The job of a farmer, fisherman, and other food producer is getting harder when the unpredictable weather condition makes it difficult for them to plant, catch, harvest and more importantly, dry their yield as practiced over the years.
Storm in Malaysia is getting stronger due to climate change and that would mean heavier downpour. Food producer will have lesser opportunity and time for open sun drying activity in addition to the hassle to keep their produce that has been laid under the sun each time when the storm hit.
Fortunately, there are technologies available that could provide viable solutions to overcome the weaknesses of open sun drying.
Greenhouse Solar Dryer
Greenhouse Solar Dryer is a simple drying system that taps on the existing sun energy and the rising global temperature due to climate change. It is an enclosed aluminium structure akin to a greenhouse used in agriculture, with its facade made of double-glazed glass windows.
This dryer has three main parts: internal drying space, ventilation fan, and a monitoring dashboard. During the day, the heat energy from the sun that penetrates through the double-glazed glass windows will be trapped in the greenhouse.
“Depending on the required drying temperature, the temperature in the greenhouse can be controlled by the speed of ventilation fan, somewhat similar to controlling the temperature of an air-conditioner at home,” said Bernard, founder of the Greenhouse Solar Dryer. The best part is that no electricity is required to generate high heat intensity in the greenhouse for drying, saving huge operational costs for many small-medium enterprises and farmers.
Furthermore, the simple technology of double-glazed glass window has made drying possible at night. The heat energy captured in the greenhouse is not able to escape easily due to the argon gas that occupies in between the space is of the internal and external glass panes. “After sun set, we are still able to dry our shrimps and fishes at about 35 to 40 degree Celcius,” said one of the workers of a seafood manufacturer in Sarawak. The efficiency of their operation has also improved with lower lead time required to dry their seafood products.