Solar Dryer for Moringa |A solar dryer is an effective and environmentally friendly method of drying moringa leaves.
Why Solar Drying of Moringa leaves?
Solar energy is efficient in drying moringa leaves as it works without damaging or affecting the nutritional value of the leaves. Solar drying of moringa is an economical and sustainable method due to low operational costs it requires.
Design of A solar Dryer
The design of a solar dryer depends on the needs of a farmer and resources available to set up the structure. There are two common designs of constructing a solar dryer:
- Tunnel type – A tunnel shape of a solar dryer resembles a hollow tunnel or tunnel greenhouses. The roof is arch shaped and made of arch or bow shaped steel profiles on the roof.
- Flat or simple – flat roofed have a flat roof and a simple structure either made of wood or metallic materials.
Solar dryers can be made of wooden or metallic frames but are covered with polythene film on the walls and roofs. The film is a translucent material that allows sunlight energy to pass through.
Features of a moringa Solar Dryer
The size is available in various dimensions depending on the amount of moringa leaves to dry.
UV treated poly ethene film
Transparent poly ethene film that covers the solar dryer structure. It is translucent to support sunlight penetration into the solar dryer.
Moringa leaves require adequate air for efficient drying. Ensure that the dryer has ventilation on opposite sides or walls to allow for air entry.
Shelves or racks
Shelves provide a surface to dry and spread out moringa leaves in a single layer. The arrangement of racks enables air circulation, faster drying and higher capacity of drying more leaves.
Addition of adjustable vents to control airflow and temperature inside the solar dryer. This enhances temperature regulation and effective drying during all weather conditions.
The solar dryer structure should be in a place that receives maximum sunlight to enhance drying. Avoid obstructions such as buildings, trees or other features that can block the sun.
Drying Process of Moringa
- Harvest the moringa leaves and remove any stems and impurities.
- Spread the leaves evenly on the shelves to enhance good aeration.
- Place a tray or sheet under the shelves to collect fallen leaves.
- Leave the moringa leaves in the structure for some time depending on the level of moisture you want to remove. For a complete or 100 percent moisture removal leave them for 2–3 days.
- Check the moisture levels of moringa leaves on the shelves.
Conditions for Solar Drying of Moringa Leaves
- Temperature should range between 30 and 70 degrees in the solar dryer.
- Moringa leaves should be thinly spread in a load weight of 2 kg/m2.
- The solar dryer should have a good ventilation to ensure temperature is constant at 55 degrees. This is the optimum temperature for drying moringa leaves.
- The moisture content should be reduced to 10% for processing of moringa powder.
Applications of Moringa powder
- Moringa leaf powder is a functional ingredient in preparation of food products.
- It is used as an antifungal treatment.
- It is rich in vitamin A, K, E and iron.
- Used as an antioxidant.
There are several manageable sizes and dimensions of solar dryers. All depends on the quantity of crops and cost that a client is willing to pay.
The sizes below are available at the following costs according to Aqua Hub Kenya.
|Dimension of Dryer||Price of Dryer (KES.)|
|2 m by 2 m by 2 m||75,000|
|2 m by 3 m by 2 m||85,000|
|2 m by 4 m by 2 m||105,000|
|2 m by 5 m by 2 m||125,000|
Solar Dryer Construction Company in Kenya
Aqua Hub Kenya supports farmers who want to dry maximum food products at a limited time and lower costs.
We help both small scale and large-scale farmers come up with viable dryers for food preservation at lower costs. Engage us today for quality dryers and hybrid drying solutions.
Contact 0790719020 or email email@example.com.