The AVANI solar dehydrator is a low-cost dehydrator designed for rural farmers and local craftsmen in the Kumaon region of northern India. The dehydrator dries grains, root crops, and fruits that are used for food preservation, spice making, and fabric dying. While most solar dehydrators are built for optimal drying efficiency, the AVANI dehydrator was designed to be low-cost and easy to use.
I designed and built the solar dehydrator during a two week visit to Avani, a voluntary organization working in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand that focus on capacity building of rural communities. My experience at AVANI taught me a great deal about design, challenging assumptions, and working across cultural boundaries.