Opening the Solar Kiln

| 4/26/2011 7:58:57 AM

This winter, I wrote about Mountain Man building a solar kiln to help speed along the firewood drying process.  (You can read it here: "Building a Solar Wood Drying Kiln.")  Despite the lack of sunny days, Mountain Man decided to open the kiln at the end of February because we were in need of wood.

Mountain Man's first step was to roll up the tarp. This photo gives you a good view of the wood inside the solar kiln.

He had designed the solar kiln to allow him to easily get his tractor forks in and under his palletized  wood crates.  Each crate holds 3/8ths of a cord of wood.  Mountain Man can comfortably lift that amount of weight without the tractor flipping over.  He had experimented with different weight loads and this size was optimal for his 75 h.p. tractor.  

Mountain Man examines the wood.

The side of the logs closest to the solar panel shows evidence of drying. You can tell by the cracks in the logs.

Mountain Man examines the other crates and decides he is going to tweak his kiln design and add more depth to it so more air can circulate around the side of the logs closest to the tarp.

11/25/2013 9:32:00 PM

Wood heat enthusiasts concerned about moisture content in their firewood can put their fears to rest by using a simple moisture meter. There is an optimum moisture range, about 25% as I recall, at which wood burns for heat most efficiently. Too dry and it burns too quickly; too wet and too much energy is wasted boiling off the moisture and glazing your chimney. A competent woodstove seller or certified chimney sweep can get them. Copperfield Chimney Supply is a nationwide wholesale outlet for chimney brushes and other paraphernalia...I'm not affiliated with them, just know of them.

Linda Capps
11/24/2013 10:40:26 PM

the links don't work and the pictures aren't loading

11/24/2013 10:08:16 AM

Seconding Melodae's suggestion/ it possible to repost or update this with the photos...and looks like their website is no more :-( Great article btw...thanks much!

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