energy. Sun is made of 74% hydrogen, 25% helium and rest of solid hard particles and stones. The sun creates its energy through a thermonuclear fusion process that converts about 65 x 107 tons of hydrogen to helium energy second. The heat produced by this conversion reach on the earth in the form of electromagnetic radiation which includes visible light, infrared light and ultra-violet radiation. The world requirement of energy can be fulfilled by utilization the available renewable energy resources profoundly. Due to the nature of solar energy, basically two components are required to act as a functional solar collector and a storage unit. The main function of collector is to collect the available electromagnetic radiation that falls on it and converts a fraction of it to other forms of energy which may be in electricity form or in heat energy form. The storage unit is required to store the solar energy which can be used thereafter in the absence of solar energy or non-constant nature of solar energy.

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)

Withania Somnifera is an herb in ayurvedic medicine and is commonly known as ashwagandha.

It is a plant of nightshade family having short shrub growing 35 to 75 centimeters tall with small green flowers. Ashwagandha plant roots, leaves and the ripe fruit which is orange-red in colour forms ashwagandha extract. This extract is used primarily in conjunction with other ayurvedic herbs and administered as a preventive adaptogen for overall improvement of health and body systems.

Ashwagandha Plant

Ashwagandha Plant Dried Roots

Biological Compounds of Ashwagandha:

1. Anolides 2. Flavonoids 3. Alkaloids 4. Lactones 5. Saponins Theses biological compounds are founds 4-5 times higher in root of the shrub than in leaves and fruits.

Ashwagandha extract is usually made the following three ways:

1. Powdered ashwagandha extract
2. Ashwagandha extract in the form of tea and 3. Liquid ashwagandha extract

Uses: Ashwagandha is used in treatment of1. Nervous system 2. Impotency 3. Arthritis 4. Erases insomnia 5. Eases stress 6. Increases haemoglobin 7. Hair melanin 8. Stabilizes blood sugar and 9. Lowers cholesterol

Ashwagandha is commercially cultivated as rain fed crop in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and mountainous regions of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir The crop produces 400-1200 Kg/ha dried roots and 200-500 Kg seeds/ha. Good quality roots are selling at a price of Rs.100-150/Kg and seeds at Rs.40-100/Kg.

The cost of cultivation works out to Rs.15000-25000/h and the net profit ranges from Rs.25000-155000/ha (Rajeswara Rao, 2012).

Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) Liquorice is an herb in ayurvedic medicine and is commonly known as Sweet root or Mulehati. It is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs and is found in numerous traditional formulas. Liquorice root has been used in both eastern and western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease.

Liquorice root contains about 20 % of water-soluble extractives, and much of this typically 35 % of the root is composed of glycyrrhizin. Which makes it 50 times sweeter than refined sugar.

Dried Liquorice Roots

Liquorice extract: It is produced by shredding and extracting the root with water in a steam extraction plant. The extracted liquor is filtered and converted into a solid powder form. Uses:

Liquorice is used in the treatment of Gastric ulcers & hyper acidity, Constipation, Colitis and Haemorrhoids, Oestrogen balancing, Adrenal insufficiency, Hepatitis, High cholesterol, Heart diseases, Catarrh, Bronchitis, Asthma, Cough etc.
It is also used as anti bacterial tonic and liver supportive agent.

Liquorice roots are used after washing and drying in which 5060% of moisture are removed to moisture not more than 10% in sunlight and stored in polythene lined bags.
Liquorice roots have the composition: moisture 4.7% , fat 0.8%, ash 6.7%, calcium 0.67%, potassium - 0.66%, iron 0.0006%, protein 19.7%, carbohydrate 39.2%, phosphorus 0.39% and sodium 0.09%.

It is cultivated in Italy, France, Russia, Germany, Spain, China and India. In India, it is cultivated in the Punjab, Haryana, Chenab east wards, Sindh, Peshawar valley and Andaman Islands. The yielding of the crop can be achieved to 10-12 tonnes per hectare. At Hissar and Patiala, a yield of about 5 tonnes per hectare is reported.

Solar Drying
The principal aim in a drying operation is the supply of heat required to provide the best quality with minimum energy consumption. There are two techniques used in a drying system for drying of agriculture products namely, open sun drying and solar drying. Agriculture products are generally preserved by using open air and uncontrolled sun drying method but this method of preservation is suffered from serious problem of wind born dust, product degradation, infestation which declines the market value of the product and hence affects the national and international market (Toshniwal, U., 2013). Solar dryer have been developed and used to dry agricultural products in order to improve shelf life, food value and marketability (Esper and Muhlbauer, 1996). In solar drying, air heater utilize the heat collected from solar radiation to supply the thermal energy to the drying air and this heated air is then ducted to a thermally well insulated dryer chamber to dry the product before expelling to the atmosphere through solar chimney .

