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Author Topic: 100% Solar  (Read 1430 times)

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Offline Darrel

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100% Solar
« on: January 10, 2016, 12:22:26 PM »
Has anyone out there tried making their solar kiln 100% solar, i.e. Solar electric for running the fans and dh?  The prime place for a solar kiln here on the blueberry farm is about 1/2 mile from power so that is why I'm asking.

- Would solar panels get to hot if they are mounted inside the heat collector?

- Would the solar panels interfere with heat collection?

- Should I forget about putting them inside and just put them outside?

At any rate, I'm thinking that the best place for batteries and charge controller would be in a weather proof room outside the north wall.

Thanks for your input.
Darrel
1992 LT40HD

If I don't pick myself up by my own bootstraps, nobody else will.

Offline Ianab

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Re: 100% Solar
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 02:37:54 PM »
I'd suggest you stick with just vans and venting if you are only running solar. That way the fans only need to run during the day and have a relatively low power draw.  A DH needs a lot more power and battery capacity if you want it to run at night (when it's going to do the most good)

Then a solar panel mounted any place around the outside of the kiln can produce enough power to run some high efficiency fans.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: 100% Solar
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 03:58:25 PM »
Has anyone out there tried making their solar kiln 100% solar, i.e. Solar electric for running the fans and dh?  The prime place for a solar kiln here on the blueberry farm is about 1/2 mile from power so that is why I'm asking.

- Would solar panels get to hot if they are mounted inside the heat collector?

- Would the solar panels interfere with heat collection?

- Should I forget about putting them inside and just put them outside?

At any rate, I'm thinking that the best place for batteries and charge controller would be in a weather proof room outside the north wall.

Thanks for your input.
Darrel

Solar panel's output is inversely related to the panel's temperature.  That is, when they get hot, the output goes down. Also, I think the environment inside the kiln would be detrimental to the panels.  I've seen comments about the water being acidic.  For the sake of ease and cheapness, running fans directly when the sun is shining is the way to go. 

On my well pump (think high current draw), I installed a Linear Current Booster (LCB) to protect the motor.  When the amount of sun is not sufficent to create enough amps at the rated volts, it "robs" the volts to boost the current.  That allows the pump to run at a slower speed (lower voltage) and prevents damage from the incorrect amperage supply.  It works quite well.  The LCB takes the place of a voltage regulator.
John Sawicky

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SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline MattJ

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Re: 100% Solar
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 01:58:50 PM »

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: 100% Solar
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 05:05:58 PM »
A solar panel to run a small DH unit would cost $6000.  You would have some maintenance costs as well, to keep the panel clean.  Then, you would need batteries to store the electricity for nighttime use of the DH and a converter for DC to AC (called an inverter).   As most small DH units require 60 F or hotter to run, you would need to keep the kiln warm at night.  Wintertime use is limited as the sunlight hours are greatly reduced.

So, the cost for five years, drying five loads per year (maybe less if north of 30 degrees) is going to be about $250 per load, or if you have 1500 BF per load, then $167 per 1000 BF.  A common drying cost runs about $75 per 1000 BF, so your costs would be maybe three times the "normal" cost.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Brian_Rhoad

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Re: 100% Solar
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 06:01:44 PM »
Here is a link to a 100% solar kiln.

http://www.homepower.com/view/?file=HP63_pg50_Scanlin

Offline Darrel

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Re: 100% Solar
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 10:20:49 PM »
Thanks to all for the input, I'm thinking I'll go with solar power for my fans and forget about the use of a dehumidifier for now.  And no more lumber than I'll be drying, I think that it would cost me nearly $500 per load.
1992 LT40HD

If I don't pick myself up by my own bootstraps, nobody else will.


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