Survey Of Solar Agricultural Dryers

Technical Report T99 December 1975

BRACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE Macdonald College of McGill University Ste. Anne de Bellevue Quebec, Canada HOA ICO

Survey of Solar Agricultural Dryers

Brace Research institute Macdonald College of McGill University Ste. Anne de Bellevue Quebec, Canada H9X 3Ml

This work has been supported by a grant provided by the Non-Governmental Organization Division of the Canadian International Development Agency, Ottawa, Canada.


The increasing population of the world necessitates the provision of a greater supply of food. This raises the question of the preservation of agricultural surpluses. One of the methods traditionally used to preserve surplus produce is drying of the material in the sun. The industry is extensive and practiced on a world wide basis.

In more recent times, attempts have been made to increase the effectiveness of these traditional sun drying techniques in order to:

a. make better use of the available solar radiation as well as other climatological factors, b. produce a more evenly dried product of higher quality c. reduce the noxious effects caused by dust, dirt and insect infestation, d. reduce the dangers of incomplete drying caused by sudden rainfalls, high humiditities, etc., e. reduce , wherever possible,the time taken to dry the agricultural product.

This equipment is referred to as solar agricultural dryers. This report attempts to review some of the dryers actually built by experimenters and practitioners in the field.

Several criteria have been used in preparing this report:

1. there is a focus on work adapted for use in rural areas of developing regions,

2. generally, small scale dryers have been studied in order that the report might be of use to individuals and organizations in these areas wishing not only to apply this technology but also to improve it, adapting it to local conditions,

3. a representative, but by no means exhaustive, cross-section of different types of dryers from a variety of areas around the world have been selected, it is possible that these dryers might find application in a number of different areas. Also it is recognized that new designs of solar dryers are continuously being developed, so that this type of report will require frequent updating.

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