P19483: Fruit Dryer


Project Summary Project Information

An estimated 1.3 billion people in the world live without electricity [1]. Lack of electricity in developing countries limits refrigeration options, hinders industrialization, and correlates to economic instability. In Borgne, Haiti humid environmental conditions cause food to spoil at an expedited rate leading to significant waste which could otherwise provide nutritional or economic value to impoverished areas. SEE Fanm, Sante [Health], Edikasyon [Education], Ekonomi [Economy] for Fanm [Women], is a Haitian women's group focused on self empowerment of women to help lift their community from poverty. To best utilize an abundant and commonly wasted crop, the Women’s group plans to dry mangoes to create a fruit powder which could be preserved and later made into mango juice. To achieve making mango juice powder, this current project team, MSD P19483, will focus on designing a reliable, offgrid fruit dryer to be used in a process line developed by MSD P19742.

With limited access to electricity, drying mangoes in a humid climate becomes an engineering challenge for which MSD P17483 developed a prototype solar crop dryer, which is currently being used in Haiti. The current dryer is insufficiently weather resistant and inaccessible to users. Along with improving these and other functional challenges, the ideal dryer design must be adaptable to an up-scaled business model, reliably durable and transportable. Components will be designed to maximize collapsibility and availability while minimizing weight and cost. These new design considerations will enhance ease of assembly, transportation, and profitability.

A successful dryer will produce a quality product (to FDA Standards) which can be utilized by the Haitian communities for both nutritional and economic benefit. Utilizing materials and tools accessible in Haiti will be key to providing designs which are practical for rural and impoverished areas without electricity. Adequate drying ability (time and quality) will be necessary to uphold integration into the final production line, which has potential to further economic opportunities including jobs.

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

A list of public documents can be accessed here.

 Solar Crop Dryer Final Design
Project Name
Fruit Dryer for Developing Countries
Project Number
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Christian Leibfried, cvlddm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Sarah Brownell, sabeie@rit.edu
Multidisciplinary Senior Design
Supplemental funding provided by a gift from Harris Corporation

Team Members

Sebastien S. - Keira H. - Austin S. - Olivier M. - Chris K. - Bri G.

Sebastien S. - Keira H. - Austin S. - Olivier M. - Chris K. - Bri G.

Member Role Contact
Sébastien Selarque Sustainable Development Engineer szs9082@rit.edu
Keira Higgins Concept Engineer kah3523@rit.edu
Austin Storms Structural Systems Engineer ajs1205@rit.edu
Olivier Montmayeur Lead Engineer oxm8465@rit.edu
Chris Kratzer Fluid Systems Engineer ctk9277@rit.edu
Bri Goold Project Lead bng2008@rit.edu

Work Breakdown: By Phase


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

Work Breakdown: By Topic

Project Management Design Tools Design Documentation Implementation Validation Presentation & Dissemination


Customer Requirements


Risk Management

Communication & Minutes

Use Case


Functional Decomposition

Morphological Chart

Pugh Concept Selection


Mechanical Pictures

Mechanical Drawings



Test Plans

Analysis Results


Test Results

Technical Paper


Imagine RIT Exhibit


We would like to thank Dr. Robert Stevens for his support and knowledge of solar crop drying. Professor Sarah Brownell for her assistance in communicating with our Haitian customers and her familiarity with the culture. Finally our guide Chris Leibfried for his expertise in problem solving and helping us through the MSD process.