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Author Topic: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...  (Read 5209 times)

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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« on: December 08, 2017, 03:48:59 PM »
Been planning my solar kiln build for some time now.  Iíve read all the threads and watched other members build theirs, so now I should be an expert, right?   But of course, Iím not.  About the only things Iím sure of is I want my kiln to be completely solar powered, handle larger/longer boards, and to convert from an air-drying structure into a solar kiln when the lumber has air-dried to the proper MC.   Hereís what Iíve got so far, complete with (not to scale) images.

As mentioned, the kiln will be completely solar with the fans running on 24-volt DC directly from the solar panels.  I plan on having 2 fans but will adjust that number accordingly as the project matures and I start to get an understanding of what is actually happening in the kiln vs what I think will happen.  The fans I am looking at are called ďSolar Direct DC Super FansĒ, are 16Ē in diameter and capable of moving between 1,000 cuft/min on the low setting to 1,900 cuft/min on the high setting.   I plan to let the sun turn the fans on/off simply by when it raises or sets.  If I need to run an exhaust fan after sunset I will run a smaller fan off of a battery bank.  I hope that wonít be necessary as I want to keep this system simple and minimize my daily intervention as much as possible. 

Image 1 is a side view of the kiln.  It will be 16í wide, 8í deep and 8í tall.  The solar heater sits above the main structure and is 4í tall on the back side and tapers down until it connects with the front of the kiln.    The solar windows on top will be made of Sunlite 24 in. x 96 in. Polycarbonate Clear Twinwall Roof Panel.  (Unless someone has a better suggestion.) 




There will be 4 doors on the kiln, 2 on the front and 2 on the back.  Image 2 and 3 show the kiln without and with doors.    With all 4 doors open, the building becomes a 16íX8í shelter for lumber to air-dry in.  The location I have chosen has a Southern exposure and sits on the side of a hill with an almost constant breeze that will speed the air-drying process.   When the doors are closed and the solar fans are turned on, the building becomes a solar kiln capable of drying lumber up to 16í long. 


 


The next images shows the kiln with the movable wall slid into the center of the kiln.  This center wall ďparksĒ against the far-left wall but can be moved accordingly to make 2 separate drying stalls of equal or different sizes.   



Using the movable wall allows both chambers to simultaneously dry different types of lumber or two batches that are started at different times, say a couple of weeks apart from each other.   It also allows for lumber to be air-dried on one side will kiln drying lumber on the other. 





I spent the last couple of days cutting a pad, driveway and turnaround for the kiln.  Wanted to finish it off and start construction today but 6+ inches of snows says otherwise.   

So there it is guys.  Look it over and give my you ideas, criticisms, suggestions, etc.    Thanks in advance,

Note: Since I made these drawings I have decided to put the solar panel(s) on a separate, free standing support and not take up space on the kiln itself.   No sense in wasting all that solar exposure, right? 

Jim






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Offline CharlieP

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 07:42:38 PM »
Hey neighbor, we are over in Stecoah, off 28, I built a solar kiln this fall based on VA Tech plans, you are welcome to come over and check it out , I would be glad to go over some things I have run into.
  Charlie

Offline WLC

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 01:23:19 AM »
IF you are gonna dry 16' lumber your kiln will need to be longer.  I'll be watching as you build this.  Very interested in how it turns out!
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 07:18:03 AM »
Maybe I can find a market for 15í11Ē lumber?  :D   Or better, Iíll probably end up with a 2X4 on each side to increase the width a bit.     

I think the greater problem here is that the solar collector is not at 45*.  Is that serious enough that I need to raise the back wall of the collector from 4í to 8í or will I catch sufficient sun at the current angle?
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 10:10:01 AM »
The angle is a big issue, with a big effect from September through March.  You will recover as much as 15% less energy.  The best angle is your latitude, so 45 degrees is too steep for your location.

Are the walls 6Ē thick? Doors too?  Floor insulated also?

I am not sure why there is so much space from the top of the pile to the horizontal baffle.

Will the fans blow downward?  Will the vents have adjustable covers?
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 12:05:24 PM »
The angle is a big issue, with a big effect from September through March.  You will recover as much as 15% less energy.  The best angle is your latitude, so 45 degrees is too steep for your location.

