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Open AccessArticle

A New Methodology for the Development of Appropriate Technology: A Case Study for the Development of a Wood Solar Dryer

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Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Col. Ex Hacienda de San José de la Huerta, Morelia C.P. 58190, Mexico
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Posgrado en Ingeniería para la Sostenibilidad Energética, Universidad Intercultural Indígena de Michoacán, Carretera Pátzcuaro-Huecorio Km3, Pátzcuaro C.P. 61614, Mexico
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Instituto de Investigaciones en Materiales, Unidad Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Col. Ex Hacienda de San José de la Huerta, Morelia C.P. 58190, Mexico
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Grupo de Artesanos Organizados, Comunidad Indígena de San Francisco Pichátaro, San Francisco Pichátaro C.P. 60291, Mexico
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Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Col. Ex Hacienda de San José de la Huerta, Morelia C.P. 58190, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5620; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205620
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 2 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
This paper introduces a new methodology for the development of appropriate technology that allows satisfying energy needs in rural communities. The methodology integrates the technological development, taking particularly into account the assessment of environmental impacts as well as evaluation of the functionality of the technology. Therefore, it is implemented as a case study in the development of a solar wood-dryer in an artisan community in Mexico. Relevant issues were identified for the success of the methodology, which includes identifying key participants in the community, as well as the use of specialized simulation- and computer-based design tools, and a prior evaluation of the potential environmental impacts through Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the solar wood-dryer. Three geometries of a solar wood-dryer prototype were proposed and analyzed with computer-based simulations, which showed better interior heat transfer than the traditional wood brick-dryer. LCA revealed that the new solar wood-dryer prototype has environmental impacts in all analyzed categories that are 5% or smaller than those of the traditional dryer. Therefore, it was demonstrated that the solar wood-dryer developed with our introduced methodology leads to less environmental impacts compared to those of the traditional wood brick-dryer previously used by the rural community. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable energy technologies; life cycle assessment; rural community engagement; developing countries sustainable energy technologies; life cycle assessment; rural community engagement; developing countries
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López-Sosa, L.B.; Núñez-González, J.; Beltrán, A.; Morales-Máximo, M.; Morales-Sánchez, M.; Serrano-Medrano, M.; García, C.A. A New Methodology for the Development of Appropriate Technology: A Case Study for the Development of a Wood Solar Dryer. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5620.

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