Solar Food Dryer FAQs
Do Solar Food Dryers Really Work?
Solar food drying is fun and practical! Solar dryers can be highly effective and on par with the best electric dryers. They run on free, renewable sunshine (saving $1 to $2 per load) and have many other advantages over electric dryers, including: They’re quiet (no noisy fans), they stay outside (no unwanted heat, moisture, or odor indoors), and they don’t attract ants and other pests into your house.
Is Solar Food Drying Right for My Location?
A good solar dryer will work well in most of the world and anywhere in the Lower 48 States where you can get two days of sunshine in a row with some regularity. In fact, just about anywhere you can grow a successful outdoor vegetable garden, you can use a solar dryer.
Why Haven’t I Heard More About Solar Food Dryers?A factor that may have held solar food drying back in the past was a perceived lack of convenience and performance. There is plenty of power in the sun to dry food quickly, so good performance simply requires proper design.
Along with a growing awareness of our over-reliance on fossil fuels, we are seeing an increased interest in healthy eating, high quality organic produce, local food production, and sustainable living. Solar food drying is an obvious part of the solutions to these challenges.
What Is the Best Solar Food Dryer Design?
For the most enjoyment and the best results, a good solar food dryer must perform on a number of levels. Of course it must efficiently capture solar energy and provide proper venting and temperature control to get your food dry quickly. But it must also be easy to use, sanitary, weatherproof, pest proof, durable and usually portable. Another useful feature is a backup electric heating system to give you dependable drying for those occasions when the sun goes into hiding.
Should I Go Solar?
Solar food drying is an excellent solar energy application that really works! If you have a vegetable garden, fruit trees, or a passion for locally-grown produce, consider getting a solar food dryer to get the most from this summer bounty.
Where Can I Get a Good Solar Food Dryer?
We are no longer producing the complete kit for the SunWorks Solar Food Dryer, so you will need to either make it yourself, or have someone make it for you. Plans for making the SunWorks dryer and descriptions of other good designs can be found in the book: The Solar Food Dryer.
More information on solar food drying can be found under these links: