Monitoring moisture content, temperature, and humidity in whole-tree pine chip piles
Two whole-tree chip piles were monitored for moisture content, temperature, and relative humidity from October 8th, 2010 to March 16th, 2011 at a location in south Alabama. Initial moisture content samples were collected immediately after chips were delivered to the study location on October 8th for Pile 1 and October 22nd for Pile 2. During pile construction, Lascar EL-USB-2+ sensors were placed at strategic locations within each pile to monitor temperature and humidity. Samples were collected from within each pile over time through a plastic pipe that was placed near the pile center during construction. Initial moisture content for Pile 1 was 51.4%. Samples collected from the middle of Pile 1 over the drying period averaged 48.3%. Pile 2 had an initial moisture content of 46.3% and samples collected from the middle during the drying period averaged 42.2%. The maximum temperature recorded in both piles occurred at the upper location and was 146°F for Pile 1 and 137°F for Pile 2. Both piles had lower moisture contents near the center as compared to moisture contents observed 18- inches below the surface.