VARSBOX Mobile Dryer

VARSBOX is a drying system, which is adaptable for variable types of agricultural produce. Operating 24/7 independently of ambient weather conditions provides economical and fast drying efficiency.

Designed for the processing of treasured goods such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, seeds, herbs, spices and medicinal plants it retains their valuable ingredients for best quality and excellent shelf-life.

Embodying more than 30 years of experience and know-how in the area of food technologie and thereby providing beneficial nourishment to all consumers.

VARSBOX Mobile Dryer Application

The VARSBOX Dryer is designed to dry commercial batches of precious items such as nutritious and aromatic foodstuffs like fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and spices.

Cultivators of valuable agricultural produce often face the challenge, notably when they are confronted with good yields under variable weather conditions, to dry and conserve their harvest efficiently and quickly at the best time.

According to the postharvest needs of different growers the VARSBOX Dryer offers a flexible solution due to its design as a mobile container unit to be easily transported to farms, where versatile postharvest circumstances apply.

Drying in such a flexible manner can include many types of goods like spices, herbs, medicinal plants and seeds. Being a mobile and self-sufficient unit, the VARSBOX Dryer offers the opportunity for different farmers to dry their goods consecutively at different sites. Because no special infrastructure needs at the farm location are required the VARSBOX Dryer can be utilized in a flexible manner.

Drying Agricultural Products

The physical principles involved in drying are based on a combination of applied heat and air currents. Removing up to 80% of the water content of perishable agricultural products needs an optimized scheme to achieve the goal of maintaining various properties of foodstuffs and preventing ingredients from deteriorating. Drying is the most practical method to preserve botanical items.

The main advantages offered by the drying process

  • Facilitating simple storage and storage procedures
  • Reducing shipping and packaging costs
  • Extending the shelf-life of agricultural goods
  • Inhibiting microbiological infections with bacteria, yeast and molds
  • Averting the formation of malodorous constituents
  • Preventing losses shortly after harvesting sensitive items
  • Converting perishable products into long-lasting nutritious products
  • Increasing income for farmers by creating added value to their produce

VARSBOX Dryer Design

Based on the main concept of the VARSBOX System the design offers special unique features. These advantages of the VARSBOX System are the foundation for the design of the VARSBOX Mobile Dryer to include features necessary for the drying of even the most sensitive products under attractive economical terms.

Mobility

Built in a standard containerized unit for easy transportation permitting a year round utilization.

Optimization

Providing reproducible product quality through automated processing cycles adapted to the natural products.

Quality

Blanketing the unit operations under inert nitrogen dominated atmosphere.

Profitability

Employing highly efficient equipment provides a basis for very economical production costs.

VARSBOX Dryer Description

The VARSBOX Dryer employs heat pump drying technology. The drying action primarily results in passing dehumidified air through the goods to be dried. This can be achieved best by recycling the air through the dryer.

Initially a dehumidified air is introduced into the drying chamber at a relatively low temperature. The goods to be dried release their moisture content into the surrounding circulating air. All the while this increases the air humidity and further lowers the air temperature according to physical laws. The air exiting the drying chamber is recirculated over two heat exchangers for dehumidification and reheating before re-entering the drying chamber at the initial conditions. Both heat exchangers are supplied by a refrigerant based on a heat pump cycle thereby transferring the heat of condensation on one side to the heat of evaporation on the other side of the air cycle.

Thus recycling the heat by a heat pump provides a high COP-Value, i.e. the ratio between the generated heat and the employed electrical power thereby yielding a very low “CO2 -Footprint”

For an expedient and gentle drying process the produce to be dried is placed into special stackable baskets. According to the type of goods, the most suitable basket – permitting the best air circulation – is chosen from a variety of basket designs available.

The multipurpose design of the VARSBOX Dryer fulfils the VARSBOX System criteria of profitability due to its flexibility by drying different products throughout the year, thereby increasing the rate usage and thus reducing the period for amortization.

VARSBOX Mobile Dryer Features

Two added options are available:

  • Recuperating the water condensed from the drying air, which can be used as an in-site processing fluid, and
  • Connecting the dryer to a self-sufficient energy supply such as the VARSBOX Sun photovoltaic container system.

Both of these additional options make the VARSBOX Dryer even more versatile regarding the usage in an open field environment. With an external power supply on site, either a vegetable oil powered electricity generator or anphotovoltaic based electrical power source can be offered by partnering companies as required.

Closed System

The air used for drying is circulating in a closed system inside the dryer. In that manner it is additionally filtered and purified from bad odours and germs. Due to the closed drying air circulation no cross contamination from external sources including microbes, insects, dust or undesirable odours are introduced into the drying chamber. In contrast, if the drying is done outdoors or in open systems or rooms, the products are exposed to odours, dust, bacteria, germs and insect infestations. The closed VARSBOX Dryer prevents these dangers and thus loss in product quality. Therefore, regardless of the external environmental conditions, it ensures that always a standard and hygienic quality thanks to the filtered air can be achieved.

Mobile Design

The drying chamber is integrated into a standard 10 ft (ISO) container. The VARSBOX Mobile Dryer therefore has normal container dimensions for road, rail and ship transport. It is a compact and portable unit. A standard truck is sufficient to transport the container. Loading and unloading can be done easily by jack-lift, forklift or crane. Placing the VARSBOX Dryer close to the farming sites entails an environmental friendly usage. Thanks to this flexibility products do not need to be transported to an external and distant drying facility. Thus, both time and costs are saved, i.e. short distances between harvesting fresh produce and drying them on the farm.

