I recently came across solar driers completely by accident while researching biodigestors. A strange thing finding food mixed up with faecal matters...anyway, I quite liked the idea of drying fruit and veg when there is excess and abundance available in my garden and in the wild. Especially when it doesn't involve consuming electricity in doing so. I've had small electrical dehydrators, they seem very energy inefficient, therefore I am not keen on using them.

After reading up on solar food driers, I decided to build one out of whatever resources I could find at the local resource recovery site. It wasn't hard, all the ingredients were sitting there waiting to be reused.

The following link has a pictorial evolution of what was built a few weeks ago.


Have a go at building your own one, it has potential to satisfy.

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Comment by Tim Ryan on January 10, 2011 at 10:25pm

its quite simple to remove the cooling unit in old fridges as it is all attached to the outside. the internal freezer box simply unscrews and easily manouvres out of the back of the fridge. copper pipes are soft and can be bent slightly if need be.


the cooling unit then went to the local recycling centre to get degased properly and then sold for scrap, as there are recoverable metals within the unit. 


Comment by Earl Mardle on January 10, 2011 at 11:37am

Brilliant idea. Good luck with the drying, looks like I have a winder project, there's an old skylight downstairs that will make a perfect collector cover.

You mention that there is no need to vent the gas, can you be more epxlicit about how you avoided that and what you have done with the cooling unit? Is there some way that can be used as well in another application?

Comment by Tim Ryan on January 9, 2011 at 10:01pm
thanks mark, the back panel has been left silver, although after this summer i will be evaluating the performance of the dryer, with possible redesign if necessary. it is up to around 30c inside at the moment, hoping to dry fruit in it this week.
Comment by Mark on January 5, 2011 at 8:24pm
Nice work Tim, is the back panel of the solar collector painted black? I imagine inside the old fridge gets quite warm on a good day.

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