The volume of Indonesian tea exports to the European Union (EU) decreased by 43% in 2014 because of the EU setting a maximum residue limit of anthraquinone (AQ) for tea as 0.02 mg/kg. The content of AQ in tea leaves increases when there is incomplete combustion in the combustion of firewood for the energy source of withering and drying of tea leaves. This study aims to develop and test a new concept for the direct use of low-temperature geothermal energy with a heat pipe heat exchanger (HPHE) for the withering of tea leaves as a solution for energy sources free from AQ. The geothermal fluid simulators use water, which is heated by heater and flowed by a pump. The HPHE used consists of 42 heat pipes and 181 fins. The heat pipe used has a length of 700 mm with an outer diameter of 10 mm. Each fin is made of aluminum with a thickness of 0.105 mm and a size of 76 × 345 mm2. The results show that the effectiveness of the HPHE varies from 66% to 79.59%. For 100 g of fresh tea leaves, the heating energy produced ranges from 15.21 W to 45.07 W, meaning it can wither tea leaves from 80% (w.b.) to 54% (w.b.) in a variety of 11 h 56 min to only 49.6 min. The Page mathematical model is the best model to represent the behavior of the tea leaves with this HPHE system.
- heat pipe heat exchanger
- low temperature geothermal energy
- tea leaves