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mranum

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Reply with quote  #1 
As I am getting a bit farther along in my build I thought I would share what I've done so far. What I am building is my first ever solar project. A zero-pass collector based on Greg's design   that is made in 3 sections to accommodate the glass I'm using for the glazing. The unit as a whole will stretch out to 19' long and be 45" high. This will be used as a supplimental heat source for my 24x24 woodshop. It will be mounted directly to the south wall.

I'm using 20ga metal tracking for the frame with 3/16" wide flange steel rivets in the corners. To add some mounting versatility, after I had the back insulation fitted I ripped some 3/4" pine boards to fit inside the track then while the tablesaw was still set to that dimension I ripped some 1/2" insulation to mate alongside the boards. This combination filled the hollow of the track perfectly. Adhesive was used on all the material inside the track.

One major concern I had with using the track was cutting the slots. I needed to be able to make them all exactly the same or risk having a partially blocked air passage. My solution came in the form of one of my old ShopSmiths. I set it up as a tablesaw with the exception of using a metal cutting blade installed. This way I could do "stop cuts" along with the fence. I cut all the parts for all the collectors at the same time so as to get them all exactly the same, the slots were no exception. This worked very well, in fact I ripped some tracking right down the center to use as a retainer for the glass as well. If you use a metal cut off blade you will need to deburr edges when your done. I used a deburring wheel that I put in my hand drill. Its like a thick, round Scotch Brite pad made by 3M.

You can cut metal like this with a standard tablesaw too but...1) Check RPM ratings on the cut off disc vs your saw's RPM. You do not want a wheel blowing apart on you. 2) REMOVE ALL SAWDUST FROM UNDERNEATH FIRST OR YOU WILL START A FIRE!!!

For paint I'm using Black Rustoleum Primer in rattle cans. Seems thats the only way I can find black primer around here. Then I used a roller to roll on Rustoleum Flat Black Paint. The outside is just primed for now. That will be painted white to match the trim on my shop. I am removing the vinyl siding for the installation the re-siding around the collector. Although this will be hidden from all prying eyes, my hope is to have it look decent and not look like a wart on the side of the building.

My apologies in advance for the poor quality of the pictures, my cell doesn't take that great of shots inside.  More pics to follow. [thumb]



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mranum

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  0208161536a.jpg   
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mranum

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0220161450a.jpg 
 


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mranum

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You may have noticed that there are no vents cut into them yet. Thats because I can't do that until I'm ready to mount it on the wall. The vents need to land between the studs. I did leave the "air boxes" on the ends a little bigger than normal as to allow me a little more adjustment if need be.





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solardan1959

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Reply with quote  #5 
mranum,
   Looking good so far, an inside shot of your corners would have been nice.  Did you cut out the piece on the left so you had a tab that fit into the right side then was riveted to?

[image] 
also, nice safety tips,

"You can cut metal like this with a standard tablesaw too but...1) Check RPM ratings on the cut off disc vs your saw's RPM. You do not want a wheel blowing apart on you. 2) REMOVE ALL SAWDUST FROM UNDERNEATH FIRST OR YOU WILL START A FIRE!!! "

Never really thought about that but I probably should have.

Since you opted for such big vent areas, maybe you should apply flashing on the back as an absorber or a layer of screen next to the glazing so that area helps collect heat also.

What would you say the spacing is between the two layers of screen in the zero pass?

Dan
mranum

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I did not get a shot of the corner before I assembled it but there is a 2" tab that is folded and wrapped around the corner. An absorber in the ends is something I debated on, and still could adapt if I decide at a later time but for now I'm going to leave it as is.

The spacers between the screens are 1". This has been shown as a good working dimension. It can be changed should I feel like experimenting. 


0220161452a.jpg 


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gbwillson

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Matt- 

Cutting the end slots like you did is pretty slick. I used a jigsaw and things were shaking pretty good during the cuts, so I glued the wood reinforcements to the metal ends first and then made the slot cuts. Since my side and end stud track pieces had wood glued to them before assembly, it became like an intricate jigsaw puzzle fir the final assembly. I need a third had to hold the phone at times to hold the phone and take pics. Maybe I could duct tape my phone to a baseball cap...[biggrin]

For those wondering, the connecting corner pieces are exactly the same size, so you have to trim some of the tabs a bit so things fit together snugly. The corners aren't all that hard to do, they just take a little trimming and filing here and there until you get the right fit. I used aluminum rivets like Matt did, although screws should work too. 

I did like Dan suggested and used mini screen frames for the two manifolds. The intake area has two small screen frames on either side of the intake duct. The exhaust manifold has a single screen covering the entire manifold area on the same plane as the upper-most gap screen. I should say I DID have a manifold screen. I needed to get my hand inside to make an adjustment on the snap switch, so I had to rip it out of the way. I should have made an access port for the adjustment screw. You can see the screen above the gap which was not big enough to fit my hand and a screwdriver. I hindsight, I could have tried cutting either a slot or small opening in the screen at this point to allow my hand to fit. 

Greg in MN
Snap Switch in manifold.jpg 


mranum

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well today was going to be the day I mounted the collectors to my shop but with 25mph winds whipping through here today...I decided to wait. [frown]

On the positive side, at least my building is ready. [biggrin]  The collectors will sit about an inch below the windows, and leave about 30" on each side of the building. Thinking it will look pretty impressive with basically the whole bottom of the wall being solar panels.

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SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #9 
Smart move delaying with the wind. I think you're right, it will look sharp.
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mranum

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Made progress today. Hopefully the glass will be on and buttoned up tomorrow. Rain/snow showers in the forecast for Sunday. [frown]  I put 2 thermometers in it. One on the side wall near the snap switch on the left side and the other in the last panel on the right (the exit). That one I put behind all the screens in the center of the panel. Should be interesting seeing the difference in temps between the two. This afternoon with spotty sun the one behind the screens was reading 20* warmer than the one out in the open. Cant wait to see the difference after the glass is on.

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