Simulation of transient heat transfer during cooling and heating of whole sweet potato roots under forced-air conditions

Author(s):   Korese, J.K., Sturm, B., Roman, F., & Hensel, O.

Publication date:  24 September 2016

Publication type:  Journal article

Journal: Applied Thermal Engineering

Abstract:  In this work, we investigated how different air velocity and temperature affect the cooling and heating rate and time of individual sweet potato roots. Additionally, we modified and applied a simulation model which is based on the fundamental solution of the transient equations for estimating the cooling and heating time at the centre of sweet potato roots. The model was adapted to receive input parameters such as thermo-physical properties of whole sweet potato roots as well as the surrounding air properties, and was verified with experimental transient temperature data. The experimental results showed that the temperature at the centre and the under skin of sweet potato roots is almost homogeneous during forced convection cooling and heating. The cooling and heating time was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by high air velocity and sweet potato root size. The simulation results quantitatively agreed with the experimental transient data. This research, thus provides a reliable experimental and theoretical basis for understanding the temperature variations as well as estimating the cooling and heating times in individual sweet potato roots under forced convection cooling and heating. The result from this study could be applied to design and optimize forced-air treatment equipments with improved energy efficiency as well as ensuring safety and the maintenance of sweet potato roots quality.

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