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Old 08-02-2019, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Heating a ~18x20 to 220*

Have a kiln that uses a Nyle dehumidifier style drier.

It's designed for low heat, slow curing, for lumber. Around 100-120*

I am trying to dry firewood. It works for that, but the load we tried took 3 weeks and $600 of electricity.

If I had a way to heat the kiln to around 200-220*, it'd take about 3 days to dry.

Electric heaters would work, but at .20 kw/hr it's expensive.

Thinking of a diesel fired heater, like a Frost Fighter or a house furnace.

Ideas?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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use wood
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Damn that is expensive electricity, I second the wood.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A wood boiler system will be around 15k. Plus wont get that hot.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some sort of a biomass furnace. (Burn wood)
https://2knowabout.blogspot.com/2017...eater.html?m=1

Or a solar kiln.

Last edited by pdangerp; 08-02-2019 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A wood boiler system will be around 15k. Plus wont get that hot.
Stove made from two propane tanks. The big ones. Put it in the kiln. Load it up for a burn, light, seal the kiln and come back when the fire goes out.


Hook your air compressor up to it for extra jam.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Some sort of a biomass furnace. (Burn wood)
https://2knowabout.blogspot.com/2017...eater.html?m=1

Or a solar kiln.


From my reading solar kilns only get up to 110-130deg depending on outside air temp, sun and design of kiln.


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Old 08-02-2019, 11:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I assume you have a reason for trying to dry firewood in this manner.

But it seems to me it would make more sense to buy a year ahead and let the sun and breeze dry it out for free.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Stove made from two propane tanks. The big ones. Put it in the kiln. Load it up for a burn, light, seal the kiln and come back when the fire goes out.


Hook your air compressor up to it for extra jam.
It would need to be outside the kiln.

Had a setup like that on a smaller kiln for lumber. Worked ok, but it was pretty much a full time job keeping the stove full.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I assume you have a reason for trying to dry firewood in this manner.

But it seems to me it would make more sense to buy a year ahead and let the sun and breeze dry it out for free.
Most folks buy ahead, but have plenty that wait to the last minute.

Trying to get it where I can have dry wood in a few days.

Don't have enough room to stockpile more than 15-20 cords processed wood for it to dry. Yard is pretty well full with several hundred cords of logs and equipment.

I can buy a commercial built firewood kiln, but want to wait a bit before investing that kind of $$.

Last edited by nate379; 08-02-2019 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Some sort of a biomass furnace. (Burn wood)
https://2knowabout.blogspot.com/2017...eater.html?m=1

Or a solar kiln.
Yeah, solar, that's the ticket!

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Old 08-02-2019, 03:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, solar, that's the ticket!
It will work really good for about 3 days of the year!
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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From my reading solar kilns only get up to 110-130deg depending on outside air temp, sun and design of kiln.


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Solar works fine for lumber. I havenít tried firewood though. For lumber you want a slow drying process to keep it from splitting so much. If I want to though I can get the temperature up no problem mid spring. During the winter I was hitting temperatures around 135 when it was 0 degrees outside. I found that my cheapo outdoor temp reader from Walmart will max out at 151 degrees so I donít know how hot it gets in the summer. The only problem with solar is the heat and cool cycle having to bring the load up to temperature everyday.

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It will work really good for about 3 days of the year!
If he keeps the load light in it it will likely work fine. Still will take a month though at least and wonít fit his timeline of wanting it done in a few days.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A wood boiler system will be around 15k. Plus wont get that hot.
stop looking for a wood boiler

look for an old actual boiler, like old locomotive or sawmill boiler
then you can run it under pressure and get it to 250 degrees in there

Last edited by [486]; 08-02-2019 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If he keeps the load light in it it will likely work fine. Still will take a month though at least and wonít fit his timeline of wanting it done in a few days.
Really? I haven't seriously investigated. Due to the angle, we don't get much energy, even with the long days...
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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stop looking for a wood boiler

look for an old actual boiler, like old locomotive or sawmill boiler
then you can run it under pressure and get it to 250 degrees in there
Neither of those is something that exists around here, at least not in any form that I would trust using now.

Plus putting in a steam plant would be a headache with insurance I think. Vs a std home heat wood boiler.


this is the type of heater I was thinking of:
https://www.constructioncomplete.com...IDH500QR-B.pdf

Dunno how well it'd work though.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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How many chords do you sell in a year? I cant imagine the extra work of loading into and out of a kiln plus the cost of drying is worth it... what about the obvious answer of paying for a little more help up front to get a year or 2 ahead of the orders?
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Really? I haven't seriously investigated. Due to the angle, we don't get much energy, even with the long days...
I have 18 solar panels on my roof at the house.

