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dbc

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Posts: 242
Reply with quote  #21 
Coby,  Nice looking collector.  Hope your shop is a little more comfortable now.

I can't tell from the photos how the screens are arranged inside, and how the air flows.  Does the air flow between the screen layers (ZP), or does it flow through the screens?

I notice you have a slight problem, which I also have - long inside duct runs.  I think yours are even longer than mine, although at least you don't have any outside ducts to worry about.  One thing that may help air flow is to make some wider 'slings' where the ducts are supported; it looks like the straps may try to pinch the ducts after a while.  It might also help to add a few more.

It's a darn shame that inspector made you pull down your turbine.  What a stick in the mud!  He should be applauding your creativity and enterprise.  If it's not a fall hazard to nearby residents or too close to a flight path or road traffic, they should cut you a little slack.

You may be interested in a Colorado company, Other Power (I think they are still around).  I met them at an 'energy fair' a few years ago.  They have plans and materials to build your own turbine - everything from carving the blades to winding the alternator coils.  They were conducting a training class right at the fair, a real enthusiastic, can-do bunch.  They also had pre-made sub-assemblies you can order - most useful were some of the mechanical parts and bearings, stuff that would be hard if you didn't have a welder and some machine tools.

Cobydog$10

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #22 
Hey dbc...

Thanks for the compliment.  The collector works really well considering it's vertical mounting.  Yesterday morning it was 65 degrees in the shop when the unit turned on.  It stayed there until 3pm with no other heating source.  The outside temp got up to around 40. 

I'm keeping an eye on the ducts.  So far no movement has been seen and air flow is still high.  I knew going in that I would need a high CFM fan due to the 60' of ducting.  Some rework may get done once it gets a little nicer outside.

Most of the air flows between the screens.  During testing some of it wants to go through the screens.  I think that is caused by high airflow. 

My area gets high wind frequently and that's why I was playing with a turbine.  It was fun.  The ordinance is written that the bottom of the blade has to be a certain height off the ground.  I believe it was 25'.  Then it needs to be 125% of that away from buildings or lot lines.  I don't have that much room.  The bottom of my blade was 12' and it worked fine.  If it fell it would have stayed on my property at that height.  Taller would put it too close to the shop or the farm field. 

I still have all of the turbine parts.  Who knows if the laws will get modified in the future.  I like the idea of vertical turbines.  It shortens up the height requirement a bit. 

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Coby
Bruce

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Posts: 97
Reply with quote  #23 
Interesting project...thanks for sharing your experience!  I see you made the frame out of 2x6.  Does the insulation mount inside or on the outside of the 2x6?  How much space is in between your back,screens and glazing?  I am planning to build a 6x12 ZP collector as soon as tax season is over and curious to see how your thing collector works.  As a former zoning hearing board member, I think you were wise to do it the way you did it...up against the wall like that. The township should not have anything to pick at that way. 
Cobydog$10

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #24 
Bruce,

The 2x6 were used for 3 reasons.  #1 The shop is a post frame building.  There is 6" of space in the wall so that helped my decision.  #2 I have a tendency to over build everything.  If a 2x4 will work, a 2x6 is better and stronger.  #3 I read about many zero pass projects and how tight it was to install everything in a 2x4 frame.  I figured why not make it easier on myself.

I used 1" thick polyiso on the inside of the frame and on the back of the collector. 

The screens are about 1" apart.  They are angled from the bottom to the top so the top is closer to the glazing than the bottom.  The rear screen is about 3.5" from the glazing while the top is only about 2" away.  During air flow testing the air wanted to move out towards the glazing so I angled the screens to take advantage of this natural occurrence.  I also read that others had angled the screens on their projects. 

I use a Fantech 150 which produces about 300 open air CFM due to the long duct runs.  I feel that the 2x6 collector frame and screen configuration help alleviate back pressure inside the collector. 

A 6x12 theoretically should get you into the 5-6,000 BTU range.  I would definitely recommend an 8 or 10" duct depending on how far you have to move the air. 

The building inspector and the county zoning commission are not the people I want to get into it with.  When I built the shop, the inspectors only questions each time he came out were why I built everything so beefy. 

Good luck with your project. 

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Coby
gbwillson

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Posts: 2,263
Reply with quote  #25 
Coby/Bruce,

I think only expecting 5-6,000 BTU's from a 6x12 ZP is a bit low, as you would be operating at about 25% efficiency.  Most collectors should be at least 50% efficiency. That's would be more than 11,000 BTU's, and the ZP is more efficient than most. My 4x16 ZP regularly puts out 17,000BTU's per hour or more and I'm still stuck using the too small screen gap of 1" until my next build.

In any case, a large collector or a collector with long duct runs will always breath much better using 8" or larger ducts. If that isn't possible, consider adding a booster fan that turns on when the output temps reach a different level than your primary fan. Ultimately, the output temps should determine the proper airflow in most cases. I like to keep my output temps under 100˚F for maximum efficiency, and with my long duct runs that means either single powerful fan or a booster fan. 

Greg in MN

Cobydog$10

Registered:
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #26 
Hi Greg,

Thanks for posting your experience and results. 


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Coby
Gordy

Registered:
Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbc
Coby, 

You may be interested in a Colorado company, Other Power (I think they are still around).  I met them at an 'energy fair' a few years ago.  They have plans and materials to build your own turbine - everything from carving the blades to winding the alternator coils.  They were conducting a training class right at the fair, a real enthusiastic, can-do bunch.  They also had pre-made sub-assemblies you can order - most useful were some of the mechanical parts and bearings, stuff that would be hard if you didn't have a welder and some machine tools.


dbc,

I spent a lot of time there from 2000 to 2010, It's been about 3 month since I have been there last. A lot of the old timers are giving up on wind, in savor of low maintenance and the now lower costs of solar.
https://www.otherpower.com/  and their forum   https://www.fieldlines.com/

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Gordy,
Minnesota
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