Computer Simulation of A New Method to Dry Lumber Using Solar Energy and Absorption Refrigeration

Wayne A. Helmer, Peter Y. S. Chen


A mathematical model for a Solar-absorption dehumidification lumber dryer has been developed. Performance of a commercial size lumber kiln of 60 m3 (25,000 board-feet) was simulated for a southern Illinois climate for four different seasons of the year. The solar-absorption system dried yellow-poplar lumber as fast as a conventional vapor-compression dehumidification system while reducing the electrical energy costs by 85%. Capital costs and yearly fuel costs were compared to an oil-fired boiler system, a wood-fired boiler system, and a vapor-compression lumber-drying system.


Solar energy;lumber drying;absorption refrigeration;dehumidification drying;economic analysis

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