Case Study - Douglas Fir

A trial load of green sawn 150-200mm wide X 50mm thick regrowth Douglas fir was dried in Gen 4 kilns in Melbourne recently.  Sourced from WFP and MacKenzie Lumber- Chermainus BC, this material is generally regarded as difficult to dry.

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Photo- Canadian Douglas Fir dried in Melbourne.

Outcomes-

  • Dried in 7 days to 12-15% using less than 0.5 gj/ M3 of heat energy

  • Free solar heat contributed 93% of the normal heat energy consumed by conventional kilns

  • Electrical energy consumed was less than 25% of that used by conventional technology.

  • Quality outcome was high with notable absence of reject “wets” and absence of knot checking and fall-out.

  • Total cost of drying was less than $AU15/ M3.

  • Vancouver, Canada’s best solar drying months are equal to Melbourne