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Stone cupboard solar food dryer: design and air circulation  RSS feed

 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I will post a pic of the place for my project... Thanks in advance for any idea.
I would like to know if any one has built a solar food dryer with stones before?
(I have seen only wood cupboard types)

I have a stone wall making a corner south and west, in my sunniest place on top of rocks!
I wish to build the cupboard on the south side.

I want an indirect system (no direct sun on the food, fruit, herbs...)
I suppose I will need something to make hot air going up,
I have little space in front of it (it is my path!)

Then I will use drawers to put the food inside.
I have no idea how to make the front doors so that they get the heat.
I will have no access to the northern back side.

Then I will need to think about the roof and a sort of chimney for the air to go out.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1337
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Here is the place that is my "rincon solar"

It is my place receiving sun 1st in the morning and last in the evening, as I am in a valley.
i will put better pics whenever possible.
You can well see the corner and the spare stones are slowly going away into walls.

rincon-solar146_600.JPG
[Thumbnail for rincon-solar146_600.JPG]
 
Adam Chisholm
Posts: 24
Location: Bluegrass region of Kentucky, USDA Zone 6a - unpredictable but manageable
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Xisca,

(I think I just saw your name in the forum on my comment for Sandor Is your plan to build an updraft solar dryer or a down-draft solar dryer? I'm intrigued by your idea to use stone, but it might prove to be a difficult material to work with as far as a conventional dryer. My dryers have tight seals except for the vents/chimney and the air inlet, so I'm thinking about how many gaps you'll have in a stone wall (I'm inexperienced with this idea of stone drying, so that may not be a problem)

Also, which way am I facing as I look into your picture. You said that it was going to face south. Is south to the left in the picture? I have some ideas coming to mind right away that I'd love to sketch out for you and scan in as a picture so you can see, but it will help if I can orient myself to that picture. What sort of materials do you have to work with for drawers, solar heat accumulator, and chimney? If you were to build an updraft dryer I think you would just need wood/screen/lathe for your drawers, and the rest could be stone. If you were going to do a downdraft, it would take up less space if you used wood for the internals to separate your down draft cavity and the chimney on the back.

I really hope this works for you, and I'd love to help in any way I can. I've progressed from simply drying on screens in the open sun, to updraft with/without fans, and now I'm building a solar downdraft dryer out of salvaged wood and stovepipe. I'm definitely no expert, but I've had fair success drying food and I'd love to be useful to you. Cheers

Adam
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1337
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Hi adam, yes we are on the same way to keep and store as much food as possible!
When i find my USB key, I will put a more recent pic with the cement floor.
This is actually the path to go out (and up) my property.
This is the only place with sun starting at 9am and also receiving sun in the evening.

I am facing WNWest on the pic, the wall is not exactly facing south. Let's say north is more or less on the right side of the photo.
In summer, the wall will get sun on its back, on the unseen part.
What you see facing you on the pic is what will receive direct sun in the morning, and where will be the drawers.

Apart from being my sunniest place, I can use the wall, and I have to, because I am not allowed to build anything that shows off as modern and unnatural.
So I want to hide as much as possible the device.
I also hope that stones can keep some warmth during the night!
(well, this comes from the rocket stove concept...)
-> some help I need is how to design a camouflage (a sun dryer is not the most aesthetic device!)

Adam, my wall has no gaps, it is sealed with cement and 1 foot large or more.
-> Apart form guessing that it can accumulate sun heat in its cupboard part, I was also wondering about a heat accumulator role...

My problem for the solar heat accumulator is to not have a lot of room, because of the path. So this is difficult to build a large sun catcher. There is more room on the left, so on the SW side, on half the cupboard. I guess that the accumulator can dispatch hot air everywhere even on the right side? If I can minimize the glass part, then all the better...

On the photo, I am DOWNWARD from the solar wall. So I can imagine to build a stony air duct along the path...
(that would be on the left of the pic)
I was thinking about an upward draft (as I do not understand well the down draft...)
I do not have any material at the moment, so I am open to buy all what is needed.
Yes for "wood/screen/lathe for your drawers" and then I will also need doors.

Thanks for your offer to help me!
 
Adam Chisholm
Posts: 24
Location: Bluegrass region of Kentucky, USDA Zone 6a - unpredictable but manageable
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Wow, this certainly is a challenge with the strict restrictions on building eh? I'm getting ready to move with my family to a new piece of land, so it might take a bit for life to settle down, but I'll try to sketch out my ideas and get back to you.

Adam
 
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