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Author Topic: Vacutherm iDry input  (Read 23402 times)

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Offline Glenn1

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #120 on: November 18, 2018, 09:18:47 PM »
Just curious if any of you guys received an actual manual with your kiln besides the vague pdf they send with email. I had my certified electrician over this afternoon to hook up the main power and the pump for the boiler water and he wouldn't touch it without a wiring diagram. The main power to feed the kiln is self explanatory but neither one of us could be certain on how to hook the water pump up. Left a voicemail to there tech support guy early afternoon and no call back. You think they'd ship the thing with an actual manual and basic wiring diagram.
I have to agree about needing a detailed manual.    I am not the most knowledgeable about electronics and have had an error message come up in the boot up stage.  Sent an email to Jim this evening asking for clarification.
Vacutherm IDry, Nyle 53 Kiln, New Holland Skid Steer, Kaufman Gooseneck Trailer, Whitney 32A Planer

Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #121 on: November 19, 2018, 03:13:38 PM »
Glenn,  I'm sure Jim can get it sorted out. I don't know electronics but I do have a good grasp on electric and wiring.

Its official,  the kiln is loaded and running. So far everything seems to be operating as it should. I overloaded the kiln width wise and I'm not sure how this run is going to go. I wanted to figure out right away if I could get away with it. 90% 2 3/8 walnut slabs of various mc. Some air dried 6 months some 1 month. Delorme meter is telling me 20% up to 32%. Also threw in a few sticks of 8/4 cherry to see what happens with that. Threw in a little 5/4 walnut slabs pretty much fresh milled on top. If this kiln can make this oversized mixed load work I'll be thoroughly impressed.  Fingers crossed.

 

 

 
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #122 on: November 19, 2018, 03:23:22 PM »
 popcorn_smiley

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #123 on: November 19, 2018, 06:03:16 PM »
Thats a great way to start! Go big
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #124 on: November 19, 2018, 06:46:28 PM »
Personally I am surprised at all the gaps, you could have stuck some firewood kindling in there.  What a waste of space. :D :D :D

Really enjoying all the pictures.  Living vicariously.   
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Offline Glenn1

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #125 on: November 19, 2018, 08:45:31 PM »
This morning, I called Jim to say that I was getting an error message about low power and then the breakers would trip.  We wired it ourselves so at Jim's suggestion, I brought in a licensed electrician to make sure that the voltage was correct.  We were getting 240V but when the kiln started up, it was only pulling .5 amps and shortly thereafter the breakers would trip.    Jim had a few engineers with him as he gave us things to look for.  After doing quite a bit of testing, we found a wire that was touching a large bolt  back in the main panel.  Vacutherm tests every model before they go out so it was strange to see that this wire had shifted and shorted itself out.  We replaced the wire and the system is now operational.

I have dealt with a lot of companies over technical issues but Jim and his crew are the absolute best.  I am very appreciative to the time and professionalism that they showed.
Vacutherm IDry, Nyle 53 Kiln, New Holland Skid Steer, Kaufman Gooseneck Trailer, Whitney 32A Planer

Offline boardmaker

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #126 on: November 20, 2018, 09:06:27 AM »
Glenn,

Keep the info coming.  This is a great thread!

Like the others, I'm living vicariously through you.

Lucas

Offline Glenn1

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #127 on: November 20, 2018, 08:15:57 PM »
I am now up and running. I put 4/4 green cedar, 4/4 walnut with a MC of 28, and some live edge 8/4 walnut slabs (Mc over 30 but air dried for 5 months).  Jim said that I should wait till Sunday before opening the kiln to check Mc.  So far, so good
Vacutherm IDry, Nyle 53 Kiln, New Holland Skid Steer, Kaufman Gooseneck Trailer, Whitney 32A Planer

Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #128 on: November 22, 2018, 05:21:14 PM »
Glenn,  what kind of temps are you seeing? 24hrs in I was at about 133f, 48hrs about 140f and at 72 hours in 147f.  I know the temp depends on load size and overall mc just curious as to that you are seeing. Thanks
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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #129 on: November 22, 2018, 10:35:02 PM »
Did anybody get a drying schedule, or drying conditions for their kilns?   Temperature vs pressure vs moisture removal rate vs species? Are these published anywhere?  How do you know where you are in terms of safety factors, drying optimization, etc? What algorithm is the kiln using? Did the manufacturer provide knowdge or just a set it and forget it system?  Can you slow the schedule down?  Speed it up?  Customize it? 
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #130 on: November 23, 2018, 01:24:11 AM »
Yh. It is pretty much just push start. As far as I can tell there isn't much for options. I know they can change things but as an end user I think there is pretty much one option.  Push start.  I think I might be able to adjust the duration of the fan direction but I haven't tried. It runs 2hours one way then 2 hours the other. The vac is consistent throughout the process .  It pumps down to 7.6 inHg at shuts off the pump . When  it hits 8.4 inHg the pump comes back on. It dumps for 10 min each 24hour period to let the water that has pooled on the floor out.  I think what Jim said is that it took them a long time and a lot of r and d to get this system to work the way it does and they dont want people to go around and mess with setting. He said Nile kiln owners are the hardest people to get to understand that there is no drying schedule and it really does work as simple as pushing start.  
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #131 on: November 23, 2018, 07:39:01 AM »
He said Nile kiln owners are the hardest people to get to understand that there is no drying schedule and it really does work as simple as pushing start.  

