Solar heat collectors are a good supplemental heating source that can provide homeowners with free heat for their home when the sun is shining. Solar collectors are a box like structure that capture the energy from the sun and convert it into usable energy for heating purposes. Inside the collector solar energy is simply converted into usable thermal energy.
On the front side of the solar collectors . a clear panel or glazing material typically polycarbonate sheeting, single pane glass ,double pane glass face towards the sun and allow the sunlight into the collector box. On the inside of the collector box is a heat exchanger or a absorber. The heat exchanger or absorber is responsible for transferring the heat of the sun into a usable thermal heat source. The heat exchanger is suspended or attached inside the collector box and should be coated flat black with a high heat temperature resistant paint.
The flat black paint helps to absorb the heat energy from the sun. It is very important to utilize a flat finish black paint inside the collector box. If the paint has a reflective coating, it will reflect the sun back outside of the collector, which results in lost potential energy. It assists with the entrapment of that heat energy rather than reflecting it away from the collector.
Once the sunlight has penetrated the collector box through the glazing, the heat exchanger material and the flat black paint will absorb that heat and begin to warm the air inside the collector. As the air inside the collector and around the absorber warms, it will expand and rise. The expansion of warm air will naturally create a convection current. As the air inside the collector rises, it will continue to pick up heat through friction with the absorber. The air passing over and through the absorber is given more opportunity to gain heat by rubbing against that surface which is being heated by the sun.
Now that the air is warm and picking up heat and needs a way to move through the collector box, we install two vents on the backside of the solar collector facing towards the room or space that we want to heat. Through the vent at the top of the collector, the heated air moves into the home , the vent at the bottom allows the cooler air to return back to the the collector.
Having a return event at the bottom and a supplier event at the top of the solar collector allows natural convection process. The air inside the collector is picking up heat from the absorber and is naturally wanting to rise up and out of the collector. A natural force of air rising will induce a convection current, which will pull cooler return air from the room or condition space into the bottom of the collector box.
The collector creates a convection current inside the room .It removes cooler dense air from the bottom of the room and takes it through the collector where it is warm, and then exhausts the heated air out of the supply duct back into the room.
This project goes over the build of an entirely self contained Solar Air Heater using no grid power whatsoever. The unit draws the cold air from the room and exhausts hot air into the room using a 2 5V DC brushless 7 vane case fans. This fans are powered by a 16 Watt Amorphous solar panel. Both the intake and exhaust pipes ore of 5 inch diameter.
9 rows of 17 soda pop cans , a total of 153 355ml soda cans are used for the collector. The aluminum pop cans are painted with a flat black paint to ensure all sunlight is absorbed and not reflected. Also there is a five inch intake and exhaust manifold at the bottom and top of the unit. This ensures that all air travels through the interior of the aluminum cans.
To maximize the heat transfer from the sun to air within a given space, we need to build a better heat exchanger. Solar air heating systems use air as the working fluid for absorbing and transferring solar energy. Transferring heat from one place to another by definition is a heat exchanger. When the sun heats the metal, the hot metal heats the air circulating over the metal of the heat exchanger. The job is to capture radiation from the sun and transfer this thermal energy to air via conduction heat transfer. Heat transfer output depends on the rise in temperature and the airflow.
In order to minimize heat loss through the plexiglass , we keep the absorber temperature as low as usually possible. The cooler the absorber runs, the less heat will be lost out of the glass. A way to keep the absorber cooler while extracting the same amount of energy from the sun is to increase the airflow.
To improve conduction heat transfer without significantly reducing airflow , we disturb the airflow within the solar air tubes . Four holes are put in some of the soda cans to create a baffle that increase the turbulence .These baffle cans are placed evenly across the tubes to distribute the airflow. We place the first baffle cans on the second row from the bottom with the intention of disturbing the airflow early. The second baffle will be located in the 10th can .