Types of solar dryer:

1. Direct Solar Dryer

2. Indirect Solar Dryer 3. Natural Convection Solar Dryer (Passive Dryer) 4. Forced Convection Solar Dryer (Active Dryer)

1. Direct Solar Dryer: In this, solar radiation is directly absorbed by the product to be dried that might affect the quality of the product. 2. Indirect solar dryer: Air heater is used for heating the air by utilizing the heat gain of solar radiation. Heated air is then blown through the drying chamber which removes the moisture of the product under consideration. Indirect solar drying provides quality products and better control over drying system. 3. Natural Convection Solar Dryer (Passive Dryer): In this dryer, the heated air flows through the drying chamber naturally due to existence of suitable thermal gradient.

4. Forced Convection Solar Dryer (Active Dryer): In this dryer, the air is forced through a solar collector and the product bed by a fan or a blower.

Advantages of Solar drying system:

1. Better quality of product 2. Products are protected against flies, rain and dust 3. Prevent fuel dependence 4. More efficient and cheap

Literature Review
Lutz et al., (1987) presented a study of a multipurpose forced air convection solar tunnel dryer integrated with collector which was designed for indirect drying of arid zones and it was found an economical, effective and safe drying method. Brown (1988) presented a study about the introduction of the solar energy in which focus attention is made on the solar energy availability, its usage and future scope profoundly. Tiris et al., (1996) presented a study to achieve maximum possible energy efficiency of the solar collector in a solar drying system which was ranging between 0.57 and 0.81 for different air flow rates and the obtained energy efficiency was satisfactory for heating the drying air. Soponronnarit et al., (1997) presented an experimental study for comparing drying results of LPG natural convection Bananas drying, solar natural convection bananas drying and combination of both LPG and solar natural convection bananas drying which gave moisture content of 30.06%, 12.5%, and 16.1% respectively. The colour of peeled bananas of LPG natural convection drying and solar forced convection dryer with LPG drying unit was darker than that of solar natural convection dryer. Esper et al., (1998) presented a study which involved the analysis of solar drying and compared the results with natural or open sun drying systems in which the former one was found to be better with good drying tie up to 50% and long self-life of the drying product. Zaid et al., (1999) investigated various types of obstacles which were used in b/w absorber plate and lower wooden plate to increase the collector efficiency that depends on the form, dimensions, and orientation of obstacles and found a significant change in the collector efficiency as compared to collector without obstacle.

Ekechukwu et al., (1999) presented a comprehensive review of various design, detail of construction and operational principles of the wide variety of feasible solar energy during systems. The study illustrated that how these solar dryer design can be grouped systematically according to their operating tem. ranges, heating sources and heating modes, operational or structural modes and found that forced convection solar dryer were generally more effective and controllable than natural circulation solar dryer but due to addition of electricity or fossil fuels driven fans, the investment cost of the former fold by multi figures. Midilli et al., (2001) presented an experimental study to compare the drying results of shell and unshelled pistachio under solar assisted and open sun drying conditions in which pistachio samples with almost of moisture were dried in solar assisted convection dryer at temperature in 6 hours of drying time whereas the samples in open sun drying were not sufficient dried at temperatures of in the same time period and had poor drying product quality. Yaldyz et al., (2001) presented an experimental study to check the behaviour of various vegetables at different air velocity with respect to their drying time and found that when the air velocity increases, differences b/w ambient and drying air temperature decreases which reduces the drying time b/w 14.89 and 37.66% of different vegetables. Pangavhane et al., (2002) presented an experimental study of various types of feasible solar dryer for grapes drying and it was found that to improve the acceptability of the dryer, it is necessary to develop an economically large scale dryer which should also have maximum utilization factor and have capability of thermal storage for the purpose of service at night. The moisture removing efficiency of solar dryer drying was more against shade drying.

