Dispositif pilote Solarwood
The Solarwood system captures solar energy in photovoltaic form and in thermal form using panels developed by our partner Base Innovation. The electricity is used to power the heat exchanger system, the ventilation system or can be fed back into the grid.
The hot air produced in the panels is used to produce hot water via the heat exchanger. This hot water is stored if the dryer does not require energy input, or fed to the heating batteries if it does.
The control of the system is fully automated, which means that the drying process remains unchanged from the operator’s point of view.
In the event that the amount of energy produced is not sufficient to meet the needs of the dryer, the conventional heating system is activated.
Drying tests on fir/spruce and maritime pine lumber were carried out throughout 2019. The drying temperatures employed were kept relatively low (40°C and 60°C) to match the production capacity of the solar system.
The conduct of the cycles was not altered in any way by the solar power generation device, which is particularly valuable in a complex operation such as drying.
The aspects remain more nuanced from an economic point of view, since the initial investment is important, but improvements can still be made to this pilot device, and it appears that the solar contribution remains a solution to reduce the environmental impact of drying, in particular in sunny regions.