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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
close this folderPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
View the documentPhase V Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Introduction to agricultural dryers
View the documentSession 2. Tour of solar dryers
View the documentSession 3. Solar agricultural dryer design procedures and rules of thumb
View the documentSession 4. Two-hour dryer construction
View the documentSession 5. Review of existing solar dryer plans
View the documentSession 6. Smoke testing solar dryers
View the documentSession 7. Introducing new technologies: solar dryers
View the documentSession 8. Design of solar agricultural dryers
View the documentSession 9. Site selection and preparation
View the documentSession 10. Construction of solar agricultural dryers
View the documentSession 11. Issues and methods in development and diffusion of appropriate technology
View the documentSession 12. Natural cooling
View the documentSession 13. Approaches to health systems
View the documentSession 14. Nutritional gardening
View the documentSession 15. Practical drying tips
View the documentSession 16. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
View the documentSession 17. Dryer assessment and modification
View the documentSession 18. Introduction to cost benefit analysis (cba)
View the documentSession 19. Presentation of solar dryers
View the documentSession 20. Introduction to the final phase of the training program
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 17. Dryer assessment and modification

Total time:

4 hours


* To identify and list assessment considerations for solar dryers


* To develop a solar dryer assessment plan


* To evaluate and assess a solar dryer


* To modify a solar agricultural dryer


Attachment V-17, "Evaluation Checklist for Solar Agricultural Dryers"


Newsprint and felt-tip pens, scales, thermometers, food preservation equipment, samples of dried food

Trainer Notes

This session should be scheduled near the end of the solar dryer construction session (see phase calendar) when the construction groups have finished their solar dryers and have tested them for as long as time will allow (so that there will be a dried food product to assess).


Step 1. (5 minutes)
Present the objectives and outline the session activities.

Step 2. (20 minutes)
Have the participants develop an evaluation checklist for their solar food dryers.

Trainer Notes

The checklist should include the following considerations:

* Type of food
* Time since harvest
* Special treatments (e.g., addition of salt or sulfur)
* Amount of food in dryer
* Time left to dry
* Climatic condition
* Temperature inside and outside of dryer
* Relative humidity (if known)
* Vent size and/or any changes in vent size
* Modifications during the drying time

Step 3. (15 minutes)
Distribute and review Attachment V-17, "Evaluation Checklist for Solar Dryers," explaining that it was developed in an earlier training program. Have the participants compare and contrast the checklists, making changes and additions.

Step 4. (1 hour, 50 minutes)
Have She participants form their construction groups and evaluate and modify their solar agricultural dryers, using the checklists.

Trainer Notes

Point out that the most important aspect of this activity is the assessment process. The modifications should be done only if time remains after doing the assessment.

As part of the assessment process, have participants prepare a written list of possible modifications and explain that this list will be used later as the basis for a presentation.

Step 5. (30 minutes)
Have the groups prepare to present their assessment findings and lists of modifications.

Step 6. (25 minutes)
Reconvene the groups and have them present their assessment findings and lists of modifications. Encourage questions, comments and discussion.

Step 7. (20 minutes)
Review and summarize the assessment and modification process and discuss how such assessments could be carried out in-country.

Trainer Notes

Emphasize the importance of the involvement and participation of the community (villages, neighborhood, etc.) in all of the stages of dryer design and use.

Explain that it is especially important that the community is involved in and understands the assessment and modification process in order to enable them to independently continue to develop and use solar agricultural dryers.


___ Compare to the local method for:

* Quality
* Speed (days to dry)
* Ease of use

___ Culturally acceptable? (Meets an established need?)
___ Large enough?

___ Ease of maintenance?

___ What does it cost? (What is the mix of local and imported resources used?)

___ Design review accomplished? (Modifications to improve it; performance checks, such as air flow.)

___ Temperatures achieved? (Right temperature range? Adequate range of vent size openings?)

___ Simplicity? (Uses the least items to make, is understandable, does most easily the job which needs to be done?)

___ Suits the user population? (i.e., light enough for kids or women to move if that is required?)

___ Construction process? (How did it go? How to do it? Lessons learned? Problems/solutions? Time to build?)

Test Drying: "Dry Run"

___ Type of food
___ Treatment of food (slicing, direct or indirect sun)
___ Weight change
___ Time line (when things are put in, weighed, etc.)
___ Notes (i.e., bugs, leaks, etc.)
___ Climatic conditions (wind, clouds, fog, etc.)
___ Temperatures (ambient and at dryer-top outlet)
___ Vent sizes
___ Design changes during dry run (i.e., adjusting vents or orientation)

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