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Louieb

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all,
  Just wanted to post  my latest collector (2' x 6'). I copied the design of what nettech
and others on this site have done. It was an easy project and is removable [smile]. I used 1/2" and 1" polyiso (the only wood used is 3/4" for the 2 layer screen frame). Some wood screws were also used as I assembled the frame. Silicone was used for all the joints. I will be adding a small computer fan for airflow soon. If I had to do it again I would use all 3/4 or 1" for the design. I had to beef up the 1/2" for the wiggle strips (which i'm not fond of). All in all I am happy with the results (testing soon). 

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solardan1959

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Posts: 1,845
Reply with quote  #2 
Louieb,
   Kind of looks like a big smiley face on the house, hope the heat makes you smile.  Nice Job!
Dan
Scott Davis

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Posts: 697
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the update and photos LouieB!
__________________
Take care, Scott MD
Louieb

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Dan and Scott, 
            You know now that you mention it "looks like a big smiley face" made me LMAO [biggrin].
And I do love free heat, thanks for your comments. Now if those dam leaves would just fall [mad]

Lou..
netttech

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Posts: 720
Reply with quote  #5 

Looks great!

Foam panels very easy, aren't they. [smile]

I installed my two window units today. I am comparing a two layer screen panel against 2 layer screen with black flashing under the screen, this year.

I stand corrected, in an earlier post I mentioned the panels are 1/2" poly foam. One of the original panels is 3/4" foam (had on hand). It's lasted thru 2 winters, still solid, headed for it's 3rd. The 2nd panel is made of 1/2 polyiso foam, headed for it's 2nd winter.

From the pictures, it looks like your cold-hot air entrance/exits are stacked on top of each other. I changed mine so the exit/entrance is opposite of each other. Hot air exit out the top, cold enters from bottom. I really don't see a true problem with the stacked design. I wanted to be sure the cold air fan wasn't sucking heated air into the panel again.

Looks like a successful project...congrats!!

Jeff
Central IL

Louieb

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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Netttech,
                  Yes the foam panels are nice. I was thinking about making a hole on the bottom also and closing the top input if I do add a fan. have you run them without the fan? Did the fan make a big diffecence in the output volume?

I also found that it was even easier to get a ladder and install them from below the window.
All you need is a second person to close the window above.

 You only need to insert about 18" into the window instead of pushing all six foot out the windows
and carrying the panels all about your house.[wink] Your pictures is what got me interested thanks![biggrin]

Lou...
netttech

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Posts: 720
Reply with quote  #7 
A brief history for you. These panels originally were conceived & intended to be strictly passive. I didn't think the panels could support even a low-flow fan, because of their size.

Initially the hot & cold air doors were 4" x 12" floor registers. After the panels were installed & they produced good heat. I tried the garbage bag air flow test, which failed. There just wasn't enough  airflow to fill a bag. That was mostly due to the fact the hot/cold air vents were restricting the air flow in & out of the panel. I've since made both openings as wide as possible (attached pictures).

I rigged up a fan to see what kind of heat could be sustained by the panels & quickly realized, a low flow fan was feasible. I decided to rebuild the ductwork including the doors you see in the pictures below. The 2 layer screen panel doesn't have a wide door for the cold air, because I know the panel sustains good heat with a 4" duct fan. When I rebuilt the 2nd panel I also moved the fan inside the cold air ductwork (2 screen/flashing panel), instead of hanging below. If there is a power outage, both panels will still flow hot air, but the panel with the wider cold air opening will flow more air.

To answer your question; Yes a low flow fan increases airflow volume & panel effectiveness.

If you or anyone else plans a passive panel (this design or not), make the input/output openings as big as possible. Don't restrict the airflow by design.

[smile] Funny you mention installing the panel with a ladder. I install my panels via a ladder also, because of a  design mistake. I originally wanted the panels narrow enough so they could be installed from the inside out. I built the panels just slightly narrower than the window screen frame. Unfortunately, I didn't consider the width of the retaining frame (drywall corner bead) that holds the glazing in place. LOL With the retaining frame mounted, the panels are 3/8" too wide to install from the inside out. [frown] Oh well!

The small wood blocks in the 2 screen panel, are used as locks to hold the door closed. If you bend a stout wire (stiff clothes hanger) slightly more than 90 degrees, drill a small hole thru the foam into the wood, when you insert the wire it holds the door closed.

Jeff
Central IL

2 layer screen-flashing door.JPG 2 layer screen panel doors.JPG 

Louieb

Registered:
Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Netttech, 
                  Thanks for the details, I guess due to my small openings a fan would help with flow. When I built them I did not consider making them bigger [frown]. Your right about bigger is better for flow. I like your hinge thingy for open and close of inlet opening. Pictures convey many things with these solar collectors Thanks.. Lou.
netttech

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Posts: 720
Reply with quote  #9 
A picture IS worth a thousand words. [smile] It;s also the best thing about this forum is the sharing of info.

Which 'hinge thingy'? The cheap steel hinges on luan boards or the duct tape? lol The duct tape may be hard to distinguish but it's on the 2L-flashing panel, taped to the twin-wall glazing. The 2L screen panel was a duct tape last year. The tape lasted thru the winter, but was giving away. I happened to have the thin luan board laying around, so I siliconed it the door, panel, mounted the hinges.

I reviewed the pictures & just realized there 2 different generations of panel-door design. The 2 layer screen has the original door opening outwards using foam as the door. The 2L-flashing panel opens on the top, with twin-wall door.

My 8' x 3' panel had both cold-hot doors opening to the front originally. That's when I realize the fan could be sucking heated air into the cold side. When I built the 2 layer screen panel I made the change to cold air on the bottom & the opening to the front. The current 2L-flashing panel originally (2yrs ago) had down-spouts as the collector. The added weight of the D spouts, proved too much for the foam panel. It was falling apart so I had to remove it before the end of winter. I removed the D spouts & rebuilt the panel for 4 layers of screen.

I had acquired the twin-wall glazing for the window panels & figured it would make a good door & it does.

Jeff
Central IL
joebehr

Registered:
Posts: 109
Reply with quote  #10 
What kind of temps are you guys getting from your screen window units? I'm considering the same type for windows on the south west side of the house...2nd floor bedroom and mudroom windows.

joebehr
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