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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #31 
Hello!!!! I am so lucky I found this forum guys!! I have so many questions!! Nice work Scott


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Posts: 2,446
Reply with quