How to build a cheap homemade solar vegetable or fruit dryer.
The principles of the solar dryer are important to understand, more important
than the actual construction. If you make a chimney out of the box
structure then your actual construction can be pretty sloppy.
If the box doesn't vent properly, you can build the most expensive
pretty box and it will not work. The solar dryer needs to be as vertical as
possible while having the glass window that makes up the front face be at
an angle. A big wooden framed window works well. No one seems to want
the old wooden framed windows so you can commonly find them behind the
garage or at a recycling center. The wooden frame makes a great
starting frame for your dryer. You can use aluminum framed windows, but
there is nothing to attach to so it's much harder. You'll have to build
a frame around the aluminum frame to attach the rest of the dryer.
Vinyl windows melt and may give a nasty taste to the food. Plexiglas
also melts, warps, and will discolor with heat. Use as little synthetic
material as possible. No pressed board material, fiberglass screen,
or plastics if possible.
A finished cheap solar dryer.