Are the walls 6Ē thick? Doors too?  Floor insulated also?

I am not sure why there is so much space from the top of the pile to the horizontal baffle.

Will the fans blow downward?  Will the vents have adjustable covers?

Latitude/Slope of panels: Latitude for Franklin NC (I'm 15 miles West of Franklin) is 35.1823į N and the slope on the collector is currently at 23*.   I can change the degree of slope by making the back of the collector a little higher.  It's 4' now, raising it to 5', or possibly 6', should help considerably.

Wall thickness: Walls will be true 2X6 construction as I am cutting the lumber myself.   

Floors: Floors will sit on 4X6 beams that rest on pier blocks.  I will insulate the area between the beams and cover that with a couple layers of 30lb felt.  Then cover that with 1/2" plywood. 

Baffle: The drawing is to not to scale.  It's only purpose is to provide a mental projection of what the design looks like.  Anything and everything is subject to (and most likely will) change.  With that in mind, the positioning of the baffels in the diagram is there only for you to see that there is a baffle and the approximate location. 

Fans: Currently I plan on 2 fans, one on each side of the kiln.  And yes, they point down as they pull the hot air from the top of the kiln and direct it down into the drying chamber.  These are very powerfull fans, I don't expect there will be an issue with too little air movement.  If anything, there may be too much, if that is possible. 

Vents: Yes, all the vents will have adjustbable covers. 

Thank you for your input/questions Gene.  Any suggestions are appreciated. 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 12:27:33 PM »
Jim, if you're headed to Raleigh any time soon you're welcome to stop by and look at my 4 solar kilns.  One is the traditional design and three are modified to better fit my standard kiln stacks.
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Offline Savannahdan

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 01:37:18 PM »
I notice that your vents are in the sides of the front chamber.  Wouldn't it be better to have them in the back so that the air flow through the stacks is constant and you're pulling fresh air in.  I do like your 2 chamber system.
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 02:09:39 PM »
I notice that your vents are in the sides of the front chamber.  Wouldn't it be better to have them in the back so that the air flow through the stacks is constant and you're pulling fresh air in.
I'm pulling a regulated supply of fresh air in from the front so that it is introduced into the lowest part of the heating chamber, where it is warmed as it rises.   I'm hoping this will ensure that the hottest air possible is being pulled out by the fan and forced down through the stack.       



If the vent were in the back the forced hot air would be exiting prior to going through the stack.  By putting the vent in the bottom front, I am allowing wet (heaver) air to vent that has already been forced through the stack. 

I do like your 2 chamber system.
Thank you!
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 05:14:46 PM »
I do,believe the vents are ok, but if you could move the two front ones closer to the center, this would help air movement side to side.
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 05:42:55 PM »
I do,believe the vents are ok, but if you could move the two front ones closer to the center, this would help air movement side to side.
I'll make those changes in the final build.  Thank you!

Edit:  Sorry Gene, I just saw what you meant about the baffle being so far back in the picture on the stack.  Fixed it!  Also moved vents from side to front and extended the back of the solar collector to 5', which should bring the pitch of the collector to 32*.  Optimum is 35*.  Jim

Edit #2 - 12/12/2017: Although it is not noted in the image below, I have changed the back wall to be 5'6" high, which will make the pitch of the solar collectors exactly 35*.  Life is good...




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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 08:51:00 PM »
Ok, the airflow diagram helps. 
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 07:08:41 PM »
Iím about 99% finished cutting out the pad that the kiln will sit on.  I made it 50í X 95í which will give me plenty of room to add another kiln if this design works out well.  I wanted to be sure I have enough room to load/unload lumber as well as being able to turn a truck or tractor around without running into anything.  It was 15* this morning with a steady wind that made it hard to see through the tears!  I have a little bit of grading to do to insure the water drains in the right direction and then Iíll be ready to start laying out the blocks for the kiln to sit on.



Got a partial cut list made.  I will have to buy the plywood, but I have enough stock to cut everything else.  Also got my solar fans ordered.  Depending on the amount of sunlight hitting the panel at any given time each fan will move between 1,000 - 2,000 cuft/min.  If that isn't adequate I'll add a third fan but I think with the amount of sun that hits this area I will see them turning at the 2,000 cuft/min speed more than not.   Pricey little rascals at $239.00 apiece, but anything "solar" seems to cost twice as much. 

