Development of an Intermittent Solar Dryer for Cocoa Beans


  • Ayokunle Oluwasanmi Fagunwa Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
  • Olufemi Adebola Koya Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
  • Micheal Oladimeji Faborode Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


A solar dryer with thermal energy storage was developed for intermittent drying of cocoa beans. The prototype was built using readily available local materials.  Drying mechanism was based on a combination of convective heating and direct radiation, with a provision for controlling the rate of airflow through the beans.  The experimental model dehydrated cocoa beans from 53.4 to 3.6% moisture content (w.b) in a 72 hours inter-mittent drying process against ambient temperature and relative humidity in the range 25-30oC and 58-98%, respectively.  Quality assessment of the dried beans showed that beans of good quality attributes: pH of 6.35, acid value of 3.40 mg/g, with mildly bitter taste were obtained under free convective drying; whilst, increase in moisture re-absorption and acidic flavour were indicated with forced convective drying.  The work, thus, provides a viable system for producing cocoa beans of good quality attributes, comparable with using the traditional sun-drying, but without the associated drudgery.

Author Biographies

Ayokunle Oluwasanmi Fagunwa, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Department of Agricultural Engineering

Doctoral Student

Olufemi Adebola Koya, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Senior Lecturer

Micheal Oladimeji Faborode, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Department of Agricultural Engineeering







IV-Energy in Agriculture