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PCRET to develop solar dryer for agricultural products.

ISLAMABAD -- Sun Tracked solar dryer of one ton capacity will be installed at Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET),Lahore, for drying various flowers, fruits and vegetables for export purposes.

Solar energy can be utilized very effectively in drying agriculture products using solar dryers, and good quality products can be obtained at much less cost due to savings in cost of electricity or other heating fuels that would have been used otherwise for the same purpose, an official told.

Due to lack of logistics and basic infrastructure in the northern mountainous regions of Gilgit and Skardu, tons of fruit like apricots go waste every year, he mentioned.

"Solar dryers are now being used to dry large quantities of such fruit, which are transported and sold them later in the urban market, resulting in a positive effect on the economy of this area".

He said Solar dryers could be equally effectively used in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh to dry agriculture products for better market value and generating local employment.

Several models of solar dryers have already been developed by this council and are being disseminated, which includes solar dryer for Pakistan Tobacco Board for curing of Tobacco.

Besides, PCRET has designed 500 kg capacity solar tunnel dryer for drying of fruits and vegetables for Sindh.

Official told cost of this project is Rs 1,8500m which will be met from non-development budget of PCRET.

Besides, for the first time in Pakistan, sun-tracked solar parabolic troughs will be installed at PCRET to generate hot water and steam for textiles, chemicals and process industries.

Around 25 experimental troughs are being fabricated and installed at PCRET ,using mirror polished stainless steel sheets to concentrate heat (300c to more than 600c).

An amount of Rs 55.3 million is allocated for the completion of the project, and PCRET along with Engineering Development Board (EDB) will complete the project by December 2013, official sources told.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 29, 2013
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