Tuesday 25 February 2014

Solar Wood Drying on a Boat

Wood is usually dried or seasoned to a specific moisture content prior to use as fuel for a boat stove. With the exception of Ash all wood needs to be pre-dried.  Wood can be air-dried on the roof of your boat. However the humidity in the United Kingdom prevents the wood from reducing the moisture content within a reasonable time frame.

At home, we have a wood burning stove and I cut the fresh logs to size and I then stack them in a small wood store built from old pallets which I keep behind the garden shed to air dry. I also stack the logs in the greenhouse where the sun provides a bit of additional heat to aid the drying process. Its not practical to build a green house for wood drying on a boat. But as they say, need is the mother of invention.

I tried a different approach on Rosie a couple of years ago. I managed to get hold of a large clear plastic sack. It was about 6 feet in length and about 3 feet wide. We came across a load of cut wood left over from a fallen tree. I soon crated a pile of logs that I split in half. I careful filled the plastic bag with the logs. Stacking the logs to leave space for the air to circulate. The bag was laid across the roof of the boat. Due to the curve in the roof the outer edges were the lowest point. I made a couple of holes in each corner of the bag to let the moisture run off.

On most days the bag would quickly warm up. The condensation on the inside built up and then ran down the inside of the bag to the outer edges. The water would collect and it would soon mount up to several pints of water at each edge each day. After about two weeks of sunny weather the amount of water collecting would start to noticeably reduce each day. After a month there was little moisture collecting and the logs had a much lighter feel. The bag only lasted about three or four months as sunlight has the effect of weakening the bag.

I have found some 7 foot by 3 foot clear plastic bags that should do the trick advertised on ebay. Click Here to View

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant post! You might have thought that having little air in the bag that the moisture would't come out but you've proved that wrong. I think I might have a go. I've just been writing a blog on measuring moisture content and I've put a link to your post in it.




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