Friday, July 3, 2015

OFF GRID - How to Build a Solar Food Dryer, what a good food dehydrator must be.

The biggest problem with growing your own foods tends to be the amount of excess food you end up with when your crops start coming in.

Of course you will CAN as much of your excess foods as you are able to, but one other option that should be considered, is building and using your own solar dehydrator.

A Solar Dryer is a simple device actually that exists for one purpose, to use the heat of the sun to dry your foods for use in the off-season periods of the year.

Below is a list of the top things that a really good solar dryer must have built into them. Using this information, you should be able to build your own solar dryer and maybe you will have a lot of the parts just lying around your house or garage.

Look around and build yourself one of these devices, and enjoy dried versions of your favorite vegetables and fruits year round.

Materials: Some people use sheet metal riveted together or weather sealed wood for a chamber, some use cardboard, cookie sheets, even sheet plastic for trays, some use scrap screens or make wood frames and nail window screen material onto the wood frame.
For a vent, you could cut some round holes, staple or nail screen materials over the holes and use a larger round disk, hinged at one edge for an air flow control.

A sheet of used plexiglass, even a badly scratched one can make a good waterproof roof. An old coffee or side table can make a good stand to keep your dryer off the ground.

Just read the list below, think about the problem for a few minutes and I bet you can build a pretty good Solar Food Dryer yourself, and do it cheaply.

What does a Solar Dryer need to do;
  1. Use food trays that are easily cleaned and are durable. 
  2. Must be designed to Dry foods quickly. 
  3. Have a convenient gauge for monitoring the food chamber's temperature. 
  4. Vents with controls for adjusting air flow to control the food temperature. 
  5. Must have screens over foods and on vents to keep any insects away.
  6. Must be Easy to load and unload. 
  7. Must be portable for off-season storage. 
  8. Must be weather-resistant and must keep the "drying foods" dry. 
  9. Must be made to last for multiple years of use. 

Use this information and you, the small gardener or the big-time gardener cna make a cheap and functional food dryer.

by Don Bobbitt, 2015
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, 2015, All Rights Reserved.