My solar projects

Share with us your alternative energy ideas and projects. Tell us about your experiments, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

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rookie35
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:13 pm

Sun May 06, 2012 10:58 pm

solar heater 1.jpg
This one has a sheet of metal in the middle of upflow with a zig-zag underneath
solar heater 1.jpg (204.29 KiB) Viewed 8967 times
soar heater 2.jpg
The one on the left uses dryer vent and the right just uses foam foil insul. board
soar heater 2.jpg (203.79 KiB) Viewed 8967 times
100_01477.jpg
Cold comes in ,then out to hot water tank.
100_01477.jpg (149.99 KiB) Viewed 8967 times


rookie35
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:13 pm

Sun May 06, 2012 11:10 pm

All three of the air heaters install simular to a window air conditioner unit and have bathroom exhaust blowers attached to the inside and wired to a liitle trip thermometer. When the air heats up to like 110 f. it will start to blow and when it cools to like 70 f it shuts off. I used them over this past winter but, the weather was so warm I think they kicked on only six times and every time it was like in the 30's. So I don't know how well they work when it is bitter cold yet. But my furnace did not kick on when these were working. It does also seem that the one least expensive to build works the best as in temperature but as far as cfm's they are probably different as the exhaust outlets vary in size.

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JD
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Fresno, CA
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Wed May 09, 2012 7:23 pm

That isn't PEx plumbing I see on the outside of the unit in the third picture is it? If so, you might want to consider CPVC or metal. Maybe it could be enclosed somehow to protect it from UV rays.
☯JD♫
Today is PERFECT!

All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.

rookie35
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:13 pm

Wed May 09, 2012 11:07 pm

Yes it is pex. It is a work in progress and if the pex doesn't work out then I'll change it to metal, probably copper, but I have to see first before spending too much money, just the valves themselves were pretty pricey. I will probably cover them with foam insulation, I just keep forgetting to get them when i'm at the hardware center. I'll keep you informed as the summer goes by, whether the fittings melted or the thing just doesn't work well enough. I am trying to see if it will lower my electric usage by 20%-30%.

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flcruising
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Florida Panhandle

Thu May 10, 2012 4:01 pm

That's good progress rookie35.
At the very least, I suggest you wrap the PEX with aluminum foil for protection.
[color=blue]Aaron[/color]


rookie35
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:13 pm

Sat May 12, 2012 8:27 pm

Thanks FL,
I finally wrapped it up with foam insulation and electric tape and then finished it off with foil tape. I hope that last a while. Now I just have to wait for those 100 degree days to see if it all holds up?

EricLatocki
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:27 am

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:14 pm

Hi Rookie35,

I liked your solution for passive solar heating.

I had built several models in the past -including one soda can heater and a downspout style plenum. Both of these were a major pain to build, both were heavy and included glass and wood. I used to fabricate industrial ovens back in the day so I came up with a simple solution with fewer parts and steps that require no wood or glass, or a saw.

I have put together a new guide with step by step instructions and photos.

You may be interested in building one of these as the parts are all available from one stop at the building center and there are very few parts.

I also include the source for an automatic heat-sensitive fan controller and filtered wall mount kit. I've included a photo of the heater for you.

Hope this will be helpful,
Eric
diy-solar-heater.com

EricLatocki
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:27 am

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:27 pm

Hi Rookie35,

While looking for a fan and controller, I came across Solar Air Systems' computer chip fan controller that comes equipped with a thermocouple that ramps the fan up when sun is at full strength and ramps down or shuts off completely as the sun's intensity decreases -say if a cloud passes. What this does is; it keeps the fan at adequate rpm to keep positive pressure flowing into the unit which also ensures the fan motor does not burn out prematurely. What's also nice about these fan controllers is they fit a nice wall mount that has a filter, so your installation looks professional.

Hope this helps, Eric
Fan controllers and wall mount kits can be found here: http://www.solarairsystems.com/shop/def ... 224317blue


rookie35 wrote:All three of the air heaters install simular to a window air conditioner unit and have bathroom exhaust blowers attached to the inside and wired to a liitle trip thermometer. When the air heats up to like 110 f. it will start to blow and when it cools to like 70 f it shuts off. I used them over this past winter but, the weather was so warm I think they kicked on only six times and every time it was like in the 30's. So I don't know how well they work when it is bitter cold yet. But my furnace did not kick on when these were working. It does also seem that the one least expensive to build works the best as in temperature but as far as cfm's they are probably different as the exhaust outlets vary in size.

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