Mechanical Engineering Sophomore Design Class

With group of five students, we had to come up with a project for a developing country in our ME 270 Sophomore Design class at Iowa State. We created a food dehydrator for Mali, Africa. It runs completely on energy from the sun. Dehydrated food can be stored and lasts longer before spoilage. This benefits Mali because hot summers can cause droughts, and stored dehydrated food can benefit the communities.

The solar dehydrator works by using the energy from the sun. The sun heats up the air in the black panel, and the hot air rises. This causes airflow through the box removing moisture from whatever is inside.


 These grapes were used in experiment to dehydrate. As you can see the grapes slowly turned into raisins.








The image above was created in Photoshop to simulate the product placement in Mail, Africa.