Trees That Feed Foundation

Dryer Design and Data

Mike Dryer Trees That Feed Foundation’s newest project: a solar dryer for breadfruit! Based on some great preliminary work through our partnership with Northwestern, we are getting a prototype ready for the Caribbean. Mike has been hard at work on this project, as you can see. Read an update from him below:

“Here is the first solar dryer component, the solar collector. This is a 4′ x 8′ corrugated metal sheet, painted black, within a wood frame, covered by an acrylic top. Solar energy at the earth’s surface is approximately 1 kW per sq. meter. This collector is roughly two square meters and the idea is to feed warm air into a cabinet dryer. The warm air will rise through the cabinet and dry out the shredded breadfruit, which sits on stainless steel mesh shelves. Dried breadfruit has a long shelf life (one year or more), so this process will help supply food year-round to people in Haiti, Jamaica and elsewhere. Solar test graph

Here is the actual data on the solar collector.Even in the cool Chicago spring, we raised the air temperature by over 25 degrees F and lowered relative humidity from 42% to 16%. That should dry out the fruit and preserve it nicely. And it should work even better in the hot tropical sunlight of Jamaica and Haiti! 

Next step … the cabinet and its ventilation. Stay tuned.”

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