(Peace Corps, 1984, 175 p.)

Solar food dryers: design[edit | edit source]


The importance of careful planning in the design phase of a construction project cannot be overemphasized. In this session participants learn effective methods of drawing construction plans and practice using them in the design of a Solar Food Dryer appropriate for a specific situation.


Learn to draw construction plans clearly
Design a Solar Food Dryer (SFD) appropriate for a given situation


Community Assessment Reports (Session 3)
Improved Food Drying and Storage Manual, Session 10
Simple architectural drawings (as available)
Solar Food Dryer resource books (refer to Session 6, RESOURCES, as well as annotated bibliography)


"Solar Food Dryer Design Criteria" Handout 5A
"Evaluation Checklist for Solar Food Dryer Design" Handout 6A
"A Catalog of Dryers and Stoves" Handout 6B
"Materials and Tools Request Form'' (Eased on Appendix F)


Graph paper
Pens, pencils
Solar Food Dryer cardboard model


Prepare on newsprint at least one drawing each of a plan, section and elevation view of the Solar Food Dryer model to be used in the session.

Prepare a "Materials and Tools Request Form" based on pre-training research of what is locally available. (Use Appendix F as a guide.) The request form will be used by each group throughout the construction period to indicate what supplies they need for their project. Make the list as complete as possible, but encourage participants to make additions as needed.


  1. (10 minutes) Introduction

Discuss the importance of having clear and detailed drawings to work from during a construction project. Ask for examples from the group where drawings may have helped them in the past, and why. Refer to their experience in building the cardboard Solar Food Dryer models.

  1. (25 minutes) Showing Construction Views

Display each of the design drawings one at a time, explaining that each one shows different views of the Solar Food Dryer model being used.

Ask the group to explain exactly what is represented in each one.

Label the drawings (plan, section, elevation) as they are discussed.

Choose a three-dimensional object in the classroom area for the participants to quickly draw in each of the three views just discussed.

Circulate and offer people help as they work, if needed.

Ask for a volunteer to draw the three views on newsprint, and discuss them.

Clarify any questions at this point, either about what each view represents and how to draw them, before proceeding to the next step.

  1. (20 minutes) Showing Measurements and Scale

Discuss why it is important to show accurate measurements in a construction plan. On newsprint, show several examples of which specific parts in a design it is important to show measurements as well as how to most clearly represent the actual measurements.

Discuss the importance of using scale in a design plan. Give an example on newsprint of how to correctly represent scale. Ask what a convenient scale would be for representing the Solar Food Dryer model on display, and why.

Clarify any questions people may have regarding how to show the three design views discussed.

  1. (2 hours; 45 minutes) Design of Solar Food Dryers

Distribute "Materials and Tools Request Form", Handout 1OA.

Prepare the group for the design session by discussing the following points:

  • purpose of designing and building the dryers
    - the most useful way of dividing the group into work teams
    - the importance of taking enough time in the design phase
    - what low cost, locally available tools and materials might be used (refer to "Materials and Tools Request Form")
    - what handouts and resources (listed under RESOURCES) may be helpful in this session.


Stress the fact that the resources may be used for ideas, but that the participants should develop an original or innovative design appropriate to their particular situation.

Post and discuss the following "Flow Chart" for them to use as a guideline in the design stage:

  • form small construction groups
    - list design criteria
    - decide on the design that best meets those criteria
    - make detailed drawings of the design, showing all necessary views, scale and measurements.
    - make a list of all tools and materials needed, using Handout 10A
    - determine the cost of the dryer
    - have the design approved by one of the trainers

Facilitate the forming of work teams. Distribute rulers and graph paper.

Circulate among the groups, asking questions when appropriate, and offering constructive criticism. Encourage originality of design, rather than the copying of an existing design.

  1. (20 minutes) Summary

At the end of the session, have those groups that are either finished with their design, or nearly so, quickly present their design ideas to the group for analysis and discussion. Remind the group that they will begin to use their design for construction of the dryers the following day. Collect all "Materials and Tools Request Forms".


Those groups that have not yet completed their design should continue working during the upcoming construction session.

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Authors Eric Blazek
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 0 pages link here
Aliases Solar and Energy Conserving Food Technologies 12
Impact 295 page views
Created April 14, 2006 by Eric Blazek
Modified December 9, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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