DIY





A Solar Food Dryer from Cardboard Boxes

Putting together a solar food dryer is a simple winter project (for you or your kids) that can help you preserve next summer's produce.

| January/February 1981

It seems that — at long last — a goodly number of people in government and industry are beginning to come around to the notion that, yes, there might be something to this sun-energy concept after all! Unfortunately, whenever the bigwigs begin "talking solar," they invariably speak in terms of multimillion dollar projects, brain-trust technologies, and the all-too-familiar decade-long implementation schedules.

Well, all that may be necessary (although I doubt it) for some solar energy applications, but I've designed a solar food dryer that anyone — and I do mean anyone — can put together for pennies ... and in minutes!

To build your sun-powered unit, choose a long, shallow cardboard box and cut a few holes in each of the narrow ends. That done, paint the inside of the container black or line it with black plastic sheeting — whichever is easier. Cover the box with clear plastic, and your heat catcher is complete.

Now, take another cardboard box and make several holes in one side. Then use some scrap cardboard and masking tape to form an air duct connecting the shallow "solar" unit to the side of the drying box. Set the latter on a table or stand, and lean the solar box against it at the most effective angle to catch the sun's rays. Finally, lay a cloth screen on top of the drying box and deploy the food to be dehydrated on that surface.



If you really splurged on this device, you might be able to spend $1, but I doubt it! Granted, it's not very permanent, and it's certainly not waterproof. But, then, you wouldn't leave your drying comestibles out in the rain or snow anyway, would you?

Note: Run the dryer for a few days without any food, to drive off any fumes that might be released from the paint or plastic.  

www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/27/2018 9:45:24 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)


Cindy
6/6/2016 1:40:46 PM

I agree with Sharon....last part of the instructions are too vague. The drawing doesn't look like it includes this step. Step-by-step drawings would help a lot. Could i make a solar dryer with pallets? Any suggestions on how to make a pallet solar dryer would helpful, too. Cindy


Cindy
6/6/2016 1:40:14 PM

I agree with Sharon....last part of the instructions are too vague. The drawing doesn't look like it includes this step. Step-by-step drawings would help a lot. Could i make a solar dryer with pallets? Any suggestions on how to make a pallet solar dryer would helpful, too. Cindy







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard