I’ve attached photos of the solar food dryer we built for the Willow Way Permaculture Design Course last year. It is a design that was perfected by research by the University of Appalacia for 14 years. It performs beautifully. It can be used with/ or without its solar collector(sorry, no photo), which channels heat up through the drying racks. I prefer using the solar collector.
A photo of the construction plans are also attached. If you endeavor to make one, this might be helpful.
I have dried our herbs for our Herbal CSA in it throughout the season, and now we are finding it will dry apple slices in one day to a yummy leathery texture.
We have also used our hoop house for dehydrating our herbs throughout the season and it is working well, although not as efficiently as the solar dyer. The trick now is to convert the hoop-house-as-dehydrator to the growing extension for the winter. We are planning on using the structure as a dryer right up to the freeze, then move in cold-tolerant greens which have been transplanted to pots.