 

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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 04:10:10 PM »
Cheap fans are not as efficient and use brass bushings or worse.  Your fans will last forever and the cost of running them will be good.

Sometimes, using this area to air dry is good, plus if you had a pole shed with only a roof, no walls, you can work in any weather...put that on your Christmas wish list.
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 04:55:32 PM »
I am so in for this build. Me likey so far.

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 07:03:51 PM »
Cheap fans are not as efficient and use brass bushings or worse.  Your fans will last forever and the cost of running them will be good.
 
Good to know!  I feel a little better about the purchase now. 

The good news: Got all 19 of my 2x6x12 rafters cut today.  :) They sure are purdy!
The bad news: Got 80 more 2x6x8 to go! 
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 09:12:51 AM »
I like your design - it has a lot of flexibility.

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2017, 06:58:14 PM »
In spite of snow, ice, and rain I managed to cut 30 - 2x6x8 today.  Only 50 more to go and I will have enough framing lumber for the walls.  Then I'll move on to the 4x6's for the floor and the single 4x12x18 that will span the front, hold the walls together and support the 2x6x12 rafters that the polycarbonate panels will rest on.  And then, I will visit Lowes to buy some 3/4" plywood for the floors and walls.   My plan is to use plywood on the walls and then cover the outside with lap siding that I make from White Oak. 

Lot's more to do but so far I'm having a good time!   
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2017, 07:43:38 PM »
Off topic of your kiln, which I am definitely excited to follow, but had a question.  Ever still find any chestnut logs in the creeks around your parts?  Been 25 years ago, but helped pull a couple of logs out of a creek down towards Franklin.  Made some nice wormy lumber.  Still have a picture frame out of it.
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 10:28:10 PM »
The original Virginia Tech design used CD-X plywood.  You might have to replace a sheet or two in a year or two, but the cost is good.
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Offline jaciausa

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2017, 08:16:10 AM »
Hi Jim,
 I believe you have the start of a good plan except the slope of the 6/12 pitch roof (rise/ run ) that would make it only 26 + degrees.

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2017, 08:25:24 AM »
For your area cutting a 7/pitch roof would give you 35 + degrees. Hope this is helpful.

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2017, 12:48:29 PM »
Off topic of your kiln, which I am definitely excited to follow, but had a question.  Ever still find any chestnut logs in the creeks around your parts?  Been 25 years ago, but helped pull a couple of logs out of a creek down towards Franklin.  Made some nice wormy lumber.  Still have a picture frame out of it.
This is the first I've heard of finding/pulling Chestnut out of the creeks.  That would be wonderful to find such a treasure!


The original Virginia Tech design used CD-X plywood.  You might have to replace a sheet or two in a year or two, but the cost is good.
I think CD-X plywood will be fine, especially if it gets a coat of waterproofing somewhere along the line.  :-) 


For your area cutting a 7/pitch roof would give you 35 + degrees. Hope this is helpful.
Although not reflected in any of the previous drawings I have raised the back wall to a height of 5' 6" which I believe will give me a 35* angle.  Let me know if there is a difference in what your saying and my height calculations.   I used the following calculator to get my measurements.     https://myrooff.com/roof-pitch-calculator/
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Offline jaciausa

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2017, 01:28:14 PM »
Your fine with how you are doing it. i was just stating what the framing square or the speed square shows. That would give a true 7/12 cut for the tails or a birds mouth.  The exact degree is 30.26.

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2017, 01:37:34 PM »
Are the top of your walls level? or cut on angle so you do not need a birdsmouth cut top or bottom? Possibly you are blocking them without using a cut.

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2017, 02:06:01 PM »
Are the top of your walls level? or cut on angle so you do not need a birdsmouth cut top or bottom? Possibly you are blocking them without using a cut.
At this time I intend to use a birdsmouth cut on each end.  But in retrospect, I can't think of a project I've done that started and ended as planned.  Why should this be any different?  ;D
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2017, 08:37:05 PM »
Sixty six inches or 5 ft 6 inch total rise would be an 8.25 inch rise per foot and exactly 35 degree slope as you have planned.

