Dr. Erik Bardy’s research aimed at increasing efficiency

Grove City College professor of mechanical engineering Dr. Erik Bardy recently published an article in the journal Energy based on research he completed during his spring 2014 sabbatical in France.

“Transient Exergetic Efficiency and Moisture Loss Analysis of Forced Convection Drying With and Without Electrohydrodynamic Enhancement” details work conducted by Bardy and several colleagues working at ONIRIS (Laboratoire de Génie des Procédés Environnement et Agroalimentaires.) ONIRIS is a Food Science Engineering and Veterinary Science Institution, and a subset of the University of Nantes, France. ONIRIS is also the activity partner for Grove City College’s European Study Center in Nantes. His co-authors are Merouane Hamdi, Michel Havet and Olivier Rouaud.

Bardy’s research is focused on trying to improve the energy efficiency of the food drying process, which is mainly used to lower the water mass in foods such as fruits, vegetables, spices and other products with high moisture content. It offers many benefits, including extended shelf-life, reduced packaging and storage, handling and transportation costs, along with out-of-season availability. Drying is an energy intensive process, with some developed countries reporting that between 12 and 20 percent of their national industrial energy consumption is due to thermal dehydration operations. Bardy and his colleagues found that enhancing the food drying process with an electrostatic field yielded significantly greater efficiencies.

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