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Solar Drying

Everyone knows the hay harvest as an ancient method of solar drying. The freshly harvested, moist grass must be turned, tossed and aired-out, and the sun needs to shine steadily for one to two days, while hanging it out facing a southerly direction makes it dry faster.

Solar drying with modern means optimizes this process by covering the goods to be dried and through the use of air collectors as well as solar-powered ventilators. In many cases a flat, black box with a transparent cover can function as an air collector that will warm the incoming air. This air is introduced to the material to be dried in a controlled manner either by natural circulation or by ventilators. With the help of tunnel dryers the drying time is halved and the dried goods are protected against damages and soiling or pollution.

The possible uses of solar drying in agriculture and forestry (fruits, vegetables, fish, lumber) and in the construction industry (dehumidification) are still to be exhausted. The possibilities range from simple and low-cost systems, which can be installed at any farm, to expensive installations with heating and fully automated control, for use in the lumber industry, for example.

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