Madhlopa et al., (2002) studied a solar air heater with two solar absorption systems which was designed to achieve the desired tem for food dehydration of slices of fresh mangoes in the drying chamber through natural convection under the prevailing metrological conditions. The dryer reduced moisture content of sliced from mangoes from 85% (w/w) to 13% (w/w) and retained 74% of ascorbic acid which was suitable for preservation of mangoes. Simate et al., (2003) presented an experimental study on a dryer having mixed and indirect made of natural convection used for maize drying and found that the collector length of 1.8 m for the mixed mode for the same grain capacity of 90 kg was shorter than the indirect mode with 3.34 m. Moisture content distribution was found to be more uniform in mixed mode due to additional drying from direct radiation. Singh et al., (2004) presented a modular design of solar dryer was prepared which facilitated the heating of air in b/w the trays for the uniform drying under different meteorological conditions. The dryer designed can be dismantled during off season and has the provision ofsemi-continuous mode of loading for better efficiency of product drying. Thermal efficiencies for semi-continuous mode on successive three days were 28.96%, 27.6% and 23.4% respectively against batch mode 28.55%, 16.2% and 8.6% respectively. Moummi et al., (2004) studied thermal performance of the solar dryer with creation of turbulent flow in between solar dryer collector absorber plate and wooden plate by introducing rectangular plate fins perpendicular to the flow of ambient air. The collector efficiency was more for finned plate with selective absorber and less for that plate collector with nonselective absorber.

Medicine review (2004) presented a study of all the major biochemical constituents of ashwaganda roots such as alkaloids, withanolides, and several sitoindosides and their action mechanism had been isolated and studied which revealed that ashwaganda is primarily used in conjunction with almost all other ayurvedic herbs and administered as a preventive adaptogen for overall improvement of health and body systems. Chen et al., (2005) presented a study for the drying of lemon slices by using the closed type solar dryer incorporated with a photovoltaic module as an electrical energy source and the results were compared with hot air drying at . The results indicated the better general levels of quality in terms of sensory parameters. Sharadha et al., (2005) carried out detailed studies on regeneration and physiochemical potential of Withania Somnifera. Dunal tissues cultured in vitro with an aim to Application of Biotechnology in Indian Ginseng (Ashwagandha) and investigate variability in callus induction and regeneration among various morphotypes, identify suitable explants and physico-chemical factors for enhanced regeneration frequency, which led tothe development of rapid propagation system for practical purpose. Sacilik et al., (2006) developed a solar funnel dryer for the use of dehydration of various agriculture products in which moisture content was reduced from 93.35% to 11.50% (w. b.) in four days without observing any constant drying rate period. An approximation model was developed for the better explanation of the thin lancer solar drying behaviour of organic tomato.

Kadam et al., (2006) studied and developed a flat plate forced convective, solar heat collector for drying cauliflowers and tested solar heat collecting panels under real condition for cauliflower during the summer season. The used forced airflows gave a better hot air distribution through the trays than that of radiative process. Preservatives used for pre-treatment did not effect on moisture ratio, drying time and drying curve and potassium metabisulphate was found to be best than the others.

Thanaraj et al., (2007) presented a study in which different composition of copra was dried by using solar hybrid drier and coconut research institute drying process and found that high quality white copra can be processed better solar hybrid drying than coconut research institute drying which poor down the quality of drying product due to addition of kiln smoke. Ferreria et al., (2007) developed a hybrid dryer for drying of bananas whose thermal characteristics like drying time, moisture removal, and quality of drying product was relatively better than open or artificial dryer and obtained an economy of energy around 38% with respect to artificial dryer. Potdukne et al., (2008) presented a study for the improvement in drying and collector efficiency with the regain of product texture specially chillies and fenugreek leaves by using thermic oil which increased the drying air temperature up to 3 C for 0.826 m collector length. The drying and collector efficiency thus obtained was 21% and 34% respectively which was higher than reported. Hossain et al., (2008) developed a hybrid solar dryer integrated with auxiliary heating unit and drying unit used for drying of tomato with drying efficiency varied from 17 to 29% depending on different operating condition. The use of reflection in the dryer increased the collector efficiency up to 10% and the quality of the drying product was all improved by the using some suitable pretreatment process. Akpinar et al., (2008) presented an experiment to study the behaviour of white mulberries in solar dryer with forced convection and open sun with natural convection mode. The analysis was made by considering thirteen models in which logarithmic model was found to be most suitable one which gave the moisture diffusivity of for solar drying and for open sun drying.

