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Thread: solar hot air panel.

  1. #1
    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    Default solar hot air panel.

    I guess this is as good as any place to put this up.

    I finally came up with my final plans for a solar hot air panel and got started on it this AM.

    Ya Ya I know,, not gun related ,,,,,but it does have 6 barrels after all!!! Does that count ??

    I'd built up a real crude oblong one on just a strapping framework 2 years ago made out of 4" black drainage pipe cable tied to the frame with a 12V bildge blower stuck in it, cranked down to 10V to slow it down some . I just stuck it inside one of my bay windows just for shits,, and that thing ,when the sun was out would pump out 110- 140 degree hot air till the sun set. And that was just a half assed cable tied up experiment. But it saved me almost a 1/3 tank of fuel,, not bad,,promising!!

    This new one will have a snap switch(thermal couple) set at 90-140 degrees inside the air tight encloser and the fan will be on when it's in that temp range. Off otherwise. It's only 3 pcs of 1x6x3/4 x10,, 3 10' downspouts, screws, calk, a couple rattle cans of flat BBQ paint. and some glass. I've got a tempered double pane beer cooler door that would work sweet, but it heavy as hell. I kinda want to keep it portable and east to store away in the summer. I may get some of that double wall lexan UV resistant stuff they use on smaller kit type green houses instead,,,it's much lighter and efficient!! With that the whole panel, fan , insulated duct work, solar collector to keep the battery charged for the fan and everything only would weigh 30 lbs tops. Not including the battery of course. With the cooler door,, more like 80++,,,that frigging door is hefty!!!! I'd literally have to put wheels on it if I use it.



    This is basically a Mother Earth hybread design incorporating some different additions of my own taken off 3 other design types. I'll have 30 feet of downspout all in one continuous run(taking into account the the plenum) and about 3 1/2 sq ft of flat plate collectors in the plenum itself gathering heat also instead of being closed off like most designs are, which wastes exposer area. And that's almost 300- 325extra in BTU's per hour by doing that.

    And all this collection area is in a small 70"x30"X6" box. Nice and easy to move around and store plus has it's own power source for the fan,, more solar. If it follows the heat scale of a similar but less effective one I upgraded the design on, it should put out about 75-100 + BTU's per hour per sq ft of collector area or more, so I should get some damn good heat out of it with that much more efficient design.

    That should save a buck or two on fuel and wood!!

    But here's where I'm at after 6 hours with a couple,,, 3,,,4,,,OK,,maybe 5 toddy breaks,,COME ON,,IT WAS HOT OUT!

    So it's not taking long to build either.

    Any hoo a pic or two is worth a thousand,,,more words! You'll get the jist of what I'm doing from them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails solar hot air panel.-006.jpg  

    solar hot air panel.-011-2-.jpg  


  2. #2
    NoWorkCamp4Me railbuggy's Avatar
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    I'm a old fan of MotherEarthNews. I took a two year(82/85) HVAC/R class at a trade school after my tour in the Marine's was complete. My teacher was a retired Duck that did HVAC/R aboard Subs before his discharge. We got along fine since I had sea legs. He turned me onto MotherEarthNews in 1982. We built a panel like yours using painted pop cans.
    SOON-We already lost the war. You are the resistance.

  3. #3
    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    Ya this one is a modification of the pop can design with the small flat panel additions on each end inside the plenum to add up to a bit more surface area to collect more heat, instead of having the plenum blocked off. We'll see how well she works out this winter and if it actually saves me anything on fuel. It should though.

    The pop can design has a inherent cfm transfer issue, with the downspout design you get a much better air flow and heat transfer with better efficiency,,at least from what I've read it will. So I went that route instead.

    I priced the triple wall Lexan panels and the average price is around 125 bucks, but I'm not sure just what to use yet, that's kinda steep. That would give me good insulating value if used outside but I may just be putting this unit inside the house set up in my bay window. It will be behind the sofa that will 99% hide it from view, so the 1/4" Lexan may just be the route I go just to save $$$ sense I won't really need to insulate from outside temps. It's about 1/3 the price for 1/4 " Lexan as opposed to the 3 layer "storm panels" I was considering using initially. And that frigging cooler door, though free and efficient,,,, weights a GD ton!!! Portability and ease of storage are a must for the design characteristics I'm looking for. Sense I'll be storing it away in summer. Unless I incorporate it into a solar A/C system further down the road.

    But at most it shouldn't be more than $150-160 , tops, to build complete using all new stuff,including a new fan and the thermal switch so I should be able to recoup that cost pretty quick,, even if it only works half ass.

    But I have high hopes after my drain pipe abortion I tried a couple years ago, which worked surprisingly well and wasn't even a efficient design to start with. This one should out perform it by a country mile. We'll see.

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