Eben’s Solar Food Drying Blog —
When is the Solar Food Drying Season?
The solar food drying season starts May 1st for most of the U.S. and runs to the end of October. To see why there is plenty of sunshine to power your solar dryer from May through October, see the chart below that I created for my book, The Solar Food Dryer. It’s based on 40°N Latitude, which is about the middle of the U.S. This solar drying season matches the local growing season, which is why solar food drying makes so much sense. You can solar dry almost everything you can grow!
If you live in the northern part of the U.S. or in Canada, your season will be shorter, but your days will be longer in the summer, giving you more time to solar dry. Longer summer days mean that you can get as much total solar energy per day in Montana in June as you can in Texas! (See page 104 of The Solar Food Dryer for the data.) If you live in the southern part of the U.S., your season will be longer. In the southernmost parts of the country it may be possible to solar dry all year.
Outdoor temperature does play a role in solar drying. The warmer it is outside, the warmer it can get inside your solar dryer. To dry food quickly, temperatures in your dryer need to be at least 105°F, and preferably 120°F or higher. For an efficient solar food dryer like the SunWorks SFD, this can be achieved at outdoor temperatures as low as 45°F.
Happy solar drying!
Copyright ©2013 by Eben Fodor