When loading only partial kiln charges what is the best way to load the kiln? Example - 3/4 or 1/2 of a 25,000BF kiln. Does species and thickness make a difference?
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor R:
I would load it in the way that gives you the most even and consistent airflow throughout the charge. You have to be able to baffle off the unused area.
Remember that narrow loads dry faster than normal wide loads, so when omitting a row (which is the best compromise) can mean that overall the wood will dry faster and that may result in checking. The RH and temperature are also a bit more severe throughout the entire load with a narrow load. So, perhaps you want to go just a little bit more conservative than normal with the schedule, but not too conservative.
A couple of considerations in running small charges; it is nice if you can get about the same airflow through the load as you do with the larger charge. I have the luxury of a variable speed fan and an air flow meter, so I do a quick check with a new setup. The other thing is that the kiln will respond to changes quicker and might not look like it controls as well. So the general idea for me is to be even more careful with the small loads in regards to checking as I am with the large loads. You might not need the vents or as much venting with a small charge.