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Author Topic: Using the new solar kiln  (Read 1413 times)

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Offline btulloh

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Re: Using the new solar kiln
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2017, 06:07:49 pm »
Good info, Gene, thanks.  Iím really just trying to get a handle on this.  Keep in mind that I just report some of the data to get this kind of feedback.  Hopefully I will gain a better understanding of the machine as time goes on.  While Iím waiting for that to happen, I am actually getting good results.  The load of WO has been in for 4 full days now and has dropped from 18.5%mc to 12.5% this morning (which would be three days).  Today I ran the heat up and had the vents closed about 95% all day, and I will check the mc in the morning.  After tomorrow the sun is going to disappear for a few days. 

I started checking the rh in the kiln again today just to try and get a better understanding of whatís going on.  I will turn the fans off earlier this evening as you suggest.  Iím also going to monitor the RH in the kiln through the evening and see when the rh starts to go up.

Just FYI, my kiln is situated with some tall trees to the east side, so it doesnít get full sun until 10:30 am. Consequently I donít get a good jump on the morning heat.  This placement was a compromise.  Itís not always possible to get things in the ideal location, but Iím getting decent results in spite of the late start on sunshine.  At some point, I plan to move the kiln to a better location, but proximity to power forced me into this location.

Noon Ė 126f 36%rh 
2:00 pm Ė 136f 29%rh
3:00pm Ė 138f 26%rh
5:30pm Ė 136f 20%rh
Iíll update the kiln readings later this evening during the cool down period.
HM126

Offline btulloh

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Re: Using the new solar kiln
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2017, 10:44:32 pm »
Evening data:

6:30pm 122f @22%rh
7:30pm 118f @24%rh
8:30pm 111f @34%rh
9:30pm 106f @37%rh
10:30pm 97f @40%rh

temp and rh readings are taken inside lower vent on air leaving the stack
HM126

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Using the new solar kiln
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2017, 12:24:17 am »
If your humidity readings are correct, no need to shut then fans until 10PM.

Your data shows the effect of heating the air, as I assume you are venting as he kiln cools, so you are bringing in outside air! Which is then heated, which drops the humidity.  Foggy air heat around 25 degrees F will drop the humidity to 30% RH.   
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline btulloh

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Re: Using the new solar kiln
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2017, 03:11:12 pm »
Thanks for the info.  Humidity readings are pretty accurate, or at least I'm using an accurate device (Kestrel 3500).  I suppose there's always a way to take a bad reading.  I put the instrument just outside the stack and let it settle.

Today turned overcast from about noon on.  Not much sunshine expected until later in the week.  MC readings were 11.3% this morning.  I expected a bit lower, but then again I don't really know what to expect.  It'll be done when it's done.

3pm  109f @41%rh
ambient is 81f @79%rh (overcast)

Fans are running for now.
HM126

Offline btulloh

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Re: Using the new solar kiln
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2017, 11:38:16 am »
We're in a bad weather period for solar kilns.  85degr, 90% rh, mostly cloudy, and no rain to show for it.

Yesterday there were a few periods of sunshine but mostly cloudy.  Kiln got to 108f, but internal humidity was still at 50%.  A couple more days of this and then maybe back to sunshine.  Load of WO holding at 12%mc.  I think I've heard that getting from 12 to 7 or 8%mc can be a slow trip.  As soon as I get that big heater in the sky back to work, I'll find out.

On another note, bow season opened last Saturday.  I sure don't like hot weather  for hunting.  Waiting for a cooler spell.
HM126