Tea industry consumes considerable quantity of thermal energy for processing – Tea industries spent annually 700 – 900 million kg of coal or equivalent in India for processing. Tea industries need hot air for the following applications – Withering – 35 Deg C Firing – maximum temperature for orthodox tea – 110 Deg C and maximum temperature for CTC tea – 140 Deg C. A large quantity of fossil fuel mostly firewood or coal are being used. Apart from emission of green house gases due to burning the fossil fuel, considerable quantity of petroleum products are required to transport fossil fuel to the plantation site.
The fresh air being taken at the heater at room temperature may be heated to 60 Deg C and above so that fossil fuel consumption could be reduced.
PEN had installed 9 air heating units in the tea industry. Many of them are more than 15 years old. It is possible to preheat the air through solar collector to provide hot air of temperature 60 Deg C and more.
This will lead to 25 – 35% reduction in the fossil fuel consumption.
Moreover usage of solar energy for processing will give a value addition to the product especially in export market using the logo Green Processing.
Golden Hills Tea Estate, Coonoor
Glendale Tea Factory, Coonoor