Solar Heater
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    KHOP's Avatar
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    Solar Heater

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ID:	34632 I made a 2' x 8' solar air heater for my shop. I hope to get alot of sun this winter here in central Illinois. Right now I'm getting up to 165 degrees of air at full sun. I hope to add more details if anyone is interested. Thanks for lookin, KHOP

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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Bring it on, more details please.
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    ^ What he said!! ^

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    X3 on details
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    X4

    I have a friend that had solar panels installed on a rental basis a year ago. She was selling electricity to the power company this summer, above and beyond what she used to run her A/C, washer, dryer, water heater, etc.

    I'd be a little worried about a hailstorm and solar panels where I am located, but have considered wind power. So, count me as interested in alternative power sources.
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    Something like that would be nice to supplement the heat in my shop. Something to add a little heat when I'm not there.

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    Solar Panel Detail

    OK, I built a box out of 2 x 6's and lined it with 1/2 inch thermax foil face insulation board. I made a separate hinged frame on top with a 2' x 8' piece of corrugated clear tuff panel. I wanted to make the heat exchanger accessible unlike others who silicone it on permanently. I used 3" hdpe (plastic corrugated drain tile) for the inner heat collector, six pieces. I built transfer manifolds out of plywood and sheet metal. The lid is air tight, and I insulated the two 4" pipes from the collector to the shop window. I bought a 4" duct fan (100 cfm) from Amazon for $21, and wired it to a thermal disc switch. It comes on at 100 Deg. and off at 85. It only runs when there is enough heat generated. I have about $120 in the whole thing. KHOP
    PS I have since added the duct fan after these pics. Thanks for Lookin
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    Last edited by KHOP; 10-30-2014 at 08:43 PM.

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    Very Cool! I actually built one of these (in the smaller variety) with my daughter last year to heat the chicken coop in the winter. Here is what we built (sorry no picks, you'll understand in a minute):

    Materials:

    Old storm window (36" x 24" approximately)
    Flexible dryer vent kit
    36" x 24" (approximate) sheet of 1/2" thick pressure treated plywood
    (2) 6" x 3/4" thick pressure treated pine boards x 6' lg.
    Can of high heat (grill) paint, black
    Tube of caulk
    Tube of construction adhesive

    Start by building a box that fits the exact outside dimensions of the window, utilizing the plywood as the back of the box, then making the sides (depth) of the box from the 6" pine boards. Drill a hole in the top pine board (4" diameter) all the way to one end, just big enough for the dryer vent kit's aluminum duct flange to fit through, then do the same on the opposite end bottom side pine board. Slide the vent kit's aluminum duct flanges through these two holes, sticking out about half way (about 3") through the hole. Caulk them in place and let dry. Then take the flexible foil tubing that came with the vent kit and attach one end of the tubing to one of the duct flanges with the supplied hose clamp on the inside of the box. Start making "S" curves with the flexible foil tube until you can fit almost all of the tubing into the box, attaching the other end of the tubing to the remaining flange with the supplied hose clamp. You may want to shoot a bit of caulk or construction adhesive to the bottom of the flexible foil tubing in a few spots to attach it to the plywood backing and let that dry. Once everything is fit up and dry, paint the whole inside of the box with the high heat paint. Lastly, once everything is secured and well painted on the inside of the box, attach the window to the face of the box with construction adhesive, and let dry.

    You have yourself a solar heater. This is a convection current heater, that will heat a small room (like a chicken coop). I tested our little unit on a 30 degree morning with sun, and within about 10 minutes the output side (top) was registering 120 degree air.

    Unfortunately, before we could mount our heater, it got knocked over onto the floor and broke the glass. It sat around for about a year after that, and have since thrown it away, but my daughter and I will most likely build another one once we find a nice donor window in the garbage.
    etcallhome, Gizmo2 and farmgirl19 like this.

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