The technology is based on resonance. Through a set of antennas along the inside of the kiln wall, the Kiln Booster™ system sends a low-intensity electromagnetic wave into the kiln. This electromagnetic wave is a sub-harmonic of the resonant frequency of the wood, causing the lumber to vibrate at its resonant frequency. It is recognized that a material vibrating at its resonance frequency exhibits different physical properties. For example, a bridge that is exposed to a wind at its resonant frequency will behave as if the steel has become more malleable (as if it were heated) and it may collapse while it is at low temperature. This is true even if the wind speed at the resonant frequency is less than the wind speed for which the bridge was designed to withstand. Given this theory, wood in a kiln dried at low temperature with the Kiln Booster™ system will behave as if it were more 'plastic' (as if it were heated more than it has) even though no additional energy has been introduced/produced. As a result, the lumber dries faster than if it were dried at high temperature but retains the quality achieved when drying at low temperatures.
The installation takes approximately 2h per kiln and is typically coordinated to occur during the kiln’s downtime (e.g. between charges, during a shut-off period, etc.). The mill will need to supply and install a cable to power the system from the motor control centre (MCC) to an external wall of the kiln as well as a current transformer (supplied by KBI) prior to the installation.
The Kiln Booster does not need to be integrated to the control system. Instead, the system is turned on/off automatically with the kiln fans (i.e. when the fans are turned on, the Kiln Booster turns on, and when the fans are shut down, the Kiln Booster is too).
The Kiln Booster system has been designed to plug and play. Once installed and connected to power, the Kiln Booster is ready to go. The only specific kiln requirement is that the vent motors and actuators be in good functioning condition so that the WB temperature may be automatically controlled. For best results, we also recommend that the control system be able to control based on TDAL.
The rate of energy consumption may be slightly increased (because of the smaller drying time) but the total amount of BTUs used to dry a given load will either remain the same or decrease slightly.
Moreover, relative BTU consumption per charge as measured by common control system is shown to be significantly reduced. No studies have been done yet to measure direct energy consumption (e.g. using gas meter or BTU meter).
The total power consumption of the Kiln Booster box is 0.004 Amps (4 mA) at 120 VAC. This power is used by the 2 leds, Omron feedback relay, power supply and the signal generator.
The WB temperature should never be increased above 155°F as the Kiln Booster™ system does not operate above that temperature.
The Kiln Booster™ drying schedules provided are an adequate starting point for the kiln operator. They may need or want to make minor modifications over time to suit his particular targets and optimize the schedules based on data and their experience. Our engineer, with over 30 years’ experience in lumber drying, is also available to help as needed.
The Kiln Booster™ was designed to target all wood species so the system never needs to be adjusted (e.g. frequency adjusted) even when drying mixed batches.
The Kiln Booster™ system has not yet been tested in a continuous kiln but it is expected that it would achieve similar results. To consider, the wet bulb (WB) temperature of the centre chamber will likely need to be decreased to 155°F or less as the Kiln Booster™ system does not operate above that temperature. In addition, the Kiln Booster™ has been developed for a standard 120’ batch kiln so more than one system may be needed in order to achieve optimal results.
The resulting RF power output going into the kiln is 0.005 Watts (5 mW). For comparison, a cellphone emits in the area of 1-2 Watts.