This hybrid Solar Dryer is having an S.S. tray drying area of 6 sq. m with an alternate electrical backup heating system. The effective harnessing of solar energy using specially designed solar air heating panels and proper circulation of this hot air across the SS trays loaded with fish with the help of blowers makes the drying process faster. Food grade stainless steel is used for the fabrication of chamber as well as perforated trays which enable the drying of fish in a very hygienic manner. The chance of contamination and spoilage due to sand, dust, flies, insects, birds, animals, and rain is completely eliminated as drying takes place inside a closed chamber. The spreading of fish in S.S. perforated trays and stacking of the trays inside the drying chamber help in reducing the space requirement of the drying process. The alternate electrical backup heating system under controlled temperature conditions enables the drying to continue even under unfavorable weather conditions like rain, cloud, non-sunny days, and even during night hours so that the bacterial spoilage due to partial drying will not occur. Improved shelf life and value addition of the product fetches higher income for the fisher folk. The eco-friendly solar drying system reduces fuel consumption and can have a significant impact on energy conservation.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1