Hi Andy, I enjoy your videos, thanks for that. I worked with solar kilns back in the 70's when I lived on a commune called Twin Oaks. I ran the wood shop and that included building and running the kilns. We dried oak mostly for our hammocks business but all kinds of wood for our home use. We started with a design we got from a professor at Virginia Tech who was a champion of this at the time - new technology. We build a half a dozen of them while I was there and they still use them today. Each one of ours got a little bigger and more complex as we got experience with them. We added sensors temp/ humidity, fans, venting and finally a woodstove to be able to finish the drying process more quickly. Ours were more like a greenhouse with garage doors on the back so we could load them with forklifts. We would air dry outside under cover first then use the kiln to finish it. I think you can find a lot of info online to help you with your project. I've never seen the oven style you show on your video used for wood before. I think our needs lead us to a much larger design.
Thanks again for your videos and sharing your adventure. I like that you are working on your story telling.
Hello Dave, yes this is a weird design. We are in tropics, and strangely, having something made out of steel is often cheaper than wood. It absorbs radiation like a car, and we are thinking about using cars, but old cars, vans cost a lot here, about 3 times more than the USA. There are no forklifts here, and labor is only 1.50 per day, so nobody cares about the cost of "hands." I do, but that is more complicated.
We have 2 sizes right now, 1 meter by 1 meter, and 3x1 meter, I think I showed the 1x1. Yes, this is just proof of design concept, more or less to show the science to workers, and easier for transport. The 1x3 one is mean to be 6 feet above the ground, and form the back of awning for sale of products, we can put in market area. We will have solar kilns in about 6 locations, keeping all woodshops autonomous, and under 5 workers. Quality is so bad, we need to be able to cut off unit when needed, move out when needed. But all is good, when we get a secure location, we can make these steel one out of roofing tin for around 30-40 USD. That one in the photo cost 45 US to make.
WE NEED BRAINS TO COME VOLUNTEER AT A SCHOOL IN GBALAVE - We will have them make products, and this will help fund the school, the students learn cabinet making for 9 months per year, from 7-2 in afternoon. An room cost about 10 USD per night, plus around 1200 Round Trip to Togo.