Review of Solar-Energy Drying Systems II: An Overview of Solar Drying Technology

When the temperatures outside start to rise, drying your garden, cleaning your vehicle, or just about anywhere else that has a high surface-to-volume ratio is essential. With the world’s leading indicator, COVID-19, forecast to hit 500 million cases by next year, the need to stay hygienic and socially distant becomes critical. In places like Florida, with its heavy reliance on the sun, air drying has largely replaced showers as the preferred method of cleanliness.

Why Air Dry Now?

In the last few years, our world has changed dramatically. With travel restrictions limiting where we can go and stay, we’ve had to adapt to a new way of living, working, and socialising. Many of us are still trying to adapt to these new restrictions and are looking for ways to enhance our daily lives. One way is through our gardens. Many people are beginning to see their backyard as a place to grow food to supplement what they get from the supermarket. Even more people are turning to online shops to get the gardening gear they need to start their own gardens. With the number of people getting their hands dirty increasing, we’re seeing the rise of easy-to-use and affordable air dryers.

All You Need Is Sun and Water To Grow Your Own Food

If you’re looking to start a garden this year, then you don’t need any other equipment aside from items you already have around the house. Air dryers are portable and simple to use, so if you’ve got a sunny spot in your garden, you can get started right away.

While many people are turning to air drying as a way of life, it’s not a flawless solution. There are several considerations to make before you start airing dry your food. The first thing to check is how strong the sun is in that spot. You don’t want to be over-drying your food, as this can result in food deterioration. The second thing to check is the water content of the air around your garden. If the air is damp, then it won’t be able to dry your food as effectively as it could otherwise. If the air is too dry, then it can cause your plants to suffer, too.

How Effective Is It As A Fertilizer And Mulch?

Fertilizer is one of the essentials for a healthy garden. It can help fix broken soils and give you the essential nutrients your plants need to grow strong and tall. In addition to fixing damaged soil, air dryers can also absorb some nutrients from the air as they dry food, so it is a useful tool for fertilizing your garden. The same goes for mulch. While it can protect your garden from erosion and heat, it can also trap moisture so it can nourish your plants.

Is It Environmentally Friendly?

One of the main reasons people are turning to air drying is because it’s an environmentally friendly and sustainable option. When you consider that the majority of our water resources go towards irrigating crops that are shipped to big supermarkets around the world, using less water to grow your own fruit and vegetables becomes more appealing. As populations continue to rise and more people are looking for ways to reduce their ecological footprint, air drying has emerged as a greener option.

How Long Does It Take To Dry Your Food?

As with most things in life, the amount of time it takes to dry your food depends on several variables. The first is the temperature. Warm temperatures speed up the process, so if you’ve got an oven, then you can use it to dry your food. Alternatively, you could leave your food out in the sun to dry. The key thing to remember is that as a general rule of thumb, the higher the surface-to-volume ratio, the faster the food will dry.

What Are The Main Types Of Food That Can Be Air Dried?

As we’ve established, all you need for a garden is sun and water, so it’s fairly logical that the majority of the food you can air dry will be easy-to-grow veggies and fruits. These are the usual suspects that you can grow in a suburban space, and many people are already experiencing great success growing them. This is largely thanks to the increased demand for locally grown food and the subsequent increase in crop yields that we’ve seen in the last few years.

When you combine sunshine with warm air, the perfect conditions for budding fruit growers, you can start to see the attraction of this environmentally friendly and cost-effective option. As well as providing you with food, UV rays from the sun can also be used to kill off the harmful bacteria that might be hanging around your food. If you’re feeling extra creative, you could even grow edible flowers or herbs on your windowsill.

What Are The Main Advantages Of Air Drying?

Aside from being an economical and sustainable option for home gardening, air drying also has several advantages. First, it is easy to use. All you need is a sunny, open area in your yard for the sun to shine down on your food, and you’re good to go. Second, you have complete control over the drying process. You can choose how long you want your food to take to dry, so there’s no worries of over- or under-drying your food. Third, you can use almost any type of food you want to dry. While we’ve discussed above the great success many people have had with fruit and veggie-based foods, air drying is an acceptable option for any type of food that you want to preserve. Fourth, you don’t need any specific equipment to start airing your food. All you need is a sunny spot in your yard for the sun to shine down on your food and an oven, or you can use the sun directly if you live in a warmer climate.

What Are The Main Disadvantages Of Air Drying?

While air drying has several advantages, it also has several disadvantages. First, it is not always the most suitable option. If you’re looking to dry food that needs to be kept chilled, then this option may not be for you. Second, it is not the most hygienic method of drying food, as there is no washing involved in the process. In addition, there is also the possibility of food contamination from dirt and dust getting into your food during the drying process. Third, if you are over-drying your food, then this can result in some of the nutrients being lost. Lastly, if you don’t have much space, then you might not be able to accommodate a large oven, so this could be a disadvantage for some people.

Which Type Of Nutrients Does Air Drying Absorb?

As we’ve established above, air drying can be used to absorb nutrients from the air. This is a great way of providing your fruit or veggie garden with some much needed fertilizer as it encourages natural pollination. This can result in an increased crop yield, so it’s definitely a bonus for the garden.

Final Takeaway

It’s fair to say that the future of food preservation looks extremely bright. Not only are people wanting to grow their own food and feed their families fresh organic produce, but they are also wanting to save money and be as eco-friendly as possible. While air drying is not a panacea, it is certainly one of the most appealing options for those wanting to go green and save money by growing their own organic food.

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