Nitrogen Blanketing

An on-board membrane based generator supplies the gaseous nitrogen extracted from the ambient air. Using modern polymer based filamentous membranes offers a continuous self-sufficient supply during drying operation.

VARSBOX Sun photovoltaic container

The VARSBOX Sun photovoltaic container supplies the mobile VARSBOX dryer with regenerative energy from solar power for on-site drying that is independent of the power grid.

The main advantage compared to other solutions: During the day, the large solar cells produce enough electricity to supply the VARSBOX dryer with energy and at the same time to charge a lithium-ion battery in the container. At night, the VARSBOX dryer continues to run with the stored energy making a 24/7 drying operation feasible.

For flexible transportation the solar panels are pushed into the container. The VARSBOX Sun photovoltaic container can then be moved from site to site just like the mobile Varsbox Dryer.

Technical Specifications

  • solarpanels with 12 kilowatt power
  • 50 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion-battery for all night operation of the VARSBOX Dryer
  • Solar cells can be extended and retracted mechanically and stowed completely in the container

VARSBOX Mobile Dryer Technical Details

Working Principle and Control

VARSBOX Mobile Dryers are more efficient than standard drying methods and can be operated day and night (24/7) regardless of ambient weather conditions

The VARSBOX Dryer requires only one electrical power connection with a CEE-plug. It operates with a 440 Volt (50Hz) 3-Phase 32 Amp electricity source. Although maximum power consumption is rated for up to 18.5 kilo Watt the average power consumption is about 4.0 kilo Watt per hour.

A microprocessor based control of the VARSBOX Dryer assures a documentable and reproducible drying system for the best product quality needed, including parameter functions necessary to assure less than the predefined maximum residual moisture content set values. Easy operating functions, large service intervals and simple serviceability (due to the use of standard industrial parts) are prerequisites for the worldwide usage of the VARSBOX Dryer.

The VARSBOX Dryer is operated by an external connected PC-Tablet, thereby providing a means of safety against wrong operating procedures or unintended tampering of the dryer. The optimal operating conditions for the dryer can be pre-programed for different products. In addition, despite the variability of ambient weather conditions, VARSBOX Mobile Dryers provide repeatable drying cycles to maintain a constant and sustainable product quality standard. VARSBOX Mobile Dryer can be connected to the internet as to supervise the drying process remotely.

The ideal temperature value in the drying chamber can be easily adjusted between 1 and 55°C. The lowest attainable relative humidity value is about 5% rH. The contact of the product with the air circulating in the drying chamber can be adjusted specially. Insulation and drainage is integrated into the machine. The low drying temperatures and nitrogen blanketing prevents discolouration and off-flavour effects in the product and maintains all sensitive components and ingredients in the products (e.g. vitamins). The layout and drying capacity has been designed to dry most products within a 24 hour cycle, thereby providing a very high product through-put capacities.

Moreover using optimized and product-specific drying baskets for peeled, cut, sliced or even bulk products provides for high efficiency. Especially designed plastic creates assure an optimal airflow through the products to be dried. This ensures homogeneous drying conditions. Even air circulation results in standardized product quality.

Capacities

The drying chamber encloses 12.5 cubic metres volume. Depending on the product and its preparation (whole, cut, sliced, bulk etc.) the batch capacity varies between 100 kilos and up to 5 tons. At a drying temperature of around 35°C a water extraction rate of 8-10 kilos per hour is achieved. The batch processing feature also permits the processing of smaller quantities of crops, offering the producer to supply directly towards and into profitable value chains. Independently of ambient weather conditions the VARSBOX Dryer can operate 24/7. This assures the availability of a constant high processing capacity providing ease and flexibility in allotting drying jobs.

To sum it up

The employed technology inside the VARSBOX Dryer surpasses all other drying systems as an economic attractive and feasible alternative, especially if all the benefits are compared against other drying technologies.

Technical Specifications

The employed technology inside the VARSBOX Dryer surpasses all other drying systems as an economic attractive and feasible alternative, especially if all the benefits are compared against other drying technologies.

Dimensions
Standart 10 ft ISO Container
2,9 m (l) x 2,4 m (w) x 2,9 m (h)

Drying Chamber
12,5 m³

Weight
3210 kg

Water Extraction Rate
8 – 10kg water/hour

Operating Temperatures
1°C – 55°C

Ambient Operating Temperatures
-10°C – +45°C

Power Supply
440 Volt (50Hz) 3-Phase 32 Amp electricity source.
Average power consumption 4.0 kilo Watt per hour.

Operation and Control Technology
The dryer is controlled via an independent WIFI connected PC-Tablet. A microprocessor based PLC (programmable logic controller) oversees the automatic functioning of the dryer. It is built for rugged mobile use. Onboard temperature, humidity and oxygen sensors are used to supervise every batch processed. All data is collected and stored to document the product quality.

Control
PLC designed for robust and mobile use.
Automatic with one-year battery backup function
data collecting. Remote technical service can be provided.

Technical Maintenance
Is provided locally using standard industrial parts.

Delivery Time
4 – 8 Weeks