Solar or dehumidification kiln

Do any of you guys have a small solar or dehumidification kiln and can share your experiences with it? I'd like to build one this summer to accompany my sawmill operations, and was looking for some input as to operating experiences, cost of materials, and ease of use.
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Jon Endres, PE
Reply To: wmengineer (at) adelphia (dot) net
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I have a Home brew Dehumidification Kiln that I run up to about 1.000 bf of wood thru at a time. It is an almost airtight 6X12 metal enclosed trailer some box fans and an old Sears dehumidifier which has been modified to run constantly. I load it up in May and unload it in September. As long as the temperature is above about 70 it will remove water. One year I Loaded the kiln with wood the was just at 20% moisture content and It pulled 4-5 gallons of water a day out of the wood to start with. You can almost tell when the wood is dry by the amount of water that is being pulled each day. Normally when it pulls less that a couple of quarts a day it is done. The moisture content in september is about 4-6% Electric costs for the fans and dehumidifier run about 30 dollars a month.
I do not do pine. as I will not try to heat the trailer. I live in the Poconos and the summer temperature does not get much above 80 for any length of time. This is a hobby for me and provides me and my faminly with wood for various projects. I have loaded the kiln with mixed hardwoods and have had no problems. It depends on the wood that I come accross each year what goes in. one year it was ash, one year oak and the next year the rest of the oak, maple, poplar and Black walnut. Next year it will be poplar, sugar maple and black walnut
Tom
Jon Endres, PE wrote:

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This seems unlikely. The process you described is little more than air drying. Typicaly you need to heat the air to increase it's water carrying capacity as well as increase the release of water by the wood.
I have a small drying shed that holds about 800bf of lumber. It is not air tight. I am hobbiest wooddorker that likes to save money on wood. (I also prefer the look and rich color of air dried walnut.) I use constantly running, indirect, fans and a dehumidifier also. I dont keep track of the water it removes. I just waste it into a storm sewer. During the summer, it regularly gets about 100F with some days over 150F. It still takes 6 months minimum time for 5/4 to dry. (If the weather cooperates.) Ten months is more usual and I usually leave it for 12 months. I have only put white oak, black walnut and maple "through" it so far. I have yet to get moisture contents less than 10-12%. The moisture content of my entire "stock" pile is now about the same, about 12%. This includes the kiln dried stock cherry, birch, spalted maple that I purchased too. Myx
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How so? Do any studying?
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/TMU/publications.htm
You don't think you can get to a RH 0f 25% with refrigeration dehumidification in an "almost airtight" container?
Remember the heat generated by the compressor as well as the solar heating and thermal mass.

drying.
as well

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<snippage>

<snippage>
I have no problem believing 25%, I was doubtful of the OP's claim of 4-6%. While I don't know, I assumed he was refering to a "backyard kiln" made from an unused trailer.
Myx
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25% equates to the EMC he mentioned.

from
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 16:48:47 GMT, "Jon Endres, PE"

well it is cost verses speed really. dehumidification kilns take a fair amount of power to run. but they can be as fast as the wood can handle getting dried. you have to monitor the water output to keep things in line. if you don't need thee speed go for a solar kiln.
--
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Jon Endres asks:

Check out: http://www.woodweb.com/KnowledgeBase/WDKBPPKilnConstruction.html
And more of Dr. Gene Wengert's material on the Woodweb. Should answer most of your questions.
Charlie Self "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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