Wood Business

Features Mills Sawmilling
Airflow modeling takes the heat off dry kiln owners

When it comes to operating a dry kiln, even the smallest efficiencies add up to big savings and much-needed profits.


June 26, 2012
By Dan Comand

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Choosing the wrong propeller size or model can cost an operator thousands of dollars each year.  That’s why Smithco includes application engineering that is tailor-made to the dry kiln specifications and configurations.
 
“These days, it’s not enough to produce the most energy-efficient propellers on the market,” says Tracy W. Smith, president of Smithco.  “We have an obligation to our customers to make sure the specific model they choose will create the greatest efficiencies for their application.”
 
As more and more softwood operators move to sophisticated drying operations, including continuous dry kilns, this service has become critical.  Most drying operations require specific fan configurations to ensure that optimal sticker velocities and drying rates are achieved. Smithco’s computerized performance modeling shows customers what air velocities are expected in their own dry kilns. Smithco’s fan performance data is based on AMCA registered lab tests with the propeller mounted in typical dry kiln shroud and panel arrangement without inlet or outlet ducts.
 
Smithco’s computerized data system means that customers can get fast and accurate information for their specific needs.  This basic airflow modeling is provided as part of the Smithco spec’ing process.
 
“Whether they are building new, or retrofitting existing kilns, customers should not have to pay extra in order to get the right propeller model for their application,” says Smith.
 
Now the most popular propeller used by major kiln manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada, Smithco is also widely used in Australasia, South America, South Africa, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, including Russia.


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