(Peace Corps, 1984, 175 p.)

Solar food dryers: construction[edit | edit source]


Throughout the program, participants will work in construction groups to design and complete a Solar Food Dryer to use both during the program and when they return to their communities. In this way, they will not only develop technical expertise, but will also gain practice in working with people of varying skill levels in solving problems cooperatively.


To practice using simple hand tools
To develop basic construction skills

To construct a Solar Food Dryer appropriate for a given situation


Improved Food Drying and Storage Manual, Session 11


"Evaluation Checklist for Solar Food Dryer Design", Handout 6A
"Material and Tool Request Forms", (see Session 10)


Tools and materials requested by construction groups


As the tools and materials needed will not be known until the designs have been completed in Session 10, it is recommended that a thorough preliminary investigation be done as to where to buy simple hand tools and commonly used construction materials. It is very helpful to anticipate the group's needs and buy as much as possible ahead of time.

Make sure there is adequate work area for each group to construct their dryer, as well as a safe place to store tools and materials when not in use.


  1. (15-20 minutes) Introduction

Discuss the importance of attention to quality of work in construction of the dryers, as well as the efficient use of time. Point out the fact that a second project (either another dryer or a Fireless Cooker) may be started upon completion of the first one.

Identify people in the group with carpentry skills who can serve as resource people during the construction sessions.


Instruction on tool use and basic carpentry skills may be offered later to those who want it, while the others begin work on their dryers.

Distribute one large cardboard box to each group for storing their tools and materials.

Point out that extra amounts of commonly needed items (such as nails and putty) will be kept on hand. However, each group is responsible for turning in a detailed request form a day ahead of time for all other items needed.

Suggest that they keep a careful record of the cost of materials during the construction process.

  1. (15-20 minutes) Distribution of Supplies

With the help of the Site/Tools and Materials Committee, make sure each group receives what was ordered on their request form.

  1. (minimum of 20 hours throughout the program) Construction

Circulate among the groups and offer guidance and constructive criticism whenever appropriate. Facilitate the learning process, including allowing people to make (and learn from) their own mistakes.

  1. (15 minutes) Summary

Near the end of each work session, remind groups of the time so they can clean up their work area and store tools and materials.

Facilitate a brief check-in at either the end or beginning of each construction session to share work progress, problems, solutions, etc.

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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 15
Impact 210 page views
Created April 14, 2006 by Eric Blazek
Modified December 9, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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