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Woodpowered Very large dryer (12'X24') for small seaweed enterprise

Posts: 14
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hello folks!

I am starting a small-seaweed enterprise on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Canada,
our region is called Haute Gaspesie.

There is still snow on the ground but in 3 weeks I'll be harvesting
Kelp, Kombu and Atlantic Wakame in the St-Laurence Seaway.

I'll be drying outside on lines for these species and later in the season
on racks for nori and sea letuce.

However, I harvest mostly at big low tides that come with full and new moons,
and these moons will often bring wind, rain and clouds to our maritime climate.
So I'll be constructing a 12'x24' greenhouse for indoor drying when outside drying is not possible.
I'll explain what I have in mind and ask a few question at the end.

The 24' feet side will face south/north and 12' the east/west
The site needs levelling so I'll be bringing gravel.
This will keep the ground nice and dry and make construction easier
Will put a french drain because big season is in spring when groundwater is near.
I have access to cheap foam boards left over from a door factory.
(they make the door, then cut a hole for the window and sell the scrap cheap)
So I'll be insolating around the perimeter of the dryer with that.
I'll lay 6''X6'' cedar beam inside that perimiter and
then a simple 2''X4'' structure with gamble roof will go up on that.
I'll cover it with a normal greenhouse plastic.
I was considering round greenhouse but I need the full height (8') to hang seaweed.
They will be hung on planed and sanded mapple sticks to the top of the structure.
There will be a large door for easy acces on the east, a possibility to open the southern side and a window on the west.
All these openings will have fans blowing towards the outside so humidity leaves.
Ventillators, window fans will go on top of the structure, pushing hot air back down.
I am not decided on the flooring yet, the food inspectors wont accept
softwood planks. Any sustainable ideas? They say it needs to be
hard, soft and washable.

Now I want to be able to heat the building when its rainy or cloudy.
The lighting of the stove must be done from the outside.
If not the seaweed will be covered with dust, espacially with a bunch of fans.
So on the northern side, the roof will extend in the middle creating a lean-to.
My idea would be to make a rocket stove so the heating is slow and steady.
I don't want the temperture to go over 40 degres Celcius (104 F).

The feed tube would be inside the lean-to and the rest of the stove would be in the greenhouse.
They would be separated with cob wall.
Now everything cob in the dryer will have to be covered with tile or something washable so its food inspector frendly.
Any ideas here?

So what do you think? How would you make it better? More efficient? Easier? Or what not?
All info is welcomed, I am not set on one technique or way yet.

All the best and thanks!

Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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I will start with the standard "I have no direct experience, but" line.

Off the top of my head I thought of 2 things I've seen that might inspire you.

1 - http://www.aprovecho.org/public/Publications/Still-The.Winiarski.Wood.Fired.Agricultural.Food.Dryer.pdf - I like the double chimney idea to force moist air out of the dryer.

2 - http://alexandriava.gov/historic/archaeology/default.aspx?id=39470 - This might give you ideas on how to gently heat the building.

Perhaps this will lead you to the answer, or at least tell you what you don't want.
Pete Thomas
Posts: 14
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Thank you Joe!

This morning I am stuying how grain is dryed on a Agricultural scale.

Here is a link for those interested:

Lots and lots of info!
Get me the mayor's office! I need to tell him about this tiny ad:
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