Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Solar Dehydrator Links

Here is more information on Sola rDehydrators.  I found some excellent links you might find useful.


This is a list of possible materials you might want to incorporate in your dehydrator.
old storm windows
  • used but clean aluminum window screen material
  • scrap lumber
  • shelving from discarded refrigerators

Good overview of what is needed:

  • Solar radiation passes through the clear glass top of a wooden dehydrator box, then the heat trapped by the box dries the food.
  • The dehydrator also may have an absorber plate inside, which indirectly heats your food and creates a convection current of air that enters a vent at the bottom of the dryer (see image gallery).
  • The cool, fresh air that enters the vent heats up, circulates through the dryer, then exits through a vent at the top.
  • As your food dries, moisture is carried away with the hot air.    
  • Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/2006-08-01/Build-a-Solar-Food-Dehydrator.aspx#ixzz1Gg67RPSz

Humid Climate Dehydrator:

  • Excellent use of old storm windows.
  • Note: plenty of details on construction with notations within the pics, just hover your curser over the rectangles
Compact unit:

  • Has an easy to understand “exploded” photo with actual pieces laid out on the ground

You need to subscribe to this one for instructions, but it really looks interesting

Cardboard Boxes & Plastic Wrap:
Not recommended except as a stop-gap, used only in a pinch.  But hey, fun for a kid’s science fair project!

Two plans: humid dehydrator and arid climate dehydrator. This is written without paragraphs and may be a little difficult to read, but the diagrams look about right.

Designed by a fellow with a background in engineering:

  • Takes airflow into consideration
  • Has a backup system with a 200 watt light bulb in case there isn’t enough sunlight
  • Has excellent info on criteria and usage of solar dehydrator, plus info on selecting foods for drying and how brief info on using dehydrated foods.
  • See the New Mexico version at the bottom of the page…
A Solar Unit that Works Even in the Humid Midwest:

  • Overview at top of page on dehydrating
  • In dept information on various aspects of dehydrator requirements, lengthy reading, but worth it
  • Fairly large 12x4 ft unit
  • Ventilation created by corrugated roofing on bottom
  • Stainless steel dryer screens – you can order them from these people
  • Includes info for various other models
Ecohearth Unit:

  • Looks like this one may require a little skill to build, but seems to fit the criteria
  • I like the way he set up the large plastic cover with hinges and a frame of flashing
Hybrid dehydrator? solar vs electric:

  • Good overview of dehydrating principles
  • Explains design considerations
  • Compares cost of his home made unit vs store bought unit
  • Compares results of various foods in both home made unit and store bought unit – interesting reading
Review of Solar Food Drying:

  • Very interesting article with lots of helpful information
Alternative Heat Sources for Dehydrating Foods:

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