Sunday, April 22, 2012

I guess you could say my contribution to Earth Day this year is my new homemade Solar Dehydrator.

I made it a five tray because the trays are so big I figured I didn't need any more than that. If so I have some material left over to make more.

Nope, I never found the little solar panel I was looking for so I bought another one. $14 bucks at Harbor Freight for a 3 watt panel I guess is okay. It runs a small fan that pulls the heated air through the windows and up into the dehydrator box.
There are also heat absorbing metal plates inside the window triangle to help out.

This morning I filled it with Basil, Chives and Cilantro. The fan kicked on at 9:30 AM and should stop around 7:00 PM. There is no battery, just the power from the sun.

Total build cost, $35.00 for the solar panel, metal screen material and the 1X2 boards for the shelves. Everything else was junk I had laying around.

Unlike a direct solar dehydrator, this one will take a little longer to dry the herbs but will hold in more of the color and flavor that would have been lost through direct sun dehydration.

Real quick, I wanted to show a updated picture of one of the barrel Kitchen Herb Gardens I built for the wife a month or so ago. Cool hu?


  1. Seriously, I'm drooling. Good job:)

  2. That turned out real nice... good job MDR!

  3. Wow can't wait to see it in action! Very nice :)

  4. I bow down to you Solar Master Builder. Nice job your majesty. backing away slowly still bowed down....hahaha

  5. I am humbled Rob, thanks for the comment.

  6. Rob, buddy - you'd swear you hung out with royalty regularly what with knowing all of the protocols - bahahahah!

    MDR - another awesome job! and i love the barrel kitchen herb garden!

    your friend,

  7. Yep, you're pretty amazing. Of course you would're a fellow Texan! :-)

    My husband builds things like crazy. He's wanting to dabble in solar energy; he's been reading your blog with me and perhaps gaining some knowledge to do a couple of small projects.

    Thanks for helping us all think about solar energy a LOT more, as we should.


    1. Thank you Lana, I enjoy doing all this most of the time. LOL
      There are a lot more people out there that know a lot more than I do about this stuff. I do trial and error more than anything. When someone tells me I can't do it that way, I do.
      Thanks for the comment.

  8. Excellent. Keep us updated on how it is working on the various plants please. - Genevieve

    1. Will do Genevieve, I can already see some little tweaking I have to do to get the temps where I need them to be, but I am close.