In order to stack the empty cans, we make an assembly tray “V” shaped support structure using leftover baseboard. The cans are glued together using PL Premium construction adhesive that is water resistant, non shrinking and paintable. The soda cans are positioned on the loading tray and slowly rotated to evenly distribute the construction adhesive.
The “V” channel made from baseboards holds the cans perfectly straight.
The box for the Solar air heater is made of 5052 aluminum alloy sheets. The dimension of the box are 91 inches tall and 24 inches wide. We use a one inch flange and a metal bending brake to bend the aluminum to make the sides of the box. The top and bottom caps are bend to fit on the top and bottom of the box . When manufacturing the bottom caps, the distance between the bends is decreased by one millimeter to allow the caps to fit inside the solar air box to facilitate drainage.
Next step is securing the aluminum box top and bottom .The procedure involves using a smaller diameter drill bit as a pilot and then drilling to final size for the rivet only after the two pieces are mated together. The pieces being held together via cleco fasteners. The function of the cleco is to temporarily hold material in the exact position during the manufacturing process.
Two five inches holes are cut at both top and bottom on the box to install the plenums. The intake and the exhaust pipes for the two solar air heaters are manufactured from a single piece of five inch HVAC plenum. These are inserted and secured into the holes using construction adhesive.
The back of the box is insulated using two sheets of half inch foam sheet. One sheet of half inch foam is installed on the sides. A pneumatic air file is used to cut the sheets.
We install a snap action thermostat in the interior of the exhaust manifold, constantly monitoring the temperature of the air being brought into the dwelling. The intake and exhaust manifolds need to ensure that all air travel through the interior of the cans therefore it is important to have a good seal to each can. This also means that the manifold itself needs to seal well against the interior of the heat box.
Nine holes are cut on a two sheets of half inch plywood to make the intake and the exhaust manifolds. These manifolds are secured in place against the cans using PL construction adhesives.
The solar air tubes are held tight inside the box using two 1/16th half inch 6063 aluminum extrudes. These lightly applying pressure on the cans holding them firmly against the back of the heat chamber.
Three separate coats of high heat black rest-o-leum paint are applied to the box , all within 60 minutes of each other.
Clear silicon adhesive will be the primary method of adhering the Plexiglas to the solar air heater. After precisely positioning the glass on top of the heat chamber, I used a 1/8 inch pilot drill to go through the plexiglass. One full tube of silicone is used around the perimeter prior to laying the glass down.
We install 2 16 Watt Sailflo Duct Exhaust fans with a capacity of moving 141 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) for air . These are powered by a small solar panel. One blowing air into the chamber and one sucking air out. This helps to overcome the additional internal airflow resistance built into the design.
The completed solar air collector is installed outside facing south to maximize the exposure to the sun. Once the solar air collector is installed outside , we take the temperature rise between the incoming and outgoing air while moving 141 cubic feet of air per minute from the fans . The calculate the amount of heat transfer we multiply the CFM and Temperature rise with a factor of 1.08.
