Design and construction of a Solar Powered Fruit Dehydrator.
Kasujja, Abdul Rahman
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Traditionally farmers have been employing the conventional open sky sun drying a free energy resource but has not been satisfactory as it is associated with several limitations most especially on a large scale if it is practiced for commercial purposes. Animals, birds, pests, direct radiations from the sun, dew or rain and contamination by dirt, dust or debris, damage the products. The introduction of low cost and locally manufactured solar dryers therefore provides an alternative to reduce the grand post-harvest losses. It also provides an opportunity to the farmers to produce high quality and marketable produce. The drier improves upon traditional open-air sun drying by reducing drying time and increasing the quality (nutrients, hygiene and color) of the dried product. The flavour and most of the nutritional value of dried food is preserved and concentrated. The report includes the different drying mechanism of fruits, material selection and the construction process. The use of solar energy was considered quite affordable compared to electricity and petroleum fuel most especially for small and in developing countries. The system is capable of drying the two kilograms’ fresh fruits that are of high quality compared to open sky products.