Being into gardening, sometimes it becomes essential to dry seeds for eating or saving. I made a simple, easy way to quickly dry seeds to prevent mold and prepare for storage. This project is a simple solar reflector, which helps concentrate light to heat and dry out seeds faster. It should take no more than 20 minutes to make.
Reflective tape (recommended over foil)
Yep that's it. :)
Step 1: Cut Structure
We will construct a four sided reflector, with each side reflecting light onto our drying area. Based on what your needs for drying,space and you can shape your reflector accordingly. Here's what I did:
Since we can assume light is coming in all parallel, we want to slope the reflective sides to concentrate the light.
This can be very approximate, because the focus point we want is not going to be one point, rather just where the seeds we are drying will be. For drying a whole sunflower head, it's better that the light isn't focused on one point, thus overall drying it faster.
See the picture for the angles you want to cut.
I made the lengths 18 inches long for a drying area of about 5x5 inches.
Step 2: Attach Sides
After you've cut the cardboard, tape one side of each with reflective tape. Now, use duct tape to secure each side to each other, forming the cone-like shape. The tape will serve as structural support and can be removed for stowage.
In some case you should add some other form of support, as I found it can topple over without proper taping.
Step 3: Dry Things
Now, leave your solar concentrator out in the sun, placing the object on a flat piece of rock/time as a base. As you can see, I dry sunflowers often, to avoid the molding we get from fog, and even cooked a pot from clay I dug up. Have fun!