P15483: Low Energy Food Dryer

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

Currently farmers have no efficient means of drying and preserving fruits, leading to waste and lost revenue. Ideally a basic, low cost, and low energy device could dehydrate the fruits in relatively large volumes at a faster rate. Our goal is to find a currently existing device similar in functionality that can be simplified, requires minimal energy, and is cost effective. The new device must be easy to use and maintain while improving on their current process.

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

KGPB Farmers can expect a fruit dryer which can aid in preserving their fruit by dehydration. Detailed instructions will be included to assist assembly of bread fruit dryer. This apparatus will be affordable for any and all farmers with the ability to maximize their profit from the crop.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Based on interview:

1. Dries 15 to 20 breadfruit in one operation. A farmer will typically harvest 10 to 12 breadfruit in one go, so this is the minimum the machine should be able to process.

2. Is low enough in cost to be successfully implemented by the KGPB, a farming collective in a very poor area in Haiti.

3. This region of Haiti is not electrified. Fossil fuels and wood are expensive, and environmental conservation is a concern. Therefore the machine must operation without the use of electricity, fossil fuels, or burining wood.

4. The region has access to simple tools and a relatively low level of technical knowledge; the machine must be easy to service and maintain. Additionally, the parts should be readily available to prevent long delays if something should break.

5. The region is remote, and not easily accessible. The machine must be man-portable or separable into man-portable components to be delivered to the KGPB.

6. The fruit must be sealed from the environment to keep it from being spoiled or destroyed by animals/insects while it is processing.

A detailed description of the customer interview can be found in this directory: Problem Definition Documents

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Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

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House of Quality (Metrics & Specifications)

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Use Scenario

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