Jim Birkemeier’s solar kilns keep his energy costs way down. The large windows are made from clear thermal poly film, the same material used in greenhouses. Suspended below the window is a layer of black corrugated roofing metal. The heat created by the thermal poly film and black roofing metal is trapped in an insulated heat-collection room above the area where the harvested wood is drying. The solar kiln uses only enough energy to turn on the fans to move the solar-heated air into the stacks of wood. A simple home thermostat in the solar collector room turns the fans on when the sun shines and then turns them off at night when the heat falls below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Woodsman Jim Birkemeier demonstrates how to safely bore cut a tree, in photos.
by New Pioneer / Jun 30, 2014