Dr. James Sanders White Solar Lumber Drying Kiln

We believe that to have sustainable forests, we must learn to use methods that maximize landowner profits while reducing impacts of logging.Much value can be added to timber by cutting the logs into boards and drying them in a kiln. Our solar lumber kiln uses sunlight for heat and electricity generated from sunlight for circulation of air. Our kiln can hold over 1,500 board feet of green lumber. Drying times depend on the species, the thickness of the boards and on season. The pictures below show the heating collecting chamber and the lumber stack. Heated air circulates through the lumber, drying it in the process. Other than labor, the costs of drying the lumber is very low.


Photograph of the Dr. James Sanders White Solar Lumber Kiln.
The kiln solar heat collector with inside surfaces painted black to collect the most heat.
A lumber stack being dried with heat from the sun.
Dr. James Sanders White Solar Lumber Kiln.  Dr Sanders knew that Clay Hill was a special place deserving of careful management.  He pioneered the practice of sustainable forestry.  His watch care over this forest assured its continuing existence.  We use sustainable forestry techniques to manage our woodlands.  We model techniques that allow land owners to profit from their woodlands in a sustainable way.  This lumber kiln uses sunlight as its sole source of energy. The sun heats air that is circulated through our lumber stack using fans that our powered by electricity collected by solar panels on the roof of the Kentucky Utilities Alternative Energy Center. By sawing and drying lumber on site we are able to maximize profit while minimizing the number of trees that have to be harvested.  We believe that this practice serves as an example to owners of small woodlots.  This kiln was designed and built by Todd Gupton and Gordon Weddle.

    Published 9 july 2012 last modified 9 February 2018           © Clay Hill Memorial Forest 2012               

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