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billdad

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Reply with quote  #11 
Lyndsey,
I do not recommend using this beer/soda can design. It make a lot of heat but is very labor intensive compared to other methods.
Bill

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myk3y

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarguy2018
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



Have I missed something? What project?

jjackstone

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Reply with quote  #13 
If the primary goal is solar electricity, then you should easily be able to find panels for 50 cents to $1 per watt. Although being far north it may cost a bit to get them to you. Check on Craiglist. You will of course need a few extra items to have a viable system such as an inverter, cutoff switches, breakers, etc. As many people will tell you, the least expensive way to go solar electric is to use grid tie to your local utility. Find out the rules for connecting to your utility company.  Then you should sit down and determine what your current energy usage is and decide how much of the usage you would like to try to offset using solar electric. There are many examples of DIY installs here and over at Builditsolar. Check them out and see what fits your situation. As for heating, you should know that even home built heaters can easily be two to three times more efficient than solar electric. And in general home built heaters will cost less than an equivalent amount of solar electric. Good luck and keep us posted.
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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #14 
Solarguy-


Being that you live in frigid winter location, the bulk of your utility bill would be for heating. So for now you may want to focus on building a solar heater. Yes, you can power fans with PV, but it would add a great deal of expense compared to an AC powered fan that you purchased or salvaged.  And operating an electric heater with PV isn't really an option

Depending on the area or areas you wish to add heat there are a few things to consider. Solar air heat, or SAH, is by far the simplest and cheapest to build. Payback is usually less than one winter. Think of a SAH as a small electric space heater. It only adds heat while the system is running, it adds warmth to the room(s) that is released over time. In my home, my gas furnace stops cycling for the day once the SAH is running and doesn't usually turn back on until the next morning due to the added heat from the SAH. A solar water system is much more complicated to build, and more expensive. But it does allow you to store of the heat captured during the day and slowly release it overnight and into the next day. It does this more efficiently than an air system, but again, it is far more complicated and expensive.

If a small room is all that you are looking to heat, consider individual window type heaters. A step up would be a basic 4'x8' SAH that can provide you with 4-5,000 BTU's per hour, which is roughly the equivalent of a small electric space heater. For a larger space, you would need a larger unit. For example, a well designed 4'x16' SAH, or equivalent size can provide up to 20,000BTU's of cheap heat per hour! That's equivalent to FOUR space heaters. Larger units provide more heat, but at some point you may want to consider two moderate sized units rather than a single huge unit.

Keep in mind, that ANY heater you build provides more heat than the one that never leaves the drawing board. And with winter our doorstep, don't spend too much time trying to design the "perfect" heater. You can always build a newer, better unit as you gain experience or your needs change. So think about what your needs are as far as the area you desire to heat, and use that a guide as to the best system for your home.

Greg in Minnesota
Solarguy2018

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #15 
Hi Bill

No you didn’t miss something I just have many ambitions when it comes to possible projects that would possibly work with solar

Sorry for the confusion
Is there anyway I could make it easier to do

As for now I am looking for an alternative for heating, and as I live in Canada that should probably be something I focus on to begin with as the winters we get can be quite cold

Thank you for your assistance and I hope that we can discuss this further as this project moves forward

Thanks
Lyndsey
myk3y

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarguy2018
Hi Bill

No you didn’t miss something I just have many ambitions when it comes to possible projects that would possibly work with solar

Sorry for the confusion
Is there anyway I could make it easier to do

As for now I am looking for an alternative for heating, and as I live in Canada that should probably be something I focus on to begin with as the winters we get can be quite cold

Thank you for your assistance and I hope that we can discuss this further as this project moves forward

Thanks
Lyndsey


This, and the Frankenpanel thread linked in it may be a good place to start: https://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/manitoba-backpass-solar-air-collector-1st-project-9822234?pid=1306095979
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #17 
For a start I'd build the biggest hot-air collector I could. They're the least expensive and probably the most cost effective. Others can advise which type is best for your area.

Sadly an air collector alone won't do much for you at night, for that you need some means of storage. However the output from your air collector can be used to heat your storage medium.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #18 
Below is a link to a couple of solar collectors in Canada. What's great is this page gives up to the minute data as to the heat being collected so you may want to save a link to the page. In addition, he shows the cost, or in this case the savings from the solar heaters. During the winter months it will show that the solar provides the bulk of the heat for the home and on sunny days the furnace seldom runs.

If you dig a bit into the data being shown, you can see he has some air flow problems due to the routing of the air around the windows and the size of the ducts being used. However, that certainly doesn't diminish the fact that his heaters, even with the above issues, still provide a very large amount of cheap heat all winter long.

Greg in MN

http://jeharms.ca/cottage/index.php
Solarguy2018

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi all being new to the solar game
What should be the first thing I should do I am trying to learn as much as possible

Lyndsey
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #20 
Lyndsey-

It's easy to be a little overwhelmed at first as there is so much information available online. First thing is to narrow down your goals, whether it be powering the house with PV panels or heating the house with a solar heater. In any case, it will likely NOT be 100% solar, So try and decide what percentage of your utility bills you hope to supplement. A small PV setup might be able to power a few lights, fans, charge a laptop or phone. A small solar heater can heat a room. Larger solar PV and heating systems will cost more to build, but the basics are the same regardless size.

Build bigger if in doubt. If your budget is tight, build small for the experience, as you can always build larger next year.

Greg in MN 
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