Development of a Compact Solar Vegetable Dehydrator
Agricultural products, such as, vegetables are generally perishable and are difficult to store. Drying is one method to reduce the increase their shelf life. Dehydrators use different type of energy as per availability and requirement. Solar dehydrators are more popular since they use renewable solar energy. In this paper such a domestic passive solar dehydrator is designed and analysed for its utility and effectiveness. The dehydrator is designed for converting the perishable agricultural products into powders so that it can be stored and used for longer time. It is designed in two parts. The first part work as a solar energy collector and the second part works as the dehydrator. The heat from solar radiations is imparted to the air in the solar collector. This hot air is used in dehydrator foe drying agricultural products. The experimentation has been performed for different temperatures and flow velocity of air varying for different vegetables depending on their moisture content and time required to remove the moisture. It is observed that drying at different temperature is required for different vegetables to convert them into powder. The taste and colour of the powder produced are found to be good. Therefore, it is suitable and affordable even for farmers with lesser quantity of products.
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