A theoretical model based on heat and mass transfer equations was developed for determining a reliable comparison between different solar kiln designs. It involves dividing the drying process into two sequential steps, one in which only heat transfer occurs and a second one in which the actual drying process takes place. The model gives an equation for determining the evaporated water in function of the normal drying variables, together with a specially defined parameter which gives account for the air recirculation inside the kiln. The model was validated experimentally for a box-type collector solar kiln operating under constant and falling rate drying periods. It was found that although the model could be applied satisfactorily, the tested design proved to be a very inefficient one, giving low values for the recirculating parameter.

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