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Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #1 
I really like the organization we have on the forum, but I realized we didn't have a thread for general discussion, that was common on our e-mail group.  A big part of the fun of solar is brainstorming, sharing our experiments, supporting each other and the general camaraderie that sharing our solar interest and passion brings. So, I created this page for topics not specific to the other categories of the forum, for general questions, to share your latest projects and general solar chat.

Please use this page like the old e-mail group. This is the place to hang out, ask questions, share projects and enjoy each other's company and ideas in a relaxed, fun, friendly forum! The beauty is, like all the individual areas of our forum, you can choose to subscribe to get alerts for new content if you like, or leave the chat to others and just subscribe to other areas, like new experimental content (DIY Solar Experimentation & Performance) if you prefer!
 
What's on your mind about solar today? Please post it here:

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solarfun

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am building my first solar heat collector panel in Columbia, SC. I think the latitude is 34 degrees, not sure. The panel has an all metal interior. At 48 sq ft it is 6' high X 8' long & has 6 horizontal channels 12" wide.

The cold air duct is approx. 8' and the hot air duct is approx. 14'. I would like to have a fan that ramps its speed up and down dependant upon the panel temperature. I have tried to find a fan with the components built in that does this and also has the sufficient CFM. I wish I was sure about the CFM needed, but I am not. I am comfortable with cold air entering from my house at 63 degrees, but I really do not know how to calculate all of that, or if this is even necessary. 

Is there a fan that ramps up and down based upon panel temperature and also has sufficient CFM?
Scott Davis

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Hi SolarFun,

Thanks for sharing your project plans with us!

Generally, the more air you have flowing through your collector, the more efficient it will be, so while throttling back may seem like a good idea, it is really counter productive in most cases.

Most of us use a snap switch that turns on at 110F and off at 90F, so first thing in the morning, it may cycle on and off a couple times until the sun gets fully on the panel, but from then on, it will run constant.

Be careful not to over think your design, especially to begin with.  If you do find you need to vary the speed, you can always modify your design later, but I'm betting you will be fine without.

If you really want to incorporate variability, here is how Scott in NY did it.  He actually used two fans, with the snap switch for the second in the output of the first.  Once the output of the first was high enough, the second fan kicked on.  Here is a picture:

What type of collector are you building.  You said all metal so maybe a backpass design?  if you have any pictures of your project, please add them to this thread!  We would love to see!

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EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hello All,

Just testing out the 'ol forum to see what it's like posting videos, links, pictures etc..

First of all here's a good video by CCR since I don't have any of my own to post yet:



And here's a link to a detailed article about an aluminum soffit air collector I built:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Window-Mounted-Solar-Hot-Air-Furnace-Aluminum-Sof/

And hopefully showing up as thumbnails on this message instead of a list of filenames are a few pictures of my greenhouse which I plan to try to turn into a giant air collector some time in the future.

Happy solaring,

Lance in Newfoundland



Attached Images
jpeg DSCN1073.JPG (171.73 KB, 424 views)
jpeg DSCN1076.JPG (195.65 KB, 431 views)
jpeg DSCN1060.JPG (201.94 KB, 426 views)


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Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Lance,

Welcome, it definitely looks like you have the idea!  You can definitely size down you pictures a bit too!

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solardan1959

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Reply with quote  #6 
Lance,
My those are big thumbnails!
What are the holes in the tubes for? They hold pots or is air or water passed through them? I normally resize to about 40 percent if I really want to show detail and 15 percent just for a quick look or idea of what I am talking about. Nice greenhouse though, I had not gotten around to looking at your photo folder lately. Do you have to heat it in the colder weather or you just give up for a couple of months.
Dan
Scott Davis

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Images are very easy to resize.  Just open the image in Microsoft Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint), Click Resize from Paint's options, select Pixels and enter in 1000 for the width.  The Height should adjust proportionally.  Then save your picture with a new file name.  That winds up with a niced sized, on line image.
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EcoMotive

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hey Dan and Scott,

Sorry about the size of the photos, I didn't think they would show up as the full size of the file on the forum. How do you resize the photos? Do you do it manually one by one on your computer or is there a way to do it on this forum?
The holes in the tubes hold mesh pots for plants grown hydroponically in the greenhouse.
I may try to heat the greenhouse in the winter but I'm not sure yet. I'll see what happens next fall when i hopefully have it completed. Thanks for your comments.

Lance in Newfoundland

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 “Only primitives & barbarians lack knowledge of houses turned to face the winter sun.” 
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John Johnston

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Reply with quote  #9 

I keep thinking... is there some sort of "passive" solar panel that could be used to seal the collector that would allow the sun to still heat the collector surface while grabbing some "free" electricity at the same time?

Obviously, this would be much more expensive but kill two birds with one stone.

I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where we experience winter temperatures from 5 F to -40 F and am very interested in reducing my heating bills!

 

Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Lance,

Images are very easy to resize:

- Just open the image in Microsoft Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint)

- Click Resize from Paint's options, select Pixels and enter in 1000 for the width. The Height should adjust proportionally.

- Save your picture with a new file name.

- Upload the new file image (by clicking on the Manage Attachments link and selecting the file) when you type your post.

That winds up with a niced sized, on line image.

Your Greenhouse pictures look super!

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