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Jeezumcrow

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all, I'm planning on building a small lumber kiln (approx.6'd x6'h x10'long). There are some good plans out there for a solar kiln, problem is heat loss in the kiln at night. I'd like to build my kiln chamber separate and well insulated with a collector mounted on the south side so that I could employ solar heat in the process. I would appreciate any thoughts/recommendations on this. One major obstacle I think would be the air flow required in the chamber, approx 400 cu. ft per min. Maybe the airflow in collector could be baffled down? Thanks!

gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Welcome Jeezumcrow!

Sounds like you need a damper to close off your system at night. There are several ways to stop air flow when your heater is not active. Do you have a drawing of your kiln ideas. There is likely a damper that will work for you.

Greg in MN
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #3 
Also thinking an air-to-air heat exchanger might be in order, so you can carry off the moisture from the wood yet keep the heat.
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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
Jeezumcrow

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you both , I don't have a drawing, not sure I have the capabilities to do one. I plan on running a dehumidifier at night , hopefully that will take care the moisture issue.Damper sounds right, I'm worried that the high cfm fans in the chamber will overtake the heat gain?
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #5 
It's better to have too much airflow than too little. You can control the CFM of the fans using a simple fans speed control. That way, you can have lots of air when wanted, and less on cloudy or cooler days. With a solar heater, you normally want the temp of the output air to be lukewarm, rather than hot. Hot output temps means you don't have enough air flow and you are wasting potential heat out through the glazing. Now a solar kiln is likely different. But it is a heck of a lot easier to turn a dial to get the proper temp and CFM output then it is to change out your fans. 

Greg in MN
Jeezumcrow

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Reply with quote  #6 
Greg, I like the damper idea. The fans in the kiln chamber will run all day/off at night, the dehumidifier will run all night.So the damper would be either on the in or out duct coming from the solar panel? Maybe could be controlled by a thermostat? I will be adding some sort of aux heat at the end of drying cycle for sterilization. Need to run the chamber around 150f for a time to kill the bugs. Thanks
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