They don't make much power from Nov-March.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
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In the area of about 400 cords a year.

This is the first year doing seasoned wood. Before that, it has just been that the customer deals with drying it... usually by buying in advance.

I kept rough track last year of all the inquires for dry wood (typically fall and winter) and decided to try it out. I have about 18 cords I have drying from this spring and that took up all the room I had.


The space that even 50 cords would take up just isn't going to work out, plus it'd need to be under a roof. We have about 3 acres and it's pretty well taken up by equipment, buildings and log piles.
And it's tough to predict how much would be needed.

If it works out well, probably will setup with a commercial firewood kiln, but at this point not going to shell out 20k just yet.


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How many cords do you sell in a year? I cant imagine the extra work of loading into and out of a kiln plus the cost of drying is worth it... what about the obvious answer of paying for a little more help up front to get a year or 2 ahead of the orders?

Last edited by nate379; 08-02-2019 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Solar works fine for lumber. I havenít tried firewood though. For lumber you want a slow drying process to keep it from splitting so much. If I want to though I can get the temperature up no problem mid spring. During the winter I was hitting temperatures around 135 when it was 0 degrees outside. I found that my cheapo outdoor temp reader from Walmart will max out at 151 degrees so I donít know how hot it gets in the summer. The only problem with solar is the heat and cool cycle having to bring the load up to temperature everyday.



If he keeps the load light in it it will likely work fine. Still will take a month though at least and wonít fit his timeline of wanting it done in a few days.


I did not realize it got that hot. What are your thoughts on drying it in a shipping container? My containers during the summer are right around 120-130 during the day, over a 100 by 9am itís currently about 7 and they are still well over 110. Would they cool off to much at night? Cold mornings are in the upper 50ís. I guess I should just go take a temp reading first thing in the morning. I should just start a thread for this...


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Old 08-02-2019, 11:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Have a kiln that uses a Nyle dehumidifier style drier.

It's designed for low heat, slow curing, for lumber. Around 100-120*

I am trying to dry firewood. It works for that, but the load we tried took 3 weeks and $600 of electricity.

If I had a way to heat the kiln to around 200-220*, it'd take about 3 days to dry.

Electric heaters would work, but at .20 kw/hr it's expensive.

Thinking of a diesel fired heater, like a Frost Fighter or a house furnace.


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Originally Posted by nate379 View Post
this is the type of heater I was thinking of:
https://www.constructioncomplete.com...IDH500QR-B.pdf

Dunno how well it'd work though.
What's your cost per gallon of diesel or fuel oil?

3 GPH x 24 hours = 72 gallons per day x 3 days = 216 gallons of fuel per load.

Looks like marine diesel's $3/gallon there - that'd be ~$650 per load for energy.


1/7th the lead time may justify the expense, but include your energy costs & machine amortization into your cost per load.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Waste oil?

Shipping container painted flat black, north south oriented?

Edit

I don't know anything about biomass, but if I was cutting down trees, and paying to heat 75% of it, and possibly disposing of 25% of it, i think I'd find a way to burn it

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Old 08-03-2019, 04:09 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I was thinking waste oil as well, or maybe build a small biomass boiler that burns waste oil and waste wood (soft wood), Ive seen a few simple systems that utilize gravity fed waste oil into a large heavy plate steel wood stove with a blower...
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:29 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Really? I haven't seriously investigated. Due to the angle, we don't get much energy, even with the long days...
Well shit I wasnít paying attention to location. A light load may take a few months and not be much better than air drying.

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I did not realize it got that hot. What are your thoughts on drying it in a shipping container? My containers during the summer are right around 120-130 during the day, over a 100 by 9am itís currently about 7 and they are still well over 110. Would they cool off to much at night? Cold mornings are in the upper 50ís. I guess I should just go take a temp reading first thing in the morning. I should just start a thread for this...

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If youíre wanting to dry lumber You may have trouble controlling temperature with a container. Painted black, you should have no problem getting the temperature up. Itís when you want to keep it around 125-130 with the vents closed in the middle of summer since you just put in a fresh load and donít want it to let a lot of moisture out.

As far as cooling off, it all really depends on how much is in there to hold the heat. Empty space cools faster than the same space loaded with wood. On the other hand it may take a while to get all wood up to temperature if thereís a lot of it. The heat/cool cycle didnít bother the lumber as much as letting out too much humidity too fast.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:31 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Electricity to dry fire wood? You're doing it wrong.
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