Juraev et al., (2009) presented a study for the development of a mixed mode force convection solar drier which can be used in which or other times of the year and has capacity 20-25 kg of drying product per cycle. Mohanraj et al., (2009) developed an indirect forced convention solar drier integrated with different sensible heat storage material for chilli drying in which moisture of chilli reduced to 9.1% (wet basis) at an air flow rate of 0.25 Kg/sec in 24h and an average drying efficiency of 21%. Akbulut et al., (2009) presented an experiment to study the effect of solar convective solar dryer on drying of mulberries under seven different mass flow rates varied from to and found that the drying time decreased when the mass flow rate increased. A newly developed model was designed under convective solar dryer condition for drying of mulberries which was better than the other models. The moisture diffusivity of mulberry was varying between and for the said mass flow rate range. Ayyappan et al., (2010) presented a natural convection solar tunnel drier integrated with sensible heat storage material for copra drying whose moisture removal capacity was reduced from 52% (w. b.) to 7.2% (w.b.) in 52 h and 78 h with or without use of heat storage material with an average drying efficiency of 18% in both drying mode. Kubsad et al., (2010) studied the growth and dried matter production in ashwagandha which was influenced by spacing and fertilizer levels and the results indicated that the leaf area, dry matter production in roots and dry matter production of plant increased significantly with wider spacing. The dry root yield and biological yield decreased significantly from closer spacing of 15 cm x 10 cm to wider spacing of 45 cm x 10 cm.

Singh et al., (2010) presented a study in which Withania Somnifera proved to be a good natural source of a potent and relatively safe radiosensitizer/chemotherapeutic agent. Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) is a plant used in medicine from the time of Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian medicine. Ashwagandha has been used as an aphrodisiac, liver tonic, anti-inflammatory agent, astringent, and to treat bronchitis, asthma, ulcers, emaciation and insomnia related problems. Kumar et al., (2011) presented a simulation study for determination of convective heat transfer co-efficient of papad under open sun drying and indoor forced convection drying mode and found to be and respectively by using Nusselt number expression with linear regression analysis. Banout et al., (2011) developed a double pass solar drier for red chilli drying to the desire moisture content of 10% (w. b.). The multi pass of ambient air improved quality of drying product and achieved drying efficiency of 24.04% as compared to typical cabinet drier of 11.52% drying efficiency.

Banout et al., (2011) developed a double pass solar drier for red chilli drying to the desire moisture content of 10% (w. b.). The multi pass of ambient air improved quality of drying product and achieved drying efficiency of 24.04% as compared to typical cabinet drier of 11.52% drying efficiency.
Khyati et al., (2011) studied the physico - chemical characteristics of ashwagandha granules and found that ashwagandha is a premiere anti-aging herb. The study comprises the preparation of drug in granule form after studying physico chemical, TLC and HPTLC by considering patients compliance regarding unsafe use of herb.

Saxena et al., (2011) presented an experimental study for the improvement in product drying efficiency by integration of the dryer with the help of photovoltaic cell in addition to the use of domestic light and mini portable fans. This integration enabled to dry thick pieces of drying product with improved drying efficiency without affecting drying product characteristics like colour, taste and texture. Kumar et al., (2012) studied the correlations between the plant growth, root yield and quality components and revealed that a strong association was exhibited. The maximum and positive correlation (0.884) was observed between the total alkaloid and withanaloid content followed by fresh root weight per plant (g) and fresh root yield per hectare (0.831) and between plant height and number of leaves per plant (0.777). The association of the plant height also exhibited a highly significant correlation with stem diameter (0.659), alkaloid (0.777) and withanaloid (0.668) content in the roots. Balbay et al., (2012) presented an experimental study on microwave drying of liquorice roots at different temperatures 40, 45, 45, and 55C corresponding to different microwave power levels of 250, 500 and 750 W and proposed a new model by considering several models such as co - efficient of determination, sum square error and root mean square error for the fitting of experimental data.

Karaaslan et al., (2012) presented a study of influence of spray drying conditions on the physicochemical properties of liquorice extract by considering inlet air temperature, maltodextrin concentration and maltodextrin dextrose equivalent and found that addition of maltodextrin reduced the stickiness of the powder and increased the yield. Moisturecontent decreased with increase in the inlet air temperature and hygroscopicity decreased with decrease in dextrose equivalent.

Almuhanna et al., (2012) presented a study to check the feasibility of a solar greenhouse as a solar dryer for drying dates in which solar energy was converted into useful heat gain for rapid drying of product. The overall thermal efficiency of the solar greenhouse was found to be 57.2%.

