One of the options to tackle food security and undernourishment amidst increased population in third world countries could be through solar drying of food products. It also adds to the employment generation of large rural youth in these countries, in addition to reduction of green house gases emanating from large quantity of fossil fuels, used in agro-processing and other processing industries. Planters Energy Network(PEN), a NGO, has introduced roof mounted solar hot air technology, either as preheating or full energy units depending on the temperature requirement, for processing large quantities of food products.

This article describes the technology adopted and its applications in the processing of various food products like tea, spices, fish, fruits & vegetables, pulses & grains, salt, etc. Sustainability of these units are proven as the 15 years old units are functioning still. Apart from larger solar air heating units, in a hybrid mode with fossil fuel, PEN has demonstrated smaller flat plate collectors coupled with SPV operated driers, successful for drying fruits in Ladakh and fish in coastal regions of India. Concessions and incentives from Govt.of India make the solar units able to have a low pay back period, and so it has greater potential for use in the country. -text taken from paper


C. Palaniappan


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current21:27, March 24, 2009 (711 KB)Ben Hedrick (Talk | contribs)This paper was presented at the International Solar Food Processing Conference 2009.