Made from two cardboard boxes, some clear plastic wrap, and a little tape. You can build a nearly free solar dehydrator. Set it on a stool or chair and face it’s solar collector towards the sun, and you have a functional food preservation machine for little work and even less money.
The above picture almost says it all. Using a long thin cardboard box for the collector and a taller, nearly square, cardboard box for the drying box. Boxes could be made to size by cutting and taping together small cardboard pieces. Line the bottom of the collector box with a black plastic garbage bag or paint the bottom with black, water based, poster paint, (lamp black or soot mixed with a little vegetable oil would work as well). If you use spray paint or other toxic paints, let the collector bake in the sun for a day or two before use. Cover the top of the solar collector with clear plastic wrap or window glass, etc. Tape it together as shown.
To increase the efficiency, you may want to cover the sides and bottom of both boxes with fiberglass or styrofoam insulation.
Source: JR Whipple
A simple and effective way of dehydrating food with solar energy. Solar dryers would work well in South Africa with it’s high irradiation rates, particularly in the dry season when air humidity is lower. Solar energy is an under-utilized resource; we have so much of it and it’s free! Instead of using fossil fuel derived electricity, we need to shift to renewable energy resources if this planet is to have a future. Solar energy can be used for electricity production via photovoltaic solar panels and it can be used for solar heating. Solar water heating is becoming very attractive in South Africa as Eskom tariffs continue to rise (solar geysers can save a household as much as 50% of the electricity bill). Water Rhapsody water conservation systems (rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling) combined with Yes Solar solar solutions can help you live sustainably and save you money on your water and electricity bills. Contact us for a free quote on a water system, water tank (JOJO or Atlas water tanks) or solar water heater (made by Solsquare, Germany).