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Author Topic: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter  (Read 745 times)

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Offline Stevenjohn21

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Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« on: October 07, 2022, 09:05:33 PM »
I am still in the organizing stages of owning a sawmill so I realize the timing to make a solar kiln is a little late but I want to make sure itís ready for itís first batch come late spring/summer next year. 
So my question is, what temperature should I be seeing in the solar kiln in the next month? Iím in the Atlanta, Georgia area where temps are around 75 degrees right now but by the time the kiln will be built itíll probably be in the 60ís. 
If Iím aiming to get around 135-140 degrees in the summer when itís 90 degrees outside should I expect 105-110 degrees when itís 60 degrees outside?

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2022, 11:56:39 AM »
a lot depends on your build.  any temp above ambient will drop the RH and still work, but take a little longer.  great for oak ect.  seal it up well, insulate well.  I find with solar kilns, myself included, I tend to get a mind warp thinking I have the next great solar kiln idea.  Mostly about making it cheaper or better somehow.  they are simple and should be kept that way.  Dr. Wengert once told me "It is just a solar kiln".  If it is 30į out and the kiln is 50į or 60į it will work.  just not as fast, and will not kill bugs.  After sealing and insulating, you can talk glaze angles and direction to face, but only tiny returns in efficiency.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2022, 01:59:38 PM »
As Doc says, anytime the temp in the kiln is warmer than ambient, the air can carry more water so the kiln is working.

I built mine in the dead of winter in Alabama, and one day when it was snowing, I was inside it with a short sleeve shirt.

In actuality, the best time of the year to build one is in the winter or it will be too hot inside.  

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  So donít burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2022, 08:55:23 PM »
In my spray foam insulated, dual pane polycarbonate solar kilns I will see up to a 55 degree temp increase over ambient year round.

The amount of rise is influenced by the rate of mc release from the lumber too.
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Larry

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Re: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2022, 09:05:15 PM »
So my question is, what temperature should I be seeing in the solar kiln in the next month?
If I understand your post correctly next month your kiln will be complete but empty until the spring.  The temperature of a empty kiln will be much cooler than one filled with wood.  The wood load heats up slowly over a few days than will carry the heat through the night.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2022, 09:15:06 PM »
Larry, I believe, an empty kiln can overheat and melt the plastic fan blades.  
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline caveman

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Re: Solar kiln temperatures in the fall/winter
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2022, 07:26:07 AM »
Our polycarbonate roof panels are old and need to be cleaned but when new, on sunny days it would generally heat up to about 50 degrees above outside temp.  We are at 28įN and built the roof at 30į and it faces south.  Yesterday afternoon it was in the mid 80's here and the inside of the loaded kiln was 125į.  We built ours without vents but leave the doors slightly ajar and open them for a few minutes each day to dump moisture.  Even with the doors tightly closed, there are enough air leaks to release moisture.  I don't know if this is the right way to do it, but it seems to work well.
Caveman


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