Solar Tunnel Dryers — Tradition meets Technology


Awhile back we did a post on the world biggest solar kitchen. That resulted from some link surfing that began with a tip we received regarding the work of the Solar Alternative and Associated Programmes (SAAP), as reported by the Indian Tribune. SAAP is driven by the energies of a human dynamo known as 'Solar Mathew'. And he has overseen the rollout of solar thermal and solar electricity to communities throughout India. Aside from solar hot water for washing, solar steam for cooking, and direct photovoltaics, he and his team are also working on a solar-powered rickshaw, and have installed several solar refrigerators to safely store perishable health care products. We loved the solar steam driven autoclave machine developed for hospitals. But it was the introduction of the solar tunnel dryers which seemed hold the greatest promise of ...... a triple botton line result for people, planet and profit. Drying allows villagers to store a wide variety of food crop beyond harvest time, while also opening up revenue earning through the sale of excess crops. "Without any reconstruction the dryer is suitable for fruits, vegetables, spics and medical plants" drying batches of up to 250kg worth of produce. Their solar tunnel dryers appear to take the lead from work by the Institute for Agricultural Engineering in the Tropics and Subtropics of the University of Hohenheim (Germany) and INNOTECH Engineering. Its design has considerable field proofing, with"over 1000 units in operation in more than 60 countries." Solar Alternative and Associated Programmes

The pic shows Left - fruit dried traditionally, and Right -with the solar tunnel dryer.