Rajeswara et al., (2012) studied the future scope, opportunities and challenges in the cultivation of Ashwagandha.
Gunasekaran et al., (2012) designed a solar dryer integrated with biomass energy and evaluated by using experimental study of drying coleus stem by adopting different three ways in which hybrid model produced the moisture content of stems to be 12.3% solar dryer produced 33% and bio-mass produced 19.6%. Muazu et al., (2012) developed a forced air convection vegetable dryer for okra and tomato drying in which drying period was very less as compare to open sun drying. The drying period of okra was 5 hours and that of tomato was 5 hours 40 minutes as against of 48 hours in open sun drying. The study revealed that by increasing the surface area of the drying product, the rate of moisture evaporation also increased and consequently decreased drying time Raksakantony et al., (2012) demonstrated a study of different drying methods which produced different effects on individual phytochemicals fatty acids and volatile compounds. Total phenolic content, total flavonoid content and antioxidant power values were increased by using low relative humidity air drying and far infrared radiation drying method and compared the result with fresh leaves. .

Bagheri et al., (2013) presented an experimental study in which nine different thin layers drying model were fitted to experimental data to study the behaviour of tomato slices. Out of these nine model, Page model was found to be the most accurate for the prediction of product moisture content by considering the constraint drying thicknesses and air velocity. Sundari et al., (2013) developed a solar drying technique with evacuated tube collector which required less product drying time as compare to open sun drying and it can be used even during no sunshine and winter season with better control over drying product characteristics like colour, taste, texture etc.

Eke et al., (2013) presented three natural convection direct mode solar vegetable dryers and evaluated drying performance on the given crops Tomato, Okra, Carrot each sliced in 15mm thickness and found 50% saving in drying time when compared with open sun drying. The drying efficiency of Tomato, Okra and carrot dried in solar dryers were determined under the average solar dryer temperature of with natural convection heat flow. Toshniwal et al., (2013) presented a study in which solar dryer found to be more efficient, safer, faster and economical then the traditional sun drying techniques. The dried product produced was better looking, better tasting and more nutritious food having better food value and marketability

Literature Gap and Problem Formulation From the literature it is found that Ashwagandha and Liquorice are ayurvedic medicinal herbs and are used for overall improvement of health and body systems. These herbs are generally dried under open sun conditions. The open sun drying method is inefficient and requires more time. So, an attempt is to be made to design and fabricate a solar dryer which will result in faster drying of these medicine herbs.

Objectives: The main objectives of this research are: 1.Design and fabrication of a solar dryer. 2.Evaluation of drying characteristics of medicinal herbs. 3.Evaluation of thermal performance of the solar dryer. 4.Development of mathematical model for the said solar dryer.

Tentative Research Methodology

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Balbay, A., Sahin, O., (2012), Microwave drying kinetics of a thin layer liquorice root, Drying technology, 30, pp. 859-864. Karaaslan, I., Dalgic, A., (2012), Spray Drying of Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) extract, Journal of Food Science and Technology Almunanna, E., (2012), Utilization of a solar greenhouse as a solar dryer for drying dates under the climate conditions of the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, Journal of Agricultural Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 237-24 Rajeswara, B.R., Rajput, D.K., Nagaraju G., Adinarayana G., (2012), Opportunities and challenges in the cultivation of ashwagandha, Journal of pharmacognosy, Vol.3, No.02, pp. 88-91 Gunasekaran, K., Shanmugam, V., Sureth, P., (2012), Modelling and analytical experimental study of hybrid solar dryer integrated with biomass dryer for drying coleus forskohlii stems, IACSIT Coimbatore Conferences, Vol. 28 Muazu, K., Bugaje, I., Mohammed, I., (2012), Performance evaluation of forced air convection vegetable drying system, Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 2562-2568 Raksakantong, P., Siriamorupun, S., Meeso, M., (2012), Effect of drying methods on volatile compounds, fatty acids and antioxidant property of Thai Kaffir lime, International Journal of Food Sciences and Technology, 47, pp. 603-612 Bagneri, H., Arahosseini, A., Kianmenr, M., Chegini, G., (2013), Mathematical modelling of thin layer solar drying of tomato slices, International Journal of Agricultural Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 146-150 Sundari, A., Neelamegam, P., Subramanian, C., (2013), An experimental study and analysis on solar drying of bitter ground using an evacuated tube air collection in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India, International Conference on Solar Energy Photovoltaic, pp. 1-4 Akachukuru, E., (2013), Development of small scale direct mode natural convection solar dryer for tomato, okra and carrot, International Journal of Engineering and Technology, Vol. 3, No. 2 pp. 199-204 Toshniwal, U., Karale, S., (2013), A review paper on solar dryer, International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications, Vol. 03, No. 02, pp. 896-902