Winter Drying PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy   
Sunday, 10 January 2010 20:22

Does a solar kiln dry lumber during the winter?  That's a pretty common question.  Yes, solar kilns can dry during the winter, just not quite as fast as the summer.  Sure the temperatures are lower, and the sun isn't out as much, but when it is sunny your lumber can dry.  The weather has been pretty cold around here recently so I decided to swing by the kiln to see how it was doing.  Let me preface all of this by stating I have very little lumber in the kiln right now.  Maybe about 150 bd ft of red oak that is well on its way to being dry.  So there isn't much moisture being released in the kiln.  All of the vents are completely closed.  Pretty much any heat generated is just being blown around inside.  But the cool news is that at 3:00 on a sunny afternoon when outdoor temperatures were around 27F, the temperature on top of the collector plate was 103.3F !!  Not bad at all.  With kiln temps like that, there is definitely an opportunity to remove moisture from your boards.  Clearly not as nice as the 140F kiln temps in the middle of summer, but nothing to sneeze at either.

If you have any winter drying stories or information please pass it on in the forums.

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