The general performance of solar heated timber drying kilns is discussed and their advantages and disadvantages compared with air drying and conventional kiln drying, in particular their ability to dry timber down to moisture contents suitable for immediate use for furniture and joinery manufacture and the high quality of drying with difficult woods. Different kiln designs are discussed and volume capacity and absorber area/ timber volume ratios are given for a number of kilns described in the literature. The design and operation of a small low cost kiln built at Oxford which can be made up from a kit is described in more detail. Simple costings are included for the kiln.
Commonwealth Forestry Review (1979) 58 (4) 243-251
Simple solar heated timber dryers: design, performance and commercial viability