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Solarguy2018

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all

I am new to this forum and am interested in finding out as much as I can about solar power and different ways to utilize the sun for heat and energy any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Lyndsey

stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #2 
Welcome to the forum. You have a lot of reading to do.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Solarguy2018

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi

Where is the best place to start
I am wanting to learn as much as possible

Lyndsey
billdad

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Reply with quote  #4 
This is what I tell anyone that is interested in how it works (solar heating). I say this: On a cold day, you park your car outside in the sun. When you get in, it is warmer inside the car, right? Well that is solar heating in the simplest form. I just had to figure out how to get that heat from that car, into my building. So what you want to do is build a "heat trap" outside of the building you want to heat. Then pump it into that space you want it. You can use cold air from that space as the intake to your solar heater since it will normally be warmer than the outside air and take less solar energy to warm.

That is the basic idea of how it all works. Now you need to decide how to go about doing it. Here is a partial list of things to consider. I am not an expert and their are a lot of different ways so others will have different opinions. What ever style you chose is great! The bottom line is you will be getting free or cheap heating at the finish. The cost of materials will be recouped pretty fast, especially if you search for best costs or recycle as much as possible.

1- Decide where to put the unit. What room will get the heat?
2- How are you going to get the heated air into the room? Through a window? A hole in the wall or roof?
3- What style and size of solar heater? Obviously the bigger the better but every location has specific limitations.
4- What are your limitations as far as DIY ability and tools available? Can you enlist or hire others to cover where your abilities end?
5- Are you allowed to place a unit on your house? Some landlords, HOAs, etc won't allow some things. Also local building codes can be a pain since they have no experience with our type of solar heaters. I believe in following the laws and safety regulations and encourage others to do so too. (that is a disclaimer)!

Each of the above topics can be and exhaustive discussion. I may have missed many things but this is a good place to start the planning process. Don't get discouraged though. Like anything good it is not easy to make but worth it when done right! My unit is still cranking out the heat in my 1450 square foot shop. It keeps it between 55 and 65 degrees all winter long. Granted I live in the high desert of So Cal but the nighttime temps are from the 40s to the teens. 

Good luck and keep asking questions!
Bill

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Solarguy2018

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Bill

Thanks for the advice

Where would you suggest that I find solar panels for this heater project as I know that standard panels are around 300-500$ and that’s from China

Are there ways that i could build the panels myself cheaply but effective for what I’m doing

Thanks
Lyndsey

jjackstone

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #6 
What is the primary goal? Heat or electricity generation?
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Solarguy2018

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Reply with quote  #7 
Electricity generation

Lyndsey
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Welcome Lyndsey!

DIY solar can be a great way to save money on utility bills, But I'll confess, I do it as a really fun and interesting hobby. And this hobby saves me an awful lot of money each winter on my heating bills.

Can you tell us where you live and what you are hoping to achieve with solar?

Greg in MN[wave]
Solarguy2018

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Greg I live in Alberta Canada and yes I would like it if I could possibly save money on heating and possibly other bills as well if I’m able to get the projects I have planned done

Thanks
Lyndsey
billdad

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Reply with quote  #10 
Lyndsey,
I use the sunlight to heat air and pump it into my shop. I don't use Photovoltaic panels at all. You can see my project on this site.
Bill


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