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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 579452, 12 pages
Research Article

3D Model-Based Simulation Analysis of Energy Consumption in Hot Air Drying of Corn Kernels

School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, P.O. Box 319, Shenyang 110004, China

Received 11 March 2013; Accepted 9 May 2013

Academic Editor: Hua-Shu Dou

Copyright © 2013 Shiwei Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To determine the mechanism of energy consumption in hot air drying, we simulate the interior heat and mass transfer processes that occur during the hot air drying for a single corn grain. The simulations are based on a 3D solid model. The 3D real body model is obtained by scanning the corn kernels with a high-precision medical CT machine. The CT images are then edited by MIMICS and ANSYS software to reconstruct the three-dimensional real body model of a corn kernel. The Fourier heat conduction equation, the Fick diffusion equation, the heat transfer coefficient, and the mass diffusion coefficient are chosen as the governing equations of the theoretical dry model. The calculation software, COMSOL Multiphysics, is used to complete the simulation calculation. The influence of air temperature and velocity on the heat and mass transfer processes is discussed. Results show that mass transfer dominates during the hot air drying of corn grains. Air temperature and velocity are chosen primarily in consideration of mass transfer effects. A low velocity leads to less energy consumption.