Offline btulloh

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2017, 09:21:07 AM »
I think the collector angle deserves a bit more study before you commit to the 35 degree slope.  I went through this with solar panels as well as with my kiln build.  There are a number of solar angle calculators on the web you can play with and the exercise could be useful.

One rule I'd seen for the kiln collector was to use your latitude plus 10 degrees.  There are some other things worth considering.  The ideal angle changes of course with the seasons, so any fixed angle is a compromise.  In the summer, with a high sun angle and high ambient temperatures the kiln gets enough plenty of energy to operate well.  Around the spring and fall equinox, the angle is lower but there seems to be enough energy falling on the collector to produce good results in the kiln.  This angle corresponds roughly to the latitude plus ten degree rule, so that is about optimum for the collector angles we tend to build into these kilns.  As the winter solstice approaches, the sun angle drops and the energy decreases, plus the days are shorter. 

It may be worthwhile to go with a steeper collector angle to help with the winter months where it is harder to get enough energy to run the kiln.  The long days and higher temps in the summer can run the kiln even when the collector is steeper and optimized for a lower sun angle.  From what I've observed with my kiln, I think I would compromise further toward the lower angle (steeper collector) than the 45 degrees I chose.  Of course that complicates the build a bit.

Or you could build a collector that can be adjusted for the season.  Fun.

Another thought on the collector angle thing:  Even though we talk about the pitch of the panels as the collector angle, the real story is not the roof pitch but the black thermal absorptive surfaces inside the the kiln.  The angle of the panels is not the determining factor in energy collection.  The amount of surface area inside the kiln that is struck by the sunlight determines the thermal gain.  The panels just allow the sunlight to get to the black surfaces.  That means that we need to take into account both the panel area admitting the sunlight and the area inside the kiln that is collecting the energy.

I'm starting to ramble a bit, but that's my two cents worth.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2017, 10:51:46 AM »
The best overall single unadjustable angle is your latitude. You can add 10 degrees for slightly better performance in late fall and winter, but poorer in the summer, and that means the rear wall is higher and that may be undesirable. As we go further north, then we suggest 45 degrees as it is easy to make that angle.  So, 35 is good for you. A collector that you can tilt from time to time is neat, but it is a lot of work and you might shorten drying time by a day.

As mentioned, the area of the roof measured perpendicular to the sun at noon (or the shadow at noon) controls the amount of energy entering the kiln. Once in the kiln, the light energy must be absorbed and converted to heat energy. We use black surfaces in the kiln- -walls, baffles. Their area is not important.  A few people put the black absorber near the clear roof, but it seems easier to use the walls and baffles rather than make a separate absorber.  Either method will absorb about 100% of the incoming energy, which is the clear area perpendicular to the sun at noon. This is about 1000 BTU per square foot per day, which will evaporate about one pound of water per square foot per day on the average.

Hope this is clear.
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2017, 12:51:25 PM »
The latitude here in SE Iowa is around 40 degrees. Being colder the 45 degree will be better choice for me. The best reason for me to use 45 degree is cutting all the rafters using a speed square at 6/12.

The orientation along the other axis to solar noon is just as important if you can still change it. This site can help you with that calculation-https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/-
 I thought my kiln was off a little, but turns out calculating it with solar noon here in Iowa it was correct.
Hope this helped some.
Also Iyou said you were using 8 foot panels for collector and if you are you will need to downsize the width for the total run of rafter.

Offline jaciausa

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2017, 12:56:01 PM »
i meant 12/12, just not thinking to clear.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2017, 08:33:11 AM »
A solar kiln in SE Iowa is really tough...it has to withstand hail storms, strong thunderstorm winds and nearby tornadoes, heavy snow fall, and maybe a few baseballs if you are close to the Field of Dreams.  The steeper roof will help drain or remove rain and snow.

In general, as you move further north, the summer sun rises in the NE, so with a 45 degree steep roof, it is several hours after sunrise before direct sunlight gets onto a kiln and the interior humidity drops.  Likewise, the south-facing collector at 45 degrees will see the last of direct sunlight several hours before sunset in the NW.  what this means is that until the kiln is about 20 degrees hotter than the morning low temperature, it will not have a very low humidity...it will not dry wood very fast.  So, this is why we suggest turning on the fans several hours after sunrise and off well before sunset.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2017, 01:51:54 PM »
My solar fans arrived a few days ago but the weather wouldnít permit me testing them.  But I got a chance today and they seem to run just fine.  I plan to use 4-24 volt panels (like the one in the test today) strung together in a parallel configuration.   This may seem like a little overkill but I want the fans to be well supplied even in the earlier hours of the day. 