- How to build an Inexpensive Geothermal Solar Air Conditioning System to Cool your Garage using an Old Car Radiator ,Solar Panel.This project goes over the build of a cheap Geothermal Solar air conditioner that can cool your home with the Earths natural cool temperature. A few feet underground, the temperature remains between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is true regardless of the weather above ground.The geothermal unit siphons heat from inside and vents it into the water or refrigerant in the loop. The cool temperature underground then lowers the temperature of the liquid back to 55 degrees. In my case when I draw the water well, the static water level is 2 feet above the ground and and what that means that there is a free flowing well that runs down the hill. This is connected to a 55 gallon drum buried in the ground to keep it cool. A circulator pump is used to pump the water to the radiator. The water well is about 85 feet.We drop a 10 foot pipe in there and get a cheap pump from a car and probably some check valves valves and maybe start a natural siphon and run out of solar. You will need an old car radiator for this project. The Radiator used here is from an old Volvo Car. This is used to circulate air using a solar panel. The water coming in is connected to the radiator and the water coming out the is attached to a PVC drain pipe . The radiator is hooked to a motor connected to a solar panel. A Temperature sensor is attached to the radiator fan to detect the indoor temperature. The pump is out of the same Volvo car from which I got the radiator. A Coolant temperature sensor can be added to measure the temperature difference from the inlet versus the outlet and just see how much heat get pulled into the water . The system works on Solar.You will need a Charge controller,DC to DC Convertor and 12 or 24V batteries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOxnJ5DceeU&list=PLpZKoEWMZEz_OeTiV3mx47jy1jOUL6yqe
- How to build a Homemade Multi Use Water Purifier that uses no electricity .Works as Water heater and stove burner too….This project goes into the build of a simple and cheap two stage DIY water filter.Also doubles as a stove burner. The materials needed for this build are some bricks,bottles,copper coil,activated carbon,sand,gravel I got the sand and activated carbon water filtration part on the far left. In the middle, I've got it heated in a copper coil running on isopropyl alchohol. The purified water is coming out on the right side. The first step is to make the 1st stage filter. We take a 2L bottle cut in half, drilled a quarter inch hole on the bottom and drop in a couple of cotton balls and pack it in there. Next step is to add the activated carbon,sand and gravel.Rinse all of them before adding . Align the bricks and place the cans on top. Place a small tin with the isopropyl alcohol inside the middle can. A copper coil is inserted into the middle can and connect between the first can and the water bottle. Add the sand mixture filter bottle on top of the first can below the copper pipe. For the first can the one that holds the activated carbon filter,just remove the label and drill one small hole at the bottom. Then for the second cam that holds the copper coil, you cut down the top, take about a third of circumference off and cut about two thirds of the way down. Then put one small notch on the top and a hole down below for the coil. To make the copper coil just wrap it around from top to bottom in a smallcan, push the can out and leave about a foot on either side. Notice I added a couple of bricks and pointed the end of the copper tubing down directly into the can so we won't lose hardly any water and make sure to drill those steam vents so the pressure doesn't build up. Make sure to drill vents on the bottle so that the pressure doesn't get build up. Pour the alcohol under the coil and fire it up. Just put a little in ,you don't need too much. A full glass of water gets purified in three to three and a half minutes. This gravity fed two stage water filter should take care of pond water stream water swamp water, just about any water you can think of. Don't try using this without the heavy sand gravel and activated carbon in there or the water will backflow and it may spray out. An easy way to store this filter when you're not using it is just save the bottom half of the two liter bottle you cut in half and drop the filter in it ,holds it perfectly. This cheap 2 stage heated oil water purifier can also be used to both purify water and cook at the same time.
- DIY Video:How to build a Simple Homemade Pocket Straw Style Water Filter. Small, lightweight and powerful.This project goes over the build of an emergency Straw Style Survival Water Filter. This water filter is small, lightweight and ideal for an SHTF scenario or hiking/camping. Very effective for purifying rain or tap water or removing disease causing water contaminants. With regular maintenance the filter should last for years. The materials needed to make this water filter are turkey baster , cotton balls, coffee filters,activated carbon. All these materials can be purchased from your local store or aquarium supply stores. The activated carbon is rated to last for five months if used regularly. Start by taking a cotton ball and push it down the turkey baster. Rinse the activated carbon by running it through tap water before putting them over the cotton balls. Pour the rinsed activated carbon all the way to the top of the pipe and put two more cotton balls at the top . Now take some coffee filter paper and slide it over the top of the cotton balls and tie it down using a twist tie or rubber band so that the whole thing wont slip out when you are using it. If you don't have the cotton balls available, you can always just ball up some pieces of coffee filter paper and put them on either end of the activated carbon in between. An alternative way of using this is to cut the top of the poultry baster and and put it on the top of the straw . Take the dirty water and manually filter it through the straw. Once the material inside the filter gets saturated water moves pretty thoroughly through the straw. The cotton balls in the paper will get dirty pretty quick up here capturing most of the dirt but you can just pull those out periodically and add new ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXJypLXwsiw