A Model Identifying Factors Affecting the Sustainable Use of Solar Dryers: A Case Study
Keywords:solar dryer, structural equations modelling (SEM), path analysis, sustainability, Yazd city
Solar energy has been used to preserve agricultural products which require drying through a consistent application of relatively low heat. In the present study, the feasibility of implementation the solar dryer system in the city of Yazd in Iran is evaluated by examining the effective factors. By identifying factors which may somehow affect the design, construction and operation of solar drying systems, a questionnaire was prepared and distributed. Among the results of the analysis, six main factors were identified: “performance,” “geographical location,” “infrastructures,” “interactions,” “financial support” and “social, cultural and political issues.” According to the results obtained from factor analysis and with Structural Equations Modelling (SEM) method, a model was introduced. Subsequently, the final model was developed with the use of path analysis method and with AMOS. Based on the final model, the three factors of infrastructures (with the coefficient of 0.44), interactions and cultural, social and political issues (both with the coefficient of 0.12) directly affect the possibility of implementing the solar dryer in Yazd. According to the proposed model, it was concluded that authorities should mainly focus their attentions on finance, science, economy and infrastructures to develop and promote use of solar drying systems.