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Wood Storage and drying

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by sdrobertson, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    I'm in the planning stages for a pole barn, an enclosed wood storage room, a boiler room, gasifer boiler, and 2900 gallons of storage. The boiler room will be 8x8 and the wood storage will be 8x16. My question is if I enclose the wood storage room and place a large fan in the ceiling to vent large amounts of air and I have radiant heat in the concrete floor with 7 cord of wood stacked on wooden pallets, how far will I be able to dry the wood if I burn the boiler in the summer? If I cut the wood in the winter and fill the room in the early spring, how much moisture do you think I can remove from the wood by late October (5 months at 120 degrees and air movement). Can I even heat the air to 120 with radiant or will I need to have a water to air heat exchanger with duct work for the room. I live in a village and the Mrs. doesn't want any wood stack around the building, all of it needs to be stored in the pole barn.

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  2. sled_mack

    sled_mack New Member

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    Are you going to run the boiler just to dry the wood? Seems you are going to waste more wood than the benefit you will gain from the drier wood in winter.

    My wood shed uses chain link fence for the walls. The roof keeps it dry, and the air around all sides does the rest.

    I would consider making the wood storage area on the corner of the barn. Don't run the siding to the ground - leave it up maybe 3 ft. Same for the top. If possible, leave some space between the siding. That way it's mostly hidden, but not totally enclosed.

    Just a thought.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    If you heat the space it should dry out pretty well over the summer. Like sled_mack says, that may not be the best use of your wood supply, but it would work. I've stacked green wood in my barn in the spring and tried to dry it over the summer. From dead green, it's about half dry if you do it that way. Not bad, but not great.

    If you get a moisture meter, then you'll know when it's dry and you can stop heating the space.

    The best way to get dry wood is to cut one season's more than you need, and let it sit for a year or two. But if your wife has issues with woodpiles, then I guess that's not an option.

    And the smaller you split it, the faster it will dry. Bear in mind, however that it's good to have a mix of big and small pieces for most gasifiers. I'd split just about everything over 3 or 4 inches, but split the bigger blocks into fewer, bigger chunks with as much exposed surface area as possible.
  4. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    I've never used radiant in concrete before - would it transfer enough heat? I'm thinking about drawing the heat from the attic down the 16'ft wall to the bottom and then across under the pallets. Firewood kilns made out of ref. trailers use alot of heat and alot of air to dry it in couple days - so I was thinking 5 months I should be able to remove alot of moisture. I have been wrong alot of times before though.
  5. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Maybe a drying tunnel like the farmers have in the hay lofts of their barns would speed drying time.
  6. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Just be sure that you insulate correctly on your concrete floor. 2" blue foamboard (not styrafoam) and espeicially the edge of your slab. And keep the water lines within 2" from top of concrete. Do it man. Im sure you know all this, but wanted to save another guy in case.
  7. verne

    verne Member

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    maybe build the barn just bit bigger. buy seasoned wood for the first year and store the rest. you only have to do it once and it seems cheaper than burning wood to dry wood.
  8. atlarge54

    atlarge54 New Member

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    Mr. Robertson sounds like a nice project, do you plan to keep the Central Boiler? You must have a fair amount of wood cutting and burning experience. I think a free vented storage area alongside the main building with access from both ends (O.H. garage door) would be desirable, then you would have access to two different piles of wood with the most seasoned wood toward the center. Access to boiler through passage door to main building. I'm in northern Indiana and have always done the bulk of my woodcutting in the summer. I cut a lot of hard maple this spring and stacked in the sun and boy did it ever look DRY AND CHECKED by fall, now it's under tarp for next year but it sure appeared ready to use. Is it possible to put wood storage on south side of building? A hot metal shed would have some substantial drying power through the summer months. More details on your project coming? What type of storage? That much storage and no Garn???? Though I'm a strong proponent of in floor radiant, I'd have to do a lot of research before putting it in a concrete slab.
  9. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Put a rolling roof and rolling barn doors on the storage. Then use a moisure sensor wired to automatic closers for the roof sections. Of course, keep the wood up off the concrete. And I don't have any specifics, but my garage and basement have radiant slabs. I don't think that kind of heat is going to be any where as effective as circulating hot air. But that's just me thinking.

    Jimbo
  10. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    Building will be 24x32 with a room 8x24 on one end. 8x8 insulated w/firewall for boiler and 8x16 for the wood storage with a fireproof door (insurance company mandated). Water storage will be block walls with 4" foam insulation with the interior being 7x7 and 8ft deep all in the ground off one side of the building with a lean to roof covering so I can run the pipes into building. I want to place it the ground so that I don't lose any floor space plus the soil will stabilizer the walls. I think I should be able to move enough air through the stacks of wood in the storage room to dry it enough. I'm trying to remove one step in the wood handling as I won't have to stack it in the woods and then in the room. With the heat from the attic, I may not even have to use a hx as 5 months of air movement should take alot of moisture out.

    The CB will be gone this spring - I love it but uses more wood and in a Village there is the smoke issue. I wish I would have seen this forum before I had purchased it as I would have done things alot different.
  11. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    You're talking about building a kiln, I'd recommend looking on the forestry forum in the dry forum. If it were me I'd look at ventilation, not high rates but controlled by a pair of humidistats, a thermostat and some solar gain from south facing or roof mounted windows. You can buy kiln controllers to run the fan based on the controls.

    When it is dry out the fans will circ the right amount to keep humidity low. When it is wet outside, it can stop the fan to let the temp from sun warm things up until the humidity inside is higher than out then circ just enough to keep moving water out.
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    This forum is only about three months old, so most of us wish it was around when we started shopping for boilers and furnaces. Ditching the CB now is probably a good idea anyway, since it may still have some residual value. It won't in a few years.

    Just an off-the-wall idea, but why don't you sink the tank into the floor below your wood pile? I'd consider skimping on the top insulation, allowing you to heat the building and your wood with the heat from the tank. Design it so that you can slide foam boards over the top when you want to keep all the heat in the tank. Or run some radiant lines out of the top of the tank and under the wood and let it convect by gravity. The only downside I can think of would be if you needed to get into the tank. That's a lot of wood to move if you don't have an alternative means of getting in there.
  13. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    Just an off-the-wall idea, but why don’t you sink the tank into the floor below your wood pile? I’d consider skimping on the top insulation, allowing you to heat the building and your wood with the heat from the tank. Design it so that you can slide foam boards over the top when you want to keep all the heat in the tank. Or run some radiant lines out of the top of the tank and under the wood and let it convect by gravity. The only downside I can think of would be if you needed to get into the tank. That’s a lot of wood to move if you don’t have an alternative means of getting in there



    Thank you Eric for the off-the-wall idea,

    I like that idea - concrete lid over the tank, use 2x6's to make floor joist, lumber for the floor and slide in the insulation during my heating season with an access in from the 24x24 section of the barn. The reason I thought of using additional heat in the room is that it would be easier for me to cut and haul an extra cord of wood for the summertime drying instead of stacking 7 cords twice.
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's a big tank. If you got it heated up, it would probably supply your DHW for a month. The combination of a dry environment, heat (from the bottom, no less) and good air flow will dry your wood in no time, I predict. It would sure cut your storage area and wood hauling work. Bear in mind that if you turn a basement into a tank, the building will be sitting on the tank walls (AKA your foundation), and that will keep it stable whether the tank is full of water or not. I'm thinking that a stand-alone underground concrete block tank might succumb to the elements at some point, especially if left empty. This way you've got a basement if you ever need it.
  15. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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