The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of adding value to local produce through solar dehydration. This project pursues the goal of using renewable and clean energy to create a sustainable income stream and jobs for Central Minnesota rural communities as well as making better use of produce which might otherwise be wasted. Dehydration has long been one of the most effective ways to preserve food and the project research aims to better understand this process at a commercial scale. Through extensive research and experimentation with three different dehydrators this project explores the feasibility of producing for market. We identified each dehydrator’s advantages and disadvantages and determined improvements to each design's efficiency. In addition, the project participants retain momentum for continued investigation and exploration of the project goals. The remaining report will include background of dehydration history, introduction of three dehydrators, drying process, data analysis, findings, conclusion and future works.
Azariah Acres Farm is a small, family owned farm which uses sustainable agricultural practices. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of adding value to local produce through solar dehydration. This work will address the need for using renewable energy to create sustainable jobs in the rural community as well as making better use of produce which otherwise might be wasted. This offers a more extended revenue stream for local farmers while using a renewable resource. A student researcher is needed to determine existing resources, literature, designs and best practices for commercial-scale solar dehydrators and make recommendations. The final report will inform dehydrator design, scale and marketability of dehydrated products.
Prepared in partnership with Azariah Acres Farm, Green Island Preserve & Snowy Pines Reforestation by the Community Assistantship Program (CAP), which is administered by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.
Solar Dehydration Project.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.