The $1 Solar Food Dehydrator

How To Make A Solar Chimney-Powered Food Dehydrator For $1

Yes. $1. After floating down the river to your bug-out shelter in your $1 kayak, you can dehydrate some food with your $1 food dryer.

This dollar pays for the black and the clear plastic. (The project is less than a dollar because you'll need a lot less than 300 square feet of it.) You can use a thin black garbage bags and plastic wrap in small scale to test the concept before making it full-size.

You're going to be making a solar chimney to act work as an air duct creating suction, completely and passively powered by the sun.

UC Davis is using black fabric, but black plastic (like a black garbage bag) should do exactly the same thing.

Pallet wrap also comes in clear and black, as well as other colors. To preserve food twice as fast, you won't need very much.  About a dollars worth.

If you're patient enough, you can also make drying screens using soda bottle cordage (maybe using a tool similar to this) and extra pallet wood and/or tree limbs.

Cutting old pop bottles into free cordage means spending a lot less money on your projects.

The design and construction by UC Davis.

Using a solar chimney to power your swamp cooler could also save a few bucks, especially if you can use some of the free air flow to power the water pump.

How to make your own screen from cordage

Make a net and pull it across your frame.

If this is too fancy, you can simplify the screen. It won't be holding much weight, and the food isn't trying to wiggle away from the screen like a fish, so the net provides a lot more strength than you need.

How to make your frame from wood strips or planks:

Are made by bending wood around a jig. This video shows how to make a jig to create frames of different sizes.

You'll tie or attach the net to the frame to create a drying screen.

All that's left is to assemble the solar chimney food dryer as shown in the UC Davis video.

Where you're allowed to do so, you can also use solar chimneys to create passive cooling for a house, shed, greenhouse, for a bit of cheap solar power generation and more.

Same principle as a solar oven.

The sun has a lot of power. Enough for 2000ºF of power, so treat it like a blowtorch that never turns off.

(You can still get rear projection TVs on Craigslist for $20 or less, by the way)

And more than enough power to cook 2 chickens in 2 stacked pots. All kinds of outdoor cooking including a barbecue on the deck helps keep it nice and cool inside on a hot day.

Respect the power of the sun, and design your home around it [link to the $50 house] and you'll be able to live without the continuous, ongoing expense of heating and cooling.

All this sorta kinds makes me want to have a passively heated & cooled plastic wrap house with a plastic-wrap solar oven and swamp cooler, sauna, greenhouse, and a root cellar, all held together with plastic cordage so I can afford to travel by camel and my $1 kayak.



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