You are on page 1of 7

Home Sign Up!

Explore Community Submit


All Art Craft Food Games Green Home Kids Life Music Offbeat Outdoors Pets Photo Ride Science Tech

Solar Food Dehydrator (Dryer)


by Permaculture on October 4, 2009 Table of Contents License: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: Solar Food Dehydrator (Dryer) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . step 1: Learn the Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . step 2: Find Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . step 3: Size Pieces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . step 4: Assemble Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . step 5: Additional Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . step 6: Dehydration Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertisements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 6 6 6

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/

License: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) Intro: Solar Food Dehydrator (Dryer)
Dry your fruit, vegetables, and other goods with your own sun powered dehydrator. Electric Food Dehydrators can be expensive and consume unnecessary energy. This solar dehydrator was made entirely of recovered materials. It was constructed with scrap ply wood, 2x4s from an old ladder, a house window, and other items which could be considered trash. It was created as a project at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. Why We Dry: Removal of moisture prevents bacteria from ruining your values fruits and vegetables. Drying is a form of preservation.

step 1: Learn the Design


Become familiar with the design to minimize mistakes... There are vents underneath in the front which are hidden in this picture. The darker section is a piece of heat absorbent material, we used painted metal for this particular dehydrator, but other materials will do as long as they are dark. The food itself is placed on the shelf, which will be made out of a cloth screen. Other screen-like materials can be used, but take chemical leeching into consideration to prevent contamination. The back piece of ply wood can be opened to remove the shelf and provide additional ventilation.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/

step 2: Find Materials


Thin Ply Wood (Body) 4 2.5' Long 2" x 4"s 10 feet of 2" x 2" wood (Braces and drying shelf support) A Window (20" x 23 1/8") or a suitable slab of clear plastic. Screen (For covering vents) Stretchable Cloth/Material. We used stalkings. (For drying rack) 2 Hinges Screws Staples Thermometer A Hook & String (To fasten the rear door) Caulk (For perfectionists)

step 3: Size Pieces


Here is a checklist for the plywood pieces. -1' x 23 1/4"' (Top) - TWO 20" x 12" x 26 1/8" x 14 1/8" (Sides) This has a diagonal cut. -26 1/8" x 23 1/16" (Bottom) This will be trimmed to fit legs and vents. -14 1/8" x 23 1/16" (Back) This will be on hinges. *Careful Cutting

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/

step 4: Assemble Frame


A. Cut 2" x 4" notches out on the bottom ply wood piece for legs. Cut out 2" x 4" slits for ventilation. B. Construct base first as pictured. C. Fasten side pieces of ply wood to legs. D. Attach rear ply wood piece. E. Screw 2" x 2" on top of side pieces to anchor the top piece. (This is more clear after viewing the second picture on this step) *Drill then screw to prevent splitting

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/

step 5: Additional Components


A. Size and Insert heat absorbent shelf (Approximately 23" x 20") . This rests on the top of the legs. B. Construct drying screen by stretching and stapling material over a 14" x 22 1/2" frame constructed of 2" x 2" pieces. C. Cut and attach support piece for drying screen. D. Attach the window. Caulking the borders is recommended, but if the window is flush against the frame, then caulking is optional. E. Cover vents with screen material to protect from insects. F. Place thermometer inside, ideally close to the drying screen rack. *Clean parts before adding them

step 6: Dehydration Tips


A. Dehydration will occur between 100 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower and bacteria can grow, any higher and it will be cooking. In order to achieve this balance the rear door may need to be left ajar. B. Different fruits and vegetables have different optimum drying temperature ranges. Research what you are drying to find this out. C. Remember to store your result in a dry place. Thank you for reading our directions!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/

Related Instructables
Humid Climate Solar Dehydrator by amtrudell

Deshidratador solar / solar dehydrator by moglyznox

Basic Care Instructions for the Green Iguana by bamoser

Make a dehydrator from a dorm fridge by jamilks

Solar Assisted Composting Toilet by lamar5292

Arranging your life ecologically, ethically and simple by Green_Anarchist

HoshiGaki by farmerjeff

Storing Bulk Dry Foods in PETE Bottles using Oxygen Absorbers by grandpajoe

Advertisements

Comments
11 comments Add Comment

joanofarc says:
What is the purpose of the "feet" on the front legs?

Nov 22, 2009. 12:14 PM REPLY

Permaculture says:
It's hard to see in the picture, but the feet have little toes carved into them. It's purely aesthetic, nothing else.

Nov 23, 2009. 2:14 PM REPLY

unlvdating says:

Nov 18, 2009. 7:34 PM REPLY Thanks a lot for the post. I really want to learn how to grow plants using hydroponics but I dont have much knowledge about this method. I appreciate your effort in writing articles or posts about hydroponics which helps me a lot in understanding matters about this amazing method of planting. Climate Control

syed najam javed says:


its really great to see some best thing created out of junk

Nov 11, 2009. 8:52 AM REPLY

maria jorquera says:


quiero ke me dejen bajarlo para poder hacerloooo

Nov 2, 2009. 1:17 PM REPLY

DrChill says:
For cooler climates, consider - double glazing. This can be glass or clear plastic film wrapped around the window. Also consider thin insulation; either rigid foam or aluminized bubble pack. This may solve the - not hot enough problem, but it may tend to over-heat sometimes. Yours is a nice design/ idea, but my only concern is that there is no temp/humidity control mechanism.

Oct 22, 2009. 8:34 AM REPLY

There are green-house roof window controls that open & close depending on the temp. Maybe something like this could be added to the design.

nfarrow says:
What software did you use to make this?

Oct 14, 2009. 3:59 AM REPLY

Permaculture says:
Adobe Photoshop :) I just used the line tool and traced the realphotograph on another layer.

Oct 14, 2009. 1:20 PM REPLY

gcai_fwb says:
Great Idea and instructable!

Oct 8, 2009. 10:13 AM REPLY

However for use in more northern climes the sun is not enough during the cooler months and we have to resort to electrical methods. Rather than using a stand alone dehydrator I've found a single 100W incandescent light bulb placed at the bottom of the oven of my stove works very well, creating sustained 150-160 degree heat. I've added a light dimmer to vary the bulb intensity ie. a heat control - a little expermentation and I have a cheap and effective dehydrator with relatively low running costs. For more heat add light bulbs or a combination of different wattages. Note: CFL bulbs will NOT create the desired heat.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/

jessimata says:
VERY NICE!

Oct 5, 2009. 9:35 PM REPLY

Awesome-aniac says:

Oct 5, 2009. 7:35 PM REPLY I live about four hours away from there. It's been so cold and rainy lately, that this wouldn't be of much use. I do agree that electric dehydrators consume lots of energy. They are kind of like ovens that run all day long.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Food-Dehydrator-Dryer/