Also posted a couple of pictures of the location where the solar kiln will sit.   It really is a great location and even in the Winter itís getting sun from 9:00 until about 4:00.  If the weather holds I hope to get the pier blocks down and the 4X6's laid out this weekend.







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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2017, 05:30:01 PM »
You must be on a first name basis with the Kubota dealer.  :D

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2017, 05:51:17 PM »
You must be on a first name basis with the Kubota dealer. 
lol And that's just what you see.  I have a barn full of mowers, bush hogs and accessories as well.  But a few years ago Dave retired and the guy that took his place acts like he doesn't even know who I am.  I got tired of being treated like second-hand trash and quit supporting them.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm more than the exception these days. 

But hey, what did you think about that fan?  Little rascal really moves the air for a fan that plugs into a solar panel!
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2017, 07:18:41 PM »
Fans look great.  Four 24 volt panels and 4 fans.  Spare no expense!  That's a great way to do it if you're willing to lay out the dough.

Are you using batteries or just running the fans right off the panels?  Voltage regulation?  Low-voltage conditions?   

It's going to be fun watching all this.  You are jumping right in to the deep end of the pool.  Right on!

Too bad about the dealership.  It does seem to be the way things go these days.  Aggravating.  Customer service seems to be a lost art.  It's almost like to you have to work real hard to spend your money these days.  And nobody ever says "thanks for your business" anymore.
HM126

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2017, 07:28:50 PM »
No batteries, fans run straight off the panels.  I am using fan thermostats that will turn the fans on when the solar is adequate.  And of course, they will shut down accordingly when the sun starts to depart.   

Iím big on the alternative energy thing which is similar to buying organic vegetables.  Everything looks the same, you just get to spend 5 times more to get the same result.  But hey, if North Korea ever lobs an EMP on us Iíll still be able to produce quality dried lumber for people to make bowls out ofÖ.
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2018, 07:03:29 AM »
.  But hey, if North Korea ever lobs an EMP on us Iíll still be able to produce quality dried lumber for people to make bowls out ofÖ.


 :D :D :D

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2018, 03:48:06 PM »
Nasty weather finally went away, and I got some much needed ďtransition from winter maintenanceĒ out of the way.   And now, back to the solar kiln!

First, what a difference in where the sun is now vs where it was when I cut the pad for this project.  And the trees are not helping me much either.  The good news is, I can cut the offending trees and get the sun back where I need it.   But the position of the sun in the Winter vs were it is now, is simply astounding.

In fairness, itís late in the afternoon when I took these pictures, so Iíve already gotten about 6+ hours of direct sun so I think Iíll be OK.  And once the trees are gone the shade you see in the pictures will be gone and I will gain another 3 - 3 1/2 hours of sun.

Got the foundation in and the framework for the floor.  Changed from using 4x6 for the floors and went with 2x6 instead.  No strategic reason, just because I had the 2x6 cut already.   Made a trip to Loweís for insulation, 30 lb. felt and plywood.  Almost $300.00. :o   Hope to have that all in by tomorrow afternoon.

 
Yippie!

 

 

 

 

n
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2018, 07:28:12 AM »
You might consider using metal hardware cloth on the very bottom of the joists to prevent critters from getting in the insulation.  In fact, solid, treated plywood is probably best.  If it is too late, then make a mesh metal skirt around the entire kiln.  We do want good air flow underneath the kiln, so make the skirt with mesh.  Also, consider putting a plastic sheet on the ground to prevent soil moisture from getting into the flooring and joists.

The roof looking south will not ďseeĒ much sun in the early morning and late evening as the sun is in the NE or NW and at low angles.  So, you do not need to do too much tree removal, although if you get an ice storm and a tree feel....
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2018, 04:55:21 PM »
Today I got the insulation installed, put two layers of 30 lb felt over that, and then a nice floor made out of ĺď plywood.  

