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Thread: Solar Dehydrators, are they worth the effort?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Solar Dehydrators, are they worth the effort?

    I've been looking into building a solar dehydrator (not to be confused with a solar powered one) and was wondering if they are worth the effort. Where I live, it rarely gets above 90, so I have that working against me. But I'd really like to build something to help with our food preps. In the fall we have a large fruit harvest and my wife loves making fruit leather and dried fruit bits. And so our kitchen dehydrator runs just about 24/7 during the fall.

    Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

  2. #2
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    Dec 2008
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    Texas
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    They can be good or bad depending on which one your talking about. People have been using the sun to dehydrate food for thousands of years......in all climates

    Are you looking for a DIY one?

    I've been looking at making one of these for the BOL http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/t...z14jjzmar.aspx, probably won't do it till I move out there full time

    There are also Downdraft Solar Dehydrators which are suppose to work a little better than an updraft one like above.http://chicogardens.blogspot.com/201...ehydrator.html I've never seen a downdraft operating in person, but have seen the updraft ones and they work very well, you just have to be careful not to get them too hot as you can end up burning your food.
    Last edited by Tdale; 05-21-2016 at 05:55 PM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  3. #3
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    I've been looking at some DIY ones, that design seems to be to common one I've found. Internet DIY projects seem to be hit and miss.
    The Normalcy Bias, do you suffer from it to?

  4. #4
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    Dec 2008
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    Texas
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    A friend of mine uses an updraft one he made from these plans http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/t...z14jjzmar.aspx I've seen him use it and it works very well, it does anythinng a powered dehydratior will do, but he's in southwest Texas so his area is optimal for solar dehydrating.

    The downdraft ones are suppose to be better and might be a better solution for your AO, hopefully more people will chime in.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    AZ
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    When you make a dehydrator I would think these screen making kits would make the job easier. Here is a sample one from Home Depot but they are available many places and all the parts are sold separately.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Saint-Gob...A&gclsrc=aw.ds

  6. #6
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    KC, Misery-- It's Missouri- you have to 'Show Me'...
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    Hazzard... I've had a solar over get to 325 deg in sunny 30 degree weather... I'm sure a solar dehydrator would be effective in most environments...
    Last edited by HatetosayItoldyouso...; 05-21-2016 at 09:36 PM.
    leave the gun... take the cannoli...

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Idaho
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    I use the rafters in my green house in the spring and summer months. A 70 degree day can get to 90 or a 100 in there. Just did about 6 gallons of coral mushrooms this week. I just lay them out on window screens and put rest them on the rafters. Depending on what your drying it can be done in a day. Sometimes depending on how thick the stuff your drying is, it may take 3 days.

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