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Thread: Solar kiln

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Posts
    59

    Solar kiln

    Has anybody figured out how to run a bug killing cycle in a solar kiln? I have searched for quite some time and have come up with no answers. I have some White Oak that I am sure has PPB's and don't want to lose the stack. Obviously I won't be doing this until next year. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    7,022
    I recently modified my solar kiln for Fall/Winter use by adding a false ceiling, extra insulation, and a heater and dehumidifier. If I add 2500 W of supplemental heat to the now insulated box of about 12' x 8' x 4 ft high, it will run 100F or more above ambient. Last week at 35 outside temp. it was running a steady 139 to 142F and stayed there for about 3 days while the wood dropped the last couple of % moisture to 6%. The temperature would go even higher except one of the heaters I am using has a high limit cutout at 140F. In any case, 140 F is sufficient to kill bugs. There was over 500 BF of lumber in the kiln at the time.

    Whether or not you use your solar kiln or build a supplement box. all you need is good insulation and a modest amount of heat. I'm using 1500 W oil filled radiators as my heat source because they are relatively safe.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,407
    In the summer time three of my solar kilns will get hot enough to sterilize. These are close cell spray foam insulated, double pane kilns. If yours does not get hot enough, John's advice above is excellent. If your kiln is well insulated and tight all you need to do is add auxiliary heat. USDA specs call for heating the lumber until all portions are 133F or higher. It does not have to stay there - just reach 133 everywhere in the lumber.

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