:o Was he formally an Apple engineer?
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #132 on: November 23, 2018, 08:56:48 AM »
Pa, that's funny. I doubt it. He doesn't seem to have the necessary smug levels to be an apple employee.  I've had numerous conversations with the guy over the last few months. We've talked about things not kiln related. Such as family, projects around the house, my business goals.  He is very down to earth, intelligent and it is obvious he is excited about drying wood and really believes in the products he is selling. 
Here are some more pics of the control screen


 

 

 

 

 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #133 on: November 23, 2018, 09:16:22 AM »
Busy, thanks for providing the photos.  
What is the blue line in the graph?  I can't see the legend. 

What capacity are the heat strips?  Looks like the heat strips are "On Off" as opposed to continuously "On" until the steady state temps are reached.  That is a curious setting, indicating too rapid heating to final operating temperature should be avoided?  

I have been doing some literature research about vacuum drying technology and process, and a paper co-authored by @Wood Doctor Dr. Wengert is very interesting reading, identifying and reviewing the advantageous and disadvantageous of vacuum drying in a an 18 month or so drying evaluation.  "Vacuum Drying In A Small Commercial Kiln-18 Months Experience," R.W. Rice and E. M. Wengert.  This study was not done on the iDry, but another manufacturer.  As I have said before, I have no experience with vacuum drying but the methodology is very interesting to me.  Gene, if you have other documents you recommend, please give us a reading list.  

Does the kiln have these possible following drying characteristics, both pro and con?

Quote from the paper, "The overall quality of the dried wood has been excellent with very little splitting or checking, minimal casehardening, and with very good color."

"... on the other hand, without casehardening, (or tension set) and the dry outside shell, vacum drying may produce more warp." 

"From time to time, for reasons not fully understood by us, we did notice more cup than we would have expected in conventional drying." 

"We found that shorter pieces dried to a more uniform MC and faster than long pieces."

"We found the squares dried better than lumber."

"Thinner lumber dried better and more evenly than thicker"

"We also seemed to find...a piece of lumber that had a region of high MC even though the rest of the piece was quite dry."


If there is no published schedule, I'd like to know the settings to better understand what is happening.  Seems the vacuum pump cycles at about 8 inHg constantly with a moderate deadband, and the temps seems to be controlled to a constant 150F or so, after an initial gentle rise, and the fans reverse on a timer, is there any variability on the timing or magnitude of these settings?


Thanks, any and all info is appreciated.




  




  

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Offline GAB

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #134 on: November 23, 2018, 09:31:13 AM »
@japarker4:
In entry 132, the second and third photos, the title is SYTEM SETUP.
Since I could not find SYTEM in the dictionary I am assuming it is an acronym.
I'm curious as to what it stands for.
TIA,
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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #135 on: November 23, 2018, 09:54:14 AM »
Looks like a misspelling of system. I never even noticed, my brain just added the s. 
Yh, the blue line is vac. pressure. The spike is when it dumps accumulated water. As far as heat, I'm heating with a wood boiler. The fluctuations in heat are just the fan reversing. Blowing towards the temp sensor and then away. The temps hit 135f pretty quickly and have very slowly increasing as the wood is drying. 
Is the evaluation gene is working on done with a vac kiln with heat plates or a kiln like the idry with less vacuum and air flow?
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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #136 on: November 23, 2018, 10:12:45 AM »
Yh, as far as heat goes mine is a fan and exchanger. The kiln has been constantly calling for heat from the boiler pump. Jim said it is sized so it should be constantly heating until the load has dried sufficiently to reach the max temp of 160f. At that point it will stop calling for heat. He said the less mc in the wood the higher the temps will climb. I am nowhere near as knowledgeable on kiln drying as you and many others here are. I have done quite a bit of reading on the subject and have learned quite a bit from my phone conversations with you but still have just a basic understanding of the process. From my limited knowledge it sure seems that vac kilns are a whole lot different than the conventional dh kilns so many here have experience with.
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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #137 on: November 23, 2018, 09:02:42 PM »
Glenn,  what kind of temps are you seeing? 24hrs in I was at about 133f, 48hrs about 140f and at 72 hours in 147f.  I know the temp depends on load size and overall mc just curious as to that you are seeing. Thanks
I used the heat boost button since the boards had already been air dried.  The last couple of days have varied between 130 and 144.  The exception is when the drain opens for 10 minutes every 24 hours.  The temp then drops into the mid 1202 and the vacuum goes all the way back to 30 (our normal atmosphere).  Then it works its way down to 7.8 or 8.  I will probably need to insulate the area close to the vacuum end of the container as the vacuum makes a faint amount of noise when it runs.  (I have decibel readings if youre interested.). I will be opening the kiln on Sunday and checking the wood. Im expecting the cedar and the 4/4 to be close to being done.  I dont expect the 8/4 walnut to be ready.  Im not sure if Ill add additional wood to the 8/4 walnut.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #138 on: November 23, 2018, 09:23:01 PM »
Robert, as I recall from my conversation with Jim, his method of simplifying the process is as follows.

1 - introduce a predetermined amount of BTU's of heat into the lumber.
2 - as the vacuum pulls moisture out of the lumber, a cooling effect occurs within the kiln chamber.
3 - as the lumber becomes drier, less moisture is removed, thus less cooling takes place, which in turn allows the temps in the kiln to increase.
4 - once the MC% removal is minimal, the temps increase to 160, and the drying is complete.
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Re: Vacutherm iDry input
« Reply #139 on: November 23, 2018, 09:36:36 PM »
Glenn, sounds like yours is running very similar to mine. I was curious if the electric heated model would climb up to temp quicker.  
Sc, that sounds about right . I cant imagine how much electric heat one of these units uses. The heat exchanger on mine is large. Bigger than my 200k btu shop heater. Mine has been calling for heat going on 5 days now without stopping. It looks like it is delivering the max amount of heat it is capable of. Like you said the temp climbs because there is less evaporation and less water to heat. The amount of heat introduced to the kiln stays the same.
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