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Posts: 185
Reply with quote  #1 
Thought this was interesting. Granted, a moving heliostat is not particularly "simple" but our electronics are getting cheap enough and simple enough through Arduino and Pi that this might be somewhat feasible for the DIY crowd.


Denver, CO

Double screen hot air collector


Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #2 
mclark999, I live on a small farm in western New Mexico where we enjoy at least 300 days per year of full sun dawn to dusk. My house is fairly large adobe, single story, and about 4,000 sq ft.  The house is oriented east-west and the front faces due north.  My drainpipe solar heater, of course, is on the south side of the house to take advantage of the winter sun.  

However, for years I've used a small, about 2 x 5 foot reflector, a piece of plywood covered with Reynold's wrap on one side with a crude stand on the back, to 'unfreeze' my front outdoor faucet and the connected hose to water livestock in winter. I can go out in mid morning when the hose to the 'freeze proof' faucet is frozen solid.  The sun is up and burning down as it and I adjust the reflector to reflect the sun into that portion of the house where the faucet is located.  Lo and behold, in about 20 to 30 minutes, old Sol does its job and the hose is running.  

Okay, so why not fabricate four or five big reflectors using 4x8 ft plywood sheets covered on one side with metal roof flashing or even foil insulation so they can reflect the now southern sun, coming over the house roof, back to the front of the north facing front wall(s) of the house?  I did an experiment a couple of years back and mounted one crude and very temporary reflector in the front yard and aimed it into my dining room/kitchen windows.  Wow!  I got both light and heat. Tt was amazing so now another 'honey do,' make some reflectors this summer and have them ready to 'semi mount' in the front yard this fall.  My house walls are 16 to 18 inch thick adobe (local clay field mud and straw mixed together) and they do absorb and hold heat, and thus transfer it into the house sort of like a Trombe wall.  .  

I SHALL do that this fall and render a report to Simply Solar next spring (provided I'm still on the planet).  I can accurately track the difference using my monthly zero electrical bills, a result of my 5 KW solar array.  The power utility sends me extensive graphs and so on to grudgingly account for the rebate checks they have to provide due to state law.  I've gotten zero bills for several years now and a check for $20 to $30 every month or two from them.  HA!  However, I did get a power bill for March, $4.88.  It was a very cold month and I kept two oil filled electrical heaters going outside 24/7 for the platoon of feral cats I regularly feed and water.  What the heck!  They keep the grasshopper and rodent population in check.      

Regards to all,   GOM 
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