Solar Wood Drying

Lots of free plans for solar powered wood drying kilns to reduce the moisture content of wood.

Can be used for both seasoning lumber and drying firewood.


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Solar Wood Drying Kilns

Virginia Tech Solar Kiln


Virginia Cooperative Extension -- Virginia Tech...


This is a really excellent resource for wood drying information. 
Including plans for what looks like a very well thought out solar wood drying kiln.

WoodWeb -- Solar Kiln Designs

Kiln pictures from WoodWeb:

Lots of information on solar drying of wood.  Detailed diagrams of quite a few solar wood drying kiln designs.
The Appalachian Solar Lumber Kiln,
Dennis Scanlin, Appalachian State University
Home Power Magazine, issue 63, Feb 1998

If the above link does not work, then here is How to get articles from Home Power ...

A well thought out design for a solar lumber drying kiln.  The article includes good design, construction, and performance detail.

The design uses a solar air heating collector with a flow through absorber.  The collector comprises the full south face of the kiln.  Air is circulated though the absorber with 3 12 VDC fans driven by a single PV panel.
(thanks to Loran for suggesting this article)

A Look at Motherís Solar Wood-Drying Kiln 

Mother Earth News

Part 1: 

Part 2:

Mother's Solar Wood-Drying Kiln - Parts 1 and 2

Mother Earth News Article, Issues 89 and 90, Sept 84

An article on a large solar wood drying kiln, and some information on the ins and outs of drying wood.

Processing Trees to Lumber for the Hobbyist and Small Business
Plans for a Solar Kiln,
Eugene M. Wengert and Dan A. Meyer



Information on designing and building a solar wood drying kiln.
Constructing and Operating A Small Solar-Heater Lumber Dryer, Paul Bois, National Wood Drying Specialist

Full Plans pdf

Plans for a solar wood drying kiln.  This is 2nd generation design that has been tested and produces good results.

A Homemade Solar Lumber Kiln

Edward A. Fassig

Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News Article, Issue 76 July/Aug 1982

Article on designing, building, and using a solar lumber drying kiln.

A Solar Wood Kiln -- this site is no more, but...

the Wayback Machine has preserved the kiln...


A solar wood drying kiln in which the entire front glazed area lifts up for access.

If you are into boat building, this site describes the building of a 45 foot sailboat -- very interesting.

Wood Industry Fact Sheet -- Solar Drying Basics, West Virginia University Extension Service


Details (pdf)

Good and straightforward design information for building successful solar wood drying kilns.

From the West Virginia University Extension Service

A couple large scale solar wood drying kilns

Details ...


A couple of interesting large scale wood drying kilns from AU.  The first seems like it might be adaptable to a combined kiln/greenhouse/sunspace in a single structure?

Accelerated Seasoning of Firewood,
Cornell University Conservation Circular ...

Solar Firewood dryerA good circular on drying firewood with a fairly detailed description of an easy to build solar wood dryer.

Testing of this dryer showed that is greatly shortened drying time.

This is from this interesting thread on firewood drying at