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< prev - next > Crop processing Drying KnO 100526_A Simple Solar Dryer (Printable PDF)
This dryer is a mud brick construction built close to the ground
using low-cost materials for all its parts. It is easy to construct
and use. It is effective and can meet the needs of the rural
economy. This technology is basic but useful so even the most
marginalised and vulnerable groups can use it, not only to
improve food security but also to develop small-scale
enterprises. The technology requires little capital and can be
constructed in the backyard of a household. A one-time
demonstration is all that is needed to show people the benefits
of the solar dryer.
Practical Action Nepal has promoted this type of dryers in
remote parts of the country. The solar dryer was a popular
introduction because of its effectiveness, economic viability,
simplicity and hygienic practice.
Its quality and therefore its cost depends on the materials used,
its shape and size and, most importantly, resources that the
users can contribute for its construction, use and
maintenance. The basic construction is described in this
Figure 1: Putting vegetables
into the dryer. Photo: E. Judge /
Practical Action.
Materials required
The following basic materials are required for construction of SASTO Solar Dryer:
Bricks or Stones 150 - 170 pieces
Mixture of clay and finely chopped hay or dust of wood or rice husks - a few buckets
Bamboo or wood - for making the trays
Nylon or wire mesh (non-corrosive) or mesh made of bamboo 1.4m2 or 15ft2
Black paint one litre
Transparent Plastic Sheet (100 or 200 gauge) 2m
Construction details
A small piece of land about 1.8m x 2.4m or 6’x 8’
receiving sufficient sun is prepared as a platform.
Bricks or stones (whichever is locally available) are
laid down to make the base of the dryer. The dryer is
slanted by about 20 degrees from ground level facing
towards the equator. Small bamboo pipes are placed
at certain distances along the wall of the dryer as
inlets for cool air or holes can be made during
construction. Small windows or gaps on the top of
Figure 2: Laying out the groundwork for
the dryer. Photo: E. judge / Practical Action.
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