ISSN: 1659-2751



Design and Construction of a Prototype Dehydrator/Dryer for Tropical Fruits and Seeds Using Clean Energy Sources


The project consisted in designing and building a prototype dehydrator ay the Integrated Organic Farm at EARTH University with two dehydration mechanisms. The first one uses the direct solar radiation and the second one uses the forced air convection through the heat supply by the biogas combustion with a fan system activated by solar panels, considered by the Good Manufacturing Practices, with a capacity to process 1000 kg of fresh chopped fruit like pineapple, banana, plantain and 800 kg of cocoa beans. During the evaluation period the ambient temperature, solar radiation, atmospheric pressure, rainfall, and relative humidity gave slight variations due to different microclimates between the farm and the weather station of the university. However, inside the dehydrator the recorded dry bulb temperatures were above the 50 ºC that are optimal for the dehydration process.

Key words: biogas, good manufacturing practices, dehydration, design, solar energy, relative humidity, solar radiation, temperature.

Artículo en español (pdf) (3)