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Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #11 
I don't think the reflector idea would work so good with my current collector. My panel is approximately 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall. so a mirror the same size or even 4x4ft would protrude very awkwardly out from the wall. The other problem is that the sun keeps rising more and more northward each day after the solstice and the south side of my house is actually faceing about 10 degrees westward. So the correct mirror angle would be difficult or impossible to achieve at the times when I need that morning heat.

For example, on April 1st at my latitude sunrise is at 6am and I could probably start warming the house at 7 am on a clear morning when the sun would be at an elevation of about 11 degrees above the horizon, but it's azimuth is way back at 93 degrees (almost due east) and my south wall faces about 190 degrees, slightly southwest. So the morning sun will actually be blocked by the house itself and the panel and mirrors will receive no sun at all.

Today looks like it will be a fairly average clear sunny winter day here with an expected high temp near 40F today then dropping to near 20F overnight as it did last night. My panel started making low grade 77F heat around 9 am for the 67F bedrooms. During the peak hours from about 10:30am-2:30pm I expect to be getting output heat over 90F which is almost enough to keep all of my currently occupied living space - 2 bedrooms, kitchen,
dining room and maybe the living room (not the entire house) at a reasonably comfortable temperature in the upper 60s without resorting to any of my other heating options. I'll let my woodstove go out and then make a new fire tonight after sunset. It certainly helps to have my living areas starting out in the low 70s thanks to the wood stove. So the solar panel just has to maintain a comfortable temperature rather than trying to pull that whole area up from around the 60F it would fall to if I tried to only use the solar panel and then let the temps decline with no heat input overnight.


Posts: 185
Reply with quote  #12 
Your house and my house face almost exactly the same direction which is why I started the thread on the movable collector. You've done an excellent job of writing up the "problem" I'm trying to correct. Still going back and forth on several ideas.
Denver, CO

Double screen hot air collector
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