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Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #1 

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that might help:

http://www.n3fjp.com/solar/faq.htm

If you find the page above doesn't get your started, please post your plans, thoughts, goals, questions and challenges to getting started with solar here and we will happily get you over the hump and on to enjoying free, clean, environmentally friendly solar heat!


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Cordes56

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Davis

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that might help:

http://www.n3fjp.com/solar/faq.htm

If you find the page above doesn't get your started, please post your plans, thoughts, goals, questions and challenges to getting started with solar here and we will happily get you over the hump and on to enjoying free, clean, environmentally friendly solar heat!


Scott I read through this section and was looking To build a ds collector that took the intake air directly from the outside. Is a longer loop necessary to heat the air when Temperatures drop in the winter?

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Steve
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Cordes-

Scott hasn't been on here much lately, so I'll try and answer your question.

Could you tell us where you live? Pulling in outside air for heater is generally not a good idea for several reasons. Unless you live in a very mild climate, the efficiency of your heater will be quite low. A solar heater may give you a 40-50 degree temperature rise. So if the air outside is cold, you would actually be cooling the house. Even a longer travel path would likely not be able to overcome such low temps. Another reason using inside air is preferred is you are taking what is generally the coldest air in the house from the floor or even the basement and replacing it with 100+ degree air. So this is a double bonus. The third reason would be dirt and dust. If you have snow cover it may not be a problem, but come early spring and late fall, the ground is uncovered and dirt, dust and even pollen can dirty the inside of a collector which may be difficult to disassemble for cleaning.

Using outside air for solar heating is sometimes used on commercial buildings where the outside air is exchanged for stale inside air. But this is computer controlled to exchange the air only at specific times. It there a specific reason why you desire to use outside air. That might give us a clue as to what your needs might be and see if there is a workaround. We have many on this site that think outside the box, so to speak. I think it's a bit of cabin fever if you ask me. But we are pretty good at coming up with creative solutions.

Greg in MN[wave]
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Reply with quote  #4 
Welcome Cordes,

There is a member on this forum that has a fresh air heat exchanger in his home. He built a solar panel to pre-heat the incoming air into his furnace.

Sorry, I don't remember his name. Perhaps his will read this post & reply. I 'think' he was considering building his original panel 'larger' to be more effective.

GB's reply is correct, all points.

We are pretty creative people with this solar stuff. We're constantly thinking of a better idea, design, etc.

The best part about this forum is we like to share ideas & want everyone's project to be successful.

Jeff
Central IL
Solar Air & Water
Cordes56

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the responses. I live in CT and the winters do get cold. My run to the panel will be around 15' so I thought I would just use outside air and dump the heated air in. I guess I will try to use the basement air and run that through the ds collector. I will insulate intake and return to keep it from getting colder.
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Steve
KevinH

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Reply with quote  #6 
Cordes,
15' (30' total) is a long way.  If you post a picture of where you plan to install the collector, we may have some ideas on how to shorten that.  It is possible to use outdoor air, but there are several negatives.  The collector would have to be much larger to compensate for heating cold air.  It would take a variable speed fan that automatically adjusts for the changing outdoor temp.  With cold air, the fan would have to run slower.  You are also bringing in a lot of dry air into the house.  As the others said, it is best to heat indoor air.

Jeff,
I haven't had time to rebuild the air exchanger pre-heater yet (still working on two new collectors).

Kevin H
MN
Cordes56

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Reply with quote  #7 
My collector will be at the of my deck and I will run the feed and return though a window in my basement. That is why have to go out 15'each way. The back of the house with the deck is facing solar south already. I will just insulate both feeds.
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Steve
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Steve-

Both of my heaters enter and exit through the basement windows. You can buy insulted flex ducts. They work, but you need to make sure they are pulled tight otherwise they add a lot of resistance to the air flow. Another option, is to use the flex duct insulation over solid pipe. It would give you insulated ducts with the lowest resistance. 

Greg in MN[wave]
Cordes56

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Reply with quote  #9 
Great idea. ..... Thanks. I think I will go with solid pipe and insulate.
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Steve
netttech

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Reply with quote  #10 
Cordes,

As mentioned INSULATE - keyword.

Hot air panels that far away need to have well insulated duct work.

I gave up using my first hot panel, because of the heat loss. I had it for 2 years with the 2nd year being insulated even more. I still lost 20% of the air temp in my 12' duct work.

That was several years before I stumbled into this website.

Don't skimp on the insulation for the ductwork.

Jeff
Central IL
Solar Air & water
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