Turning on the oven for two hours, flipping on the coffee machine three times a day, running the faucet to wash dishes – all are common occurrences in the average household, but few take time to consider just where all that energy comes from. In effect, energy derived from non-renewable resources is on the rise, and sustainably-wise, that’s not good news.
Near 70% of energy used in the world is from either coal or nuclear; however they are not the only sources of energy capable of powering the modern world. Solar, wind, and geothermal technologies exist, but unfortunately are still somewhat costly and seemingly slow to implement.
Therefore to create sustainable, radical change, there is a need (and growing interest) for the individual to become proactive and create environmentally-friendly alternatives at home. Using sun, water, and earth’s properties can result in incredible DIY projects – one being a solar-powered dehydrator!
For those who wish to preserve fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other foods for future use, a dehydrator is an incredible piece of equipment that can be made with no plug-in necessary! Not only that, these DIY projects are extremely economical and may save you money down the road! A recent article we published also shows how easy it is to build a solar heating panel with soda cans.
Harnessing the sun’s energy has never been so easy, and the seven variations proving just that follow:
1. The Simple Solar Dehydrator
For those who wish to spend less time on the process of making a solar dryer, this plan is perfect. The ultimate goal of drying fruits and vegetables can be fulfilled, and it is quite simple to build!
A DETAILED PLAN can be found here, but the basics follow:
- Craft a frame – length and width are your choice
- Join the sides together to make a perfect, sealed shape
- Add a door to the front
- Use trays for support
- Insert heat absorber
- Add cover to the frame
2. Passive Solar Dehydrator
This DIY dehydrator is more sophisticated than the first, using pinewood and a basic covering from aluminum. While it might take a few days to create, one can call upon professional help to chop the wood and speed along the process.
3. Large Solar Dryer
For those who seek to preserve seeds long-term, this is a fantastic design. However, in order to carry through with an efficient plan, the following items are needed:
- Sizing of the solar collectors
- Constructing the basic frame
- Support for the rooftop and solar mounting
- Collector downward slope
- Air vents
- Cooling fans
4. Basic Solar Dehydrator
A manufactured dehydrator has a simple purpose: dry food at low temperatures to preserve nutrition and life. The same can be accomplished with this dehydrator! The following items are needed:
- Wood Screws (big and small)
- Metal Screen
- Clear Plastic / Glass
- Corrugated plastic panel
- Black paint
Creating the ‘legs’ would require:
- Wooden posts
- Corks from bottles
- Link chains
And the ENTIRE PLAN can be found here.
5. Thin, Plywood Solar Dryer
This may belong in the category of ‘best food dehydrators’ as it is highly functional, yet it consumes less time to make. The following materials are needed:
- Plywood (for making the body)
- Wood for braces (support)
- Screen (as cover for vents)
To follow through with the process exactly, follow the COMPLETE PLAN as outlined here.
6. Workable Solar Dehydrator
This simple solar dryer can make the process of creating your own much easier. The design is like a book with front-covered plastic sheets and a base made of wood. It is highly functional, and all details and measurements of how to create it can be
7. Inexpensive & Handy Solar Dryer
This dryer is basic with slanted solar panels, so it looks similar to a vertical garden. It might be the best-looking plan out there for those getting started, and is highly versatile, allowing one to dry multiple items simultaneously.
View and follow through with the COMPLETE PLAN here.
Becoming more sustainable and self-efficient is a growing trend. Building your own solar-powered dehydrator can ensure that you always have the opportunity to dry and preserve nutrient-rich foods for the future to come.