Converting a grain trailer / hook bin in to a log drier

Discussion in 'Renewable Energy' started by Doing it for the kids, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. been toying with this idea a while, would like to speed up the last 10% - 20% of the drying of logs that have been sat split for some time.

    I like the idea of a mobile unit so I can load it from log shed and drive next to the boiler to save on pipe and infrastructure costs. Once dry I can then tip in the other half of the log shed and repeat if needed.

    The grain trailers already have a grain hatch in the door, was thinking of making a lid, and plumbing up a simple fan with coil on flexible electric and water pipes ready to go.

    Not sure what to about controls and how to let wet air out.

    Lots of folk have made static kilns for drying logs in crates but I won't be needing the crates so drying it loose pr sent different situations. I do think drying on Grainstore floors will be so effective due to air flow

    Will this work, what would I need to make it efficient?


  2. Nearly

    Nearly Member

    North of York
    False, mesh floor with lots of strengthening. Ribs running length of trailer so logs can be tipped out easily.
    Blow air in over front of trailer through pipe? Disconnect pipe to tip load?
  3. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

    Just replace the trailer floor with open mesh flooring and park in a polytunnel for a month, Job done.
  4. Thanks.

    I should say the logs aren't of conventional size, these won't be split or cut down to the length a domestic house would need so they will take longer to dry than standard.

    I could use some H section steels which I have spare and open the tail gate 8 inches and get a duct made to take the letterbox opening into a round duct for fan. May be a problem tipping, I would want the H section to stay in so have to fix down some how (need for harvest so has to be removable!
  5. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

    Are these logs split at all as unsplit will take ages to dry.
  6. yup all split but not as much as one would have for a domestic wood burner. I appreciate the greater the surface area the better they dry. some of the logs are 2m in length.
  7. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

    Sounds like a good way to ruin a good grain trailer. Nothing like steam to make steel go rusty.
    Doing it for the kids likes this.
  8. Iron150

    Iron150 Member

    Conwy, north wales
    Are you intending to claim rhi on the heat? If yes i dont think a trailer will complly with regulations
  9. I saw a set up at Gretna where the owner had parked up several 'hook lift' type containers with a flexible duct/flue that could be connected into each one then taken off and connected into the next one etc.
    Doing it for the kids likes this.

    I am taking advice but I think I will be ok on this. I can see why, but its a bit frustrating that I can burn wood at 30% MC yet using some to dry the rest down to 15 - 20% will I, I would have thought, use less fuel in the long run.
  11. woodworm

    woodworm Member

    Thetford Norfolk
    It seems as though you just want to use more heat than you currently do to claim a bit more rhi, and not splitting the logs is a good way of doing that as they will take an age to dry, buy in my opinion is a bit sly because you know they can be dried more efficiently by splitting them. Don't know how Ofgem would view that on inspection :sneaky: ...but maybe I am reading it all a bit wrong?:cautious:
    renewablejohn likes this.
  12. I can see why you may think that, but I am hitting my tier 1, its the fuel that I am trying to improve on. I have a good supply of local timber, I am just trying to work out the best way to process it. I don't want to be drying it as even more hassle. I am working on building up reserves that can spend a yr plus drying but the grain trailer concept is more to sort the next few months than next 20 yrs. been using a new splitter for the first time today which has made me feel a lot more relaxed about all this. the OFGEM associated paper work is probably not worth it for the modifications I suspect.

    I am looking at using heat form the exhaust, linked in to the PV to run the fan as an alternative which may be easier. waiting for quote back to see if its worth it.
  13. Old Spot

    Old Spot Member

    Yes easy, I rigged up a duct to the grain chute and blow air in, I put a space heater on the air intake to speed it up. Heat for 6 hours then off. Just air for a week really dries logs. I now dry my beans, rape and wheat the same way simples.
    I had plans to build a specialist floor with a fancy manifold on the front, but the prototype works so probably won't
  14. that's really helpful, thanks. How big are your logs? mine have been split down but not to the size a domestic log burner could take. where does the air leave the trailer?

    I think I pilot is indeed required!
  15. Old Spot

    Old Spot Member

    Mine are 1ft and split
    The trailer is open topped
    I wasn't sure if it would work, I only have a single line of the grain vents, tech screwed to the floor, it was only an experiment.i got a quote for perforated Steel to put a false floor in (wow!).
    I started with wood, worked great so as I said now do all the wet grain with it. Had a couple of really wet loads (25%) blew with heat then 2 days cold. Tested it then repeated. I thought the moisture meter was broken didn't register. With grain it is not evenly dried but after tipping and pushing up,it's ok, no claims or rejections.
    Wood is easier. I tried to follow the boys who use under-floor heating, they have all sorts of calculations!
  16. Have you a pic?
  17. T Hectares

    T Hectares Member

    Would you be interested in 2 x 28 m3 Hooklift bins with drying floors ??
  18. Yup, not sure how I would move them though?

    Just running a pilot with a grain trailer, keen to see the outcome first
  19. T Hectares

    T Hectares Member

    No problem, I'm only toying with the idea of selling my bins, but if I had a home for them it would help my plans...
  20. I will soon be toying with increasing capacity!

    Have you any pics and spec?

    Imagine you aren't that far away from me

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