Brunner Hildebrand Debuts GreenKilns and Continuous Kilns in the USA

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Brunner Hildebrand, a global leader in lumber drying technology, is introducing its Continuous Dry Kilns line and GreenKilns® at the Forest Products Machinery& Equipment Expo in Atlanta on June 5-7th.

Brunner Hildebrand Continuous Dry Kilns are ideal for big sawmills with standardized lumber dimensions and qualities. The design allows a continuous flow of material through the system which boosts productivity as well as saves energy.

Green Kilns offer state-of-the-art technology to reduce CO2 emissions by 15-25% while saving significant energy consumption with no greater cost than traditional kilns. These technologies are catching on in Europe and are the next step forward for U.S. forest products companies. Given all the focus on sustainability and reducing environmental impacts of production processes, the GreenKilns technology is an important development for the industry.

Continuous Kilns Boosts Efficiency and Improves Drying Quality for Large Producers

Instead of the traditional kiln approach with separate chambers that are loaded and treated one at a time, the continuous dry kiln design connects multiple chambers to facilitate the process and reduce wasted heat energy. Material moves along the conveyance system so that it is loaded on one end and finished material comes out the other side. These systems benefit from the continuous availability of lumber without long loading and unloading times. The drying integrated with logistics of the plant without the need for lots of additional storage. Also, you can achieve thermal and electrical savings with the continuous kiln system compared to conventional kilns.

This assembly line approach to drying has taken off with the development of mega-sized sawmills around the globe. Brunner Hildebrand offers four system sizes to meet the needs of various customers. The Hildebrand Continuous Basic Kiln (CBK) is the most basic design in this series. It only has one drying zone and works with the counterflow principle, the direction of the air is against the feeding direction. The further down the lumber packs are clocked, the more aggressive the climate gets and the higher the temperature gets. This is similar to the natural drying rate of the lumber. Hildebrand Continuous Master Kiln (CMK) has two heating zones, which increases drying capacity and improves overall quality. The first zone works with the counterflow principle. The second one works with the continuous flow principle, which means that climate and temperature are getting milder at the end of the drying zone.

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Hildebrand Continuous Excellence Kiln (CEK) comes with four zones and is suitable for even the most sophisticated drying task. By adding two zones in the front and back of the zones, the so-called assimilation zones, drying quality is improved over the CMK design. The entering zone can be used as a heating up and defrosting one whereas the existing zone is the reconditioning and cooling down zone. This design includes piping that links the entering and exiting zone to ensure the most efficient use of the available thermal energy. By use of a special fresh air baffle, climate and temperature in the entering and exiting zone can be controlled further to improve drying quality.

Hildebrand Continuous Premium Kiln (CPK) with its airflow across the feeding direction and its reversible fans, this design combines the quality drying of a conventional package kiln with the high capacity of a continuous dry kiln. With Brunner Hildebrand’s green kilns fans and green kilns channels, CPK assures the optimal use of thermal energy.

GreenKilns Technology Cuts Energy Costs While Benefitting the Environment

Drying lumber can require a tremendous amount of energy, which is why improvement in heating efficiencies can not only help the bottom line, it can also benefit the environment by reducing CO2 emissions. With over 150,000 dry kilns worldwide, which create 40 million tons of CO2 emissions each year, there is a significant opportunity to cut emissions. By using Hildebrand’s GreenKiln technology, the company estimates that emissions can be reduced by the equivalent of removing up to three million cars.

Since kilns can now be viewed as an interconnected system, the amount of wasted heat and excess heat required can be reduced, which saves energy and limits the total impact on the environment. Sophisticated computer controls help to manage temperature, air humidity, and air to reduce the total drying time required.

With the GreenKiln design, valuable energy is not simply extruded out the exhaust vent, it stays in the system. The heat recovery unit with this new drying system is built into the design instead of being attached to the outside of the kiln. Brunner Hildebrand suggests that external heat recovery units lose their efficiency through the years due to wood dust and other deposits, such as resin.

Another innovation in the GreenKiln system is the decoupling of fresh and exhaust vents, which tend to be synchronized in conventional kilns. The fresh and exhaust vents, which are synchronized in conventional drying systems, are now decoupled. This new approach avoids the problem of “dead heat” without additional costs. Dead heat occurs when airflow is heated up after it exits the timber stack. Fresh air adds from the ambient. Behind the fans, an already warm air flow exits the exhaust vents without contributing to the performance of the kiln system.

After conditioning timber, the GreenKiln cools down finished material to a feasible end temperature. In conventional dry kilns, this valuable “reservoir heat” at the end of the process is lost to the environment. But the GreenKiln system captures and uses this heat energy.

Brunner Hildebrand Extends Sales Footprint and Capabilities in North America

With more than 15,000 Brunner Hildebrand kilns in operation around the globe, the company has become a leader in the lumber drying market. And it is working to increase its market share and presence in North America.

Brunner Hildebrand has made major moves to solidify its position in the North American market. Brunner Hildebrand recently secured an order for a new dry kiln from Middle Tennessee Lumber Co., a hardwood sawmill offering lumber, flooring, and moulding to domestic and international clients. Middle Tennessee Lumber selected Bruner Hildebrand because of the supplier’s extensive knowledge of drying technology and superior control systems.

To service its expanding customer base, Brunner Hildebrand has moved into a bigger facility in Nashville, Tenn. for parts storage and servicing customers with overnight delivery. Brunner Hildebrand’s U.S. service contact, MatthiasHarnisch, has been working with customers for over 35 years. He can be reached for parts and service at 877-852-6299.

Almost two years ago, Brunner Hildebrand named Jeff Cowley to its U.S. sales team. Jeff is based in Jacksonville, Fla. and is an expert in kilns and sawmilling equipment with more than 30 years of experience. You can contact Jeff by calling 904-707-3425.

You can visit the Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Expo in Atlanta on June5-7th and find out more about these drying technologies by stopping by booth #553.

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