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Thread: solar hot air panel.

  1. #21
    Gunco Good ole boy twa2471's Avatar
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    I've got a small emergency light battery and small solar panel and all I'd need is a charge controller to make it a totally self contained system. As far as the stuff in the plenum Back Again, it's just some scrap metal roofing painted black to pick up a little extra heat from that area. Just bent a 90 degree flange to mount it inside of each section of the plenum. Real simple.

    If you look close you'll see that 2 tubes go into each section of plenum and the air makes one continuous loop throughout the entire system making it a run of about 35+feet not counting the plenum areas.

    The only change I'd make next time, would be the single pane instead of multi pane glazing.

    The unit is inside TRX so no issue with heated air going back outside and the thermal switch only activates the fan when it reach's 125 degrees inside the collector, and shuts it off at 85 degrees.

    Now if we'd only get some sun,,we've only had 3-4 sunny days in the last month, so it's really hard to tell just what it will do at this point. But it did keep the house at 68 with the furnace off when it was 35-40 degrees outside,, that's promising. Every little bit helps.
    Last edited by twa2471; 11-13-2014 at 12:25 PM.

  2. #22
    Gunco Good ole boy twa2471's Avatar
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    I just thought I'd do a update on the solar panel now I've used it for a bit.

    It works GREAT!!!! When the sun is on it,,it pumps out from 85-125 degree heat @ about 3 minute intervals for around a minute, minute and a half at a time.

    I have had a issue finding a quite fan that puts out about 600-700 cfm that isn't noisy and at a reasonable price. There out there,but expensive.Right now I have a thermal couple switch inside the panel attached to a bilge blower outside the case. When that frigging thing comes on ,,it will make ya jump a country mile,,

    sounds like a God Damn V-1 rocket taking off next to you!!!!!
    needs a quieter fan,,,,Big Time,,,,,

    I don't know how to figure how many BTU's it puts out, but I've got just enough fire going in the wood stove to hold coals, and the furnace is off, and it's in the single digits outside today,,,and it's staying 68 degrees inside.

    I'll have to say this has proven to be a worth while project.

    I filled the oil tank for the first time in a little over a year(14 months), and it only took 158 gallons. And used a bit less than a pallet of those Bio-Bricks I'd mentioned and a cord of wood,,,all for 14 months of heat,,,Not Bad at all !!!!!

    So if you guys need some cheap and portable heat for a shop or something,,defiantly build one,,,it's well worth it!!! I'm glad I did. And this one is very small, so I can only imagine what a larger one would do, like a 4'X8' size.

  3. #23
    Gunco Member BackAgain's Avatar
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    Do you have to have a bright sunny day for this to make heat? Unfortunately we seem to have as many or more dreary days than sunny ones in the winter months.

    I am seriously contemplating making 2 of these. I have in mind a smaller one, 4x8 perhaps for my house, and a larger one or multiple smaller units to help heat my shop. In your opinion would a larger unit, say 8x8 or 8x16, or even larger be more efficient than multiple small units for heating my shop? The shop is divided into a 32 by 36 workshop and a 24 by 36 garage area.

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