August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 21, 2021
Abstract – In response to a joint UN/IEEE Humanitarian Technology Challenge Sustainable Development Goal to achieve food security, first-year students were tasked to design and build a solar-powered food dehydrator that could be built on-location with minimal resources other than the primary building materials. Engineering materials and construction techniques not anticipated to be native to the region were excluded from the design. The project was targeted for implementation in regions of emerging development with unstable food supply and simultaneously lacking infrastructure; including access to electrical power. In practice, using a food dehydrator makes it possible to extend through summer (and potentially into fall and winter) the period for which fresh foods can be safely prepared and stored for consumption at a later time when sources of food are more scarce. The current design includes an externally attached box-like structure designed to warm environmental air and funnel it into the main drying chamber. The drying chamber is topped with a raised roof which contains a vent in order to allow moist air out of the dehydrating chamber. Air circulation in both the dehydrator chamber and the warm air funnel attachment is via natural convection. A previous alternative design was tested and found to have achieved the targeted temperature goals. The current design will be tested once satisfactory summer temperatures have returned to the northeastern United States. The main goal of the new design –in addition to maintaining simple construction techniques– was to generate higher internal drying temperatures over a longer sustained period of the day. This would allow the dehydrator to process more food than the earlier design.
Malecki, A. J., & Littman, A. L. E., & McAllister, E. P., & Regal, E. M., & Collins, M. A., & Michael, R., & Gee, D. (2021, August), A First-Year Engineering Service Learning Project That Impacts Global Food Security Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38362
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