Solar Kilns: Feasibility of Utilizing Solar Energy for Drying Lumber in Developing Countries,
FOREST PRODUCTS LAB MADISON WI
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A substantial portion of wood exported from developing countries is in the form of logs. To aid their economic growth, these countries are emphasizing increased domestic processing of logs into lumber or finished products. Improper, ore lack of, lumber drying has deterred this value added manufacturing. Solar kilns can offer low-cost drying capacity. This study tested the feasibility of using solar energy to improve lumber drying by small- to medium-scale operators in developing countries. A literature review confirms the potential of solar drying and points out the success or failure of some design features, construction details, and applications of solar dryers. Feasibility estimates concluded that solar drying is practicable if a dryer meets production and cost requirements. Two dryer designs, a greenhouse type and an external-collector type, were proposed. Their production capacity was estimated by a material and energy balance analysis, and their construction costs were estimated.
- Ceramics, Refractories and Glass
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems