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Solar food drying combined with a thermal energy storage (TES) system to increase drying capacity


The aim of this project is to implement a thermal energy storage (TES) system on a solar powered food dryer developed by the ‘Applied Fluid Mechanics and (Aero) Acoustics’ (AFMAA) research group of KU Leuven, campus Groep T. The TES system will heat up during the day and gives this heat back to the dryer during periods when sunlight is not or only limited available, e.g. during night or cloudy periods. Therefore, the combination of a solar dryer with a TES system greatly increases the drying capacity, meaning more food can be preserved for the local community ensuring more food security. As the dryer is only powered by solar energy, this project will promote the use of renewable energy, a must with respect to the global issues of climate change. Moreover, the dryer will also avoid the use of wood for drying, meaning deforestation will also be reduced. The TES system will be designed and tested by the Department of Physics and Electronics at the North-West University (NWU) and afterwards it will be commercialised by the company “Dryers for Africa” in a license agreement with NWU.

Intervention type

South Initiatives


01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Maarten Vanierschot
Local promoter Ashmore Mawire
Local partner institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Local partner institution North-West University
visit http://www.nwu.ac.za/
Budget € 69.613