I had some Chicken wire so, in accordance with Geneís suggestion, I stapled it between the girders to hold up the insulation and keep out the larger rodents.  Ran out of wire on the last span so Iíll have to revisit that sometime in the future.

It was hot today, but I made good headway just the same.  Tomorrow I hope to start on the walls.  Itíll be a long day as the studs are over at the sawmill and Iíll have to tote them over to the job site. 



 

 

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2018, 07:58:04 PM »
Looking good, Jim. 

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2018, 08:22:14 AM »
That is a really nice looking YJ.

Kiln is looking good. I have feeling a kiln may be on my short list after I start cutting.

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2018, 12:42:02 PM »
Thank you Btulloh and Crusarius.  

I had cut a lot of 2x6x12 lumber back in December, and changing the height of the kiln from 8í to 6í will allow me to get 2 - 6' studs out of each board.    Better use of the lumber and in retrospect, the heat will probably be a little more concentrated in the smaller drying area.

Dogs gave their approval.

This is probably it for the day.  Itís mega hot out there and that 28í log is about to become the main beam that spans the front 18í opening.  My saw is set up to cut a max length of 16í so there will be a bit of juggling involved.





 

 

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2018, 05:04:44 PM »
Got the beams cut, took forever and what an experiance.   Justification to lenghen the deck. Anyhow, got one of them up but it's not yet secure.  Have to slide it to the rear and then put the second one in place.  

I hit a tree with the beam in route to the kiln site.  Ended up dropping it on the ground and getting my beautiful beam all nasty and dirty.  Broke my heart, it was such a pretty beam.  But it's supposed to rain tonight so hopefully it'll get cleaned up in the process.



 

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2018, 06:46:28 AM »
Can someone tell me, is there such a thing as to much airflow through the stack? 
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2018, 07:22:07 AM »
Yes.  Details to follow.

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2018, 07:33:26 AM »
It depends on the species, and the maximum allowable moisture removal rate.  Oak, hickories, etc require a lower airflow, maybe 150 to 200 fpm is good, or they will crack, whereas pine, poplar and similar need much higher airflows, maybe as high as 600 fpm to prevent sticker stain.  It's not as complicated as it sounds, depending, basically all you want in a solar kiln is a light breeze for most wood.  Solar kilns should be short loaded for sticker stain prone wood anyway, as the collector is generally sized more for oaks.   If the fans are too strong, turn one off, or reduce the baffling.  Of course, it also depends on how much air is being vented. 


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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2018, 07:39:51 AM »
I was hoping YH would check in on that question.  Somewhere I have (or had) something about that in a publication, but I can't seem to locate it.  Dr. Gene and YH actually provided more info for me anyway.  One thing I found with my kiln is it was hard to get too much air flow with the fans I used.  The trick has been to get enough holes plugged up around the stack to maximize the air flow.

What kind of fans are you planning to use?
HM126

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2018, 08:47:02 AM »
Quote
What kind of fans are you planning to use?
These fans should move about 2,000 cubic feet per minute with the proper solar panels.   I was going to use 2 of them but I wasn't sure if they would generate enough air movement when positioned at the top of the heating chamber.  

So I considered putting them right behind the stack, but that would move a LOT of air in a short amount of time, and I was concerned it might cause problems.

To further complicate things, my design allows for all, or part, of the kiln to be used at any one time.  So if my fans are mounted permanently I will have to have a creative method of directing the air into the proper area(s).  That's not all that difficult, but I'm afraid I will lose a lot of efficiency if I create a ductwork system.  

I thought about buying/mounting 2 more fans (total of 4) and then selectively turn them on/off as necessary.  But that means another $550 in fans, and I was hoping not to do that.  :-)   It might be the best approach in the long run.  


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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2018, 08:49:59 AM »
It depends on the species, and the maximum allowable moisture removal rate.  Oak, hickories, etc require a lower airflow, maybe 150 to 200 fpm is good, or they will crack, whereas pine, poplar and similar need much higher airflows, maybe as high as 600 fpm to prevent sticker stain.  It's not as complicated as it sounds, depending, basically all you want in a solar kiln is a light breeze for most wood.  Solar kilns should be short loaded for sticker stain prone wood anyway, as the collector is generally sized more for oaks.   If the fans are too strong, turn one off, or reduce the baffling.  Of course, it also depends on how much air is being vented.
Good to know, thank you YellowHammer!    If I only need 150 - 200 FPM, I should be fine with mounting these up in the heating chamber and get plenty of air flow.
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2018, 02:56:46 PM »





 

 
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2018, 08:43:58 PM »
It started to rain on Wednesday and didnít stop until this morning.  Pretty much ended any construction on the kiln.  Just before the deluge started, I managed to wrap one of the walls with 30 lb felt, cut a bunch of lap siding, and install it on the left wall.    Also took some time to move all the (already cut) lumber over to the build site so itíll be there when I get started again.

