Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Solar Food Dehydrator

Lately I've been reading a lot about various solar food dehydrators and I have been trying to find a design that might be fairly easy to build. I like the idea of being able to dehydrate my own foods. There are many options available as far as materials are concerned. You can build them out of plywood, sheet metal, and cardboard boxes. My first one will most likely be made out of cardboard boxes for simplicity sake, but if it works well enough I may venture into a plywood one.

There are a few factors that will vary the efficiency of the solar dehydrator that I will make, those are: insulation, air tightness, and the size of the collector. If I can ensure that the box and collector are well insulated, this will lower my heat loss throughout the whole dehydrator. By making the collector, and the drying box air tight, this will help to ensure a good vacuum that will maximize the air movement. The size of the collector will obviously determine how hot the drying box will be able to get but I need to strike a balance so I am dehydrating and not cooking the food.

This project will most likely be occurring over a long period of time as I'm very busy, but I'll do my best to keep you updated with the progress.