Shipping Container for Dehumidifier Kiln: Big Enough?

Thoughts on converting a shipping container to a kiln. December 8, 2012

We have a Nyle L-50 kiln and are adding a second kiln - a Nyle 200. Instead of constructing a building for the kiln, we're considering using a 20' insulated aluminum shipping container. Our concern is we may not be able to get 2-3000 bf of lumber in a container this size, along with the control unit and fans. Has anyone used a container this size for a L-200 sized kiln?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor O:
I don't think you will be able to get that much in a 20 footer. I have a 20' reefer container, but the inside length is only 18' and with the fans taking up 24" of head room or better, we usually only get approximately 1000 bf of 4/4 in ours. I'm also using a smaller kiln unit. I have a 48' shipping container that I have a Nyle L200 in and we can get 2500bf or better in that kiln.

From contributor B:
I have a Nyle L200 in a 40' insulated container and I can get 6000bf of 4/4 mesquite in it no problem. I have a 2' deep x 4' wide cutout on the side that the Nyle sets in, so no container space is used by it. There is an access panel to the controller from the outside. The box it sets in is insulated from the kiln and also ventilated so that the computer does not get too hot. This setup works real good to dry mesquite. I have 7 fans and can run them all or every other one - either 3 or 4. The 7 fans running pretty much maintain the heat with very little coming from the unit. I would think you could get over 3000bf in a 20' box. 18' long x 6' wide is 108bf/layer. With my stickers, each layer is 1.88", so 28 layers gives you 3000+bf at a height of 53". I can go 58" off the top of my carts and still clear my fan baffle. It is an adrenalin rush rolling about 30000# into that thing. It sits on a slight slope and gravity pretty much does it for me, with lots of pops and groans!

From contributor D:
The kiln that contributor B designed works well for him with mesquite, but It would be too much lumber for some other species and conditions. For some it will work great and for others, there would be problems. Life will be much easier when we have standard trees.