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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #21 
And the nice thing about cheap gutters is they usually have very thin aluminum!

mocars2

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Reply with quote  #22 
Gb - your are right. I lifted a pro 12' version at Menards yesterday and I couldn't believe how heavy it was compared to the cheaper 10 ' ones. Yes Menards did have these gutters FAR a few years ago and I only got a couple. Back to the mirrors - the more I thought about it, I also thought any paint/sealer would protect the mirrors.I don't see the snow being a better reflector over mirrors but like you say its melting fast and that's a problem you don't worry about with mirrors breaking yep, melting NO.
mocars2

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Reply with quote  #23 
Kevin - have you got any snow left to do your test with? Were finally starting to see some ugly grass.
KevinH

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Reply with quote  #24 
Mocars,
If you are referring to testing the screen collector again, no I haven't done that.  After some good melting and patches of grass showing up, Winter decided to remind me that this is Minnesota and dump a fresh 7 inches of snow yesterday.  On the next sunny day, I'll try the screen collector with/without the reflectors, but due to the drop off in front of the screen collector (see pic in first post) there will be less snow reflection than there was with the tube collector.

Kevin H
MN
grandpa ray

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Reply with quote  #25 
on the reflectors what angle do you have them and do you have to change the angle as the sun gets higher ???  GRANDPA RAY [idea]
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #26 
Grandpa ray-

If you attach reflectors to the sides, they would match the angle for the collector itself. Just make sure they don't block the sun from the glazing early and late in the day. Reflectors placed above and below would need to be adjusted. A simple adjustment system could be designed and adjusted every so often. How much snow did you get last night? I was out this morning snowplowing. 

Greg in MN
mocars2

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Reply with quote  #27 
Wow - We missed that 7 inches this time down here in Chicago. Kevin - yes I was referring to the test snow vs reflector that you said you would do sometime, thanks.

I've added a 2' x2' mirror below my collector and like you, I saw a 10 degree increase.

The front of my home is facing north and I even used some mirrors to shine on the 10 - 20 feet in front of my home to melt the built up ice that was under all our snow. AMAZING what reflections can do.
KevinH

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Reply with quote  #28 
The optimum angle between the sun and reflector is probably about 45 degrees.  When the sun is at its lowest the reflectors may need to be angled down away from the collector.  As the sun angle increases, the side of the reflector away from the collector will need to be raised.  I just occasionally check the reflections with a small mirror.  Put the mirror at the front and back edges of the reflector and make sure you are getting a good size of reflected area on the collector (not needed if the reflector is a real mirror versus mylar).

I haven't tried side reflectors (don't want to block morning / afternoon sun).  A smaller reflector on top is a good idea.  It would require adjustable brackets.  The lower reflectors are just resting on the ground and on a couple 2x2s for the screen collector.

I like your snow melting death ray mirror idea mocars.  Have you posted any pics of your collector?

Kevin H
MN
mclark999

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Reply with quote  #29 
I'm glad I saw this. Due to design constraints I had to build my collector smaller than I wanted.  

I purchased some mylar survival blankets from Amazon very cheap and will try them as reflectors when they come next week.

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Denver, CO

Double screen hot air collector
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #30 
mclark-

The hard part with thin mylar is applying the film smoothly. Wrinkles will defuse the reflection. I would suggest when you mount it to a board that you attach only one narrow edge and let the adhesive dry. Then you can pull the remaining mylar smooth and tight before laying it into the adhesive. 

Greg in MN[comp]
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