The Solar Dryer
The concept of the Solar Dryer is easy but genius.
It consists of three main parts: a box, a trapezoid shaped contraption made of Plexiglas, and a chimney. Inside the box is a removable tray, where the grain can be laid out on to dry. Attached to the bottom of the box is the Plexiglas trapezoid, which serves as a kind of greenhouse, warming the air inside. At the front it has a small gap, so fresh air can get in. Through the circulation induced by the chimney, the warm air is sucked up through the box, passing the tray and in the process taking the moisture from the grain with it outside.
This is the miniature prototype we built in our backyard:
The next step
Now we have to build another, bigger prototype to test the efficiency of the concept. We partnered up with the Urbis Foundation, and are going to build the prototype on one of their training farms in Togo. The original plan was to travel to Togo ourselves to build the it with the farmers together, but, due to Covid-19, that is impossible at the moment. So, we had to think of a different way to get the Solar Dryer built, ideally before the next harvest season, so it can be put to use straight away. The plan now is to make a construction manual, so the farmers can built the prototype themselves. For updates on this check out our news section.