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Building a Tray Dryer (Dehydrator)

  1. Oct 14, 2014 #1
    Hi All,

    I know I may be shooting in the dark here but...I was hoping that someone on this forum can assist me. I am trying to build a tray dryer/ medium scale dehydrator. I'm starting a small fruit drying business but cannot afford to buy an commercial dryer. I've heard that some entrepreneurs have built their own so I was hoping that someone here would be able to help guide me on how to do this. I'd like my dryer to have a capacity to dry 100 - 200kgs of fruit per day. The other requirement is that energy be generated by liquid petroleum (LPG) instead of electricity. I would like it to have both a fan as well as a de-humidifier to speed up the drying process.

    Is there anyone that can help me with at least outlining a model to build from?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2014 #2
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-Food-Dehydrator-with-Recycled-Parts/?ALLSTEPS

    you could do something like that but make it a little bit larger and use a propane burner like this http://amzn.com/B000P9F02Y [Broken]

    If you wanted to be engineery about it you could calculate: wet weight and dry weight of fruits, volume of water lost by fruits, rate of water loss to atmosphere based on assumed humidity temperature, necessary airflow speed to ensure low humidity environment, and ideal temperature for that drying rate.
    Or you could just build something and use more or less heat until the fruit is like you want it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Oct 14, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the feedback Hyo X.

    Since I am going to be using it for production of products that I am trying to sell, I would like to ensure that I get consistent results with the dryer. Ideally, the dryer would allow you to set a temperature. Currently, I am using an excalibur home dehydrator and dry my fruit at 145degrees. I find that anything higher than this alters the texture of the final product. The main fruit which I will be drying is coconut which usually decreases in weight by approximately 50% once fully dry.

    Attached is an example of something along the lines that I am looking for (but I'd like something about half this size). It doesn't have to be exactly like this but just along those lines. Do you happen to know anyone that can help build something of this scale?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Oct 16, 2014 #4
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