Women carry out most production of horticultural crops in Tanzania and other developing countries. Harvest periods are short but less than 1% of the crop is processed for off-season consumption. Previous attempts at establishing solar drying have been unsuccessful due to their expense, low throughput capacity and inability to operate in cloudy environments.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) utilizes reflective surfaces to increase solar heat gain. CSP is less expensive than glazed solar collectors but has never been applied to food drying. It may also improve dried product color and color retention without addition of sulfites, improve texture, nutrient retention and rehydration properties and therefore will add value to the product, reduce the current 50-80% postharvest loss and increase product value.
This project designs and tests a batch CSP dryer for mangoes and tomatoes in simulated cloudy environments. CSP will be evaluated in terms of drying efficiency, cost and product quality.
- "Performance evaluation of an enhanced fruit solar dryer using concentrating panels." James Stiling, Simon Li, Pieter Stroeve, Jim Thompson, Bertha Mjawa, Kurt Kornbluth, Diane M. Barrett. Energy for Sustainable Development 16 (2012) 224–230.
- Poster presented at Solar Workshop at UC Davis Energy Week, May 11, 2010 and the Horticulture CRSP Inception Workshop (PDF)
- Concentrated Solar Drying powerpoint (PDF)
This presentation includes information on the mechanism and test results of the concentrated solar power dryer for drying fruit.
- Concentrated solar drying project information from D-Lab
Includes reports, guides, and presentations developed by UC Davis students participating in parts of this project.
- "Concentrated solar drying of tomatoes." Blake Ringeisen, Diane M. Barrett, Pieter Stroeve. Energy for Sustainable Development 19 (2014) 47–55.