Solar Drying Systems for Farmers in Cameroon

Imagine being a farmer having your livelyhood endangered by heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms due to global warming (Habiba Gitay 2002), when what you really need is sun to dry your maize, coffee or cocoa harvest. Such is the case for the farmers in Cameroon. The high moisture content in the air and the recurring rain present a real threat to farming on the countryside.

Engineers Without Borders hope to act on that; bringing about this report – in which a possible solution is presented; Solar Drying Systems (SDS). This report aims to give a deeper insight in the current agricultural situation in Cameroon, the definition of an SDS as well as the drying process of foodstuffs. For the quantitave analysis to give an extensive response of the feasibility of SDS in Cameroon, it has been divided into two parts:

  • A realization of an analogue (not electricity powered) SDS with cost, little previous knowledge of relevant construction, and commercial viability as key factors. This is done by designing, constructing and testing a prototype.
  • Testing a theoretical modelling of a different prototype in its capability of extracting water from a body (drying) and heating of air by simulating weather conditions in Cameroon.

The construction of a prototype provides a design that meet all aformentioned criterias and suggestions for further improvements are given. Furthermore; the theoretical model suggests a prototype that will give twice as good water extraction capabilities in the months February to April than July to September.
Source: KTH
Authors: Kurdi, Mir Shwan | Öström, Linn

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