Three Solar Food Dehydrators – solar energy at work!

All right, Robert, I I know what this is: where’s, where’s, the little hole in the wall that looks like a moon that’s, a different building, ma’ Am! Is that, like a ramp to get up and do it? Oh, is it doesn’t even have a door, how the hell do you get in there? Well, on the back, this is our solar, dehydrator.

Alright, that makes more sense. Okay, I’m with you. It took me a minute there. Okay, the idea is that the Sun shines on this under this glass, all right that’s black in there we cleaned that off. So it’s more black and heats that up heat rises.

So already we’re having flow going up this ramp. Okay, also, the tall chimney is also black note it. The Sun shines on that. You guys it up also create to draw now we have air going in the bottom and coming out the top, so the one of the top sucks on the top.

This one blows I’m with you. I’m with you over here open this back door. Oh man and in here we have eight trays, three foot by three foot stainless steel screen, so you can load those. It looks mighty new if you guys even use this.

Yet this is a year and a half old we’ve, tried all the bunch of stuff in here enjoyed beams and flowers and cherries, cherries. We burnt some Tomatoes, we put tomatoes in it and it was extra hot that day and they came back over here later and they were all black.

It became big Tomatoes: Oh big Tomatoes, hmm, so raisins took a while if the Sun, if the Sun, isn’t really really Jordan. That was later in the year a year when there’s, more clouds and more rain, but um.

What a dried keel, walnuts, walnuts, yeah, apples, apples, it’s called a downdraft Solar dehydrator and what it does is it uses three passive forces. So there’s, no fans necessary to do the dehydration process.

This is the collector on the front. This is a blank if it goes down about six inches and I would recommend painting it black. I put black plastic and that’s, starting to cramp up in there, and so what happens? Is air enters from below, and I obviously got to clean that grass out air enters from below and then it it goes.

It heats up as it travels up this channel, so the warm air is entering from the top and it as as the air gathers moisture. It tends to sink and that’s. Why this we don’t the downdraft design, doesn’t, have the warm air entering from the bottom, because it would be fighting itself as it gathered, moisture going through the inners from the top and it gathers moisture sinks.

So that’s, the second passive force and it wants to gets to the bottom at the bottom, there’s, a chimney which is basically you know the the width of the dryer and a few inches few inches deep, and I guess That’s, a third passive, or what do you got in there now? Ah Nettles? So here it is, May oh, I can see the little set.

No, so you got prunes yeah. These are Italian, plum, sweet! We drive last fall. They’re still in here from high school um. This. This Solar dehydrator turned out to be a real good deal and the reason we got into the solar dehydrating is I borrowed.

I do a lot of fruit tree pruning and people give me a lot of fruit and I borrowed about eight electric dryers one day and I dried a load of fruit and it cost me when I got the power bill enough to where I could have bought A 55-gallon drum of fruit, so I never dry with electricity.

Again it just cost too much. A friend of mine built this unit. Look his McKeever, I don’t, know where he got the plants, but he’s modified it. Since then, he’s built a few of these, and this thing works pretty darn.

Well, it’s got ten shelves. Each rack is two by three feet. They can hold a whole lot of fruit and it works out a very interesting and current counterintuitive way. Right here is the solar collector collects the heat, heat comes up, comes in here and gets pushed down through the column of fruit, and then this back wall here is a chimney.

Slash it’s, got a false wall in and it’s actually a chimney. So the air is getting sucked through. Here it’s, not really the heat that’s drying this fruit. It’s. The air movement and the air moves pretty darn, quick.

Of course, the heat doesn’t hurt at all, but we’ve, dried things on cold cloudy days and without without a whole bunch of meat. It’s, mostly the air, so this this is just a piece of wood inside it’s, painted black yeah yeah and then in plexiglass.

The key to this whole unit is it’s got to be airtight and it needs a little maintenance right now. If you’ve got a it when things start working and such and because, if you want that air to come up here, draw them down down and then back up through this balls wall, you’ve got to have it sealed pretty Darn tight, they can drive plums in about three days and they’re.

The hardest thing to dry apples only takes about a day and a half, and then um. You can dry other things in here to meet. If you want to, I’m gonna want to test one of your pruney things here. Well, let’s just been sitting out there for what six seven months yeah just sits here, yeah seven months sitting out, there seems plenty good in me: yeah there’s that wall.

If you can feel the air rushing through whoa yeah. I can it’s, it’s, pulling air but hard yeah, even with the door open. So when you shut the door, it really goes. If you like, this sort of thing, come on out to the forums of permease calm, where we talked about preserving food, homesteading permaculture, all the time how about dead animals, he put any dead animals in there.

A bad me. Besides cats,