A couple of hours into the start of this build I was asking myself WHY am I using such large lumber?  Back in November and December, I was cutting true 2x6x12 lumber, and it was all quite exciting.  I was finally using my sawmill for something constructive, and I was beaming with pride when I brought people over to see my pile of lumber.   Everyone was impressed.   Good Job Jim, such massive boards!  Canít buy stuff like that at Loweís, thatís for sure!

But when it came time to build walls and stand them up, well it stopped being fun really quick.  I went back and read through the posts and I see where I mentioned using true 2x6 boards for construction.  What I donít see is where anyone (especially you seasoned sawyers) tried to save me from this exercise in poor judgment and mention how *DanG heavy these buggers would be.   :D  Especially when they are wet.   :o

Thank goodness for Mr. Kubota, without whom I would be in quite the pickleÖ.  But every job is a learning experience, and I wonít make the ďtrue 2x6" mistake again.  

Nothing happening tomorrow as Iím picking up a jointer, dust/chip extraction system and some other woodworking tools from a cabinet maker that retired.  Also got a bite on my boat so I need to pull it out of the barn, clean it up and get it ready to show.   Need the extra room in the barn FAR more than I need a boat.  

Cheers!  




 

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2018, 11:40:35 PM »
Oh yeah, forgot to mention, using green true 2x6x12's will be a little heavy.  
:D :D

Also, don't nail roofing to green rafters, as they dry and move, they will rip holes in the roofing.   

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2018, 07:59:53 AM »
Jim, I think we were in that same weather pattern here.  6 or 7 inches of rain.  It really shut down the outdoor work, but I got some work done in the shop for a change.

When people start admiring that "real, actual, full-size, manly lumber" thing it always cracks me up.  It's a trap that's easy to fall into though, but hopefully only once.  It also means you need a framing gun that will shoot 4" nails, which I've never seen.  I do like to saw rafters in odd sizes sometimes to fit a certain situation. 

Looking forward to watching your progress now the rain has gone.  

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2018, 11:10:39 AM »
Are you doin' OK down there, Jim?  You guys have had more than your share of water.  Looks like the pattern is going to change next week.  8)  
I hope you are well and your kiln site hasn't washed away.

BT

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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #56 on: June 02, 2018, 05:56:11 PM »
Are you doin' OK down there, Jim?  You guys have had more than your share of water.  
Still here, but we sure have gotten a lot of rain!   Something like 16Ē in the last couple of weeks.  Havenít done anything outside but Iíve spent some good quality time working on my shop down at the barn.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a jointer, shaper, power feeder, and a monster dust/chip extracting system with all the duct work included.  Canít go outside much so Iíve been wiring the area of the barn where itís all going to go and setting up work benches, etc.    Kind of exciting but man, what a bunch of work.  

And all this while trying to do the other day-to-day stuff that comes along.  Nobody can say Iím not keeping myself busy!  

Thanks for checking on me!  
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2018, 09:51:18 AM »
I know you've had a lot of rain down there, Jim.  Are you keeping your head above water?
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Re: And yet, another Solar Kiln thread ...
« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2018, 11:53:27 AM »
Had a quick remodel to do so I had to move my tools away from the solar kiln build.  The remodel took longer than expected, so the SK build fell behind.  

Then it started to rain, and rain, and rain.   We sacrificed a chicken to the rain Gods, asked them to please make it stop.  It didnít work, in fact, I think it rained harder.  :(

I have a couple of rentals that are coming up empty in a week, so Iíll have to deal with getting those ready for new renters.   When all this ends I hope to get back on the solar kiln.   Itíll probably be fall by the time I get it operational.
 
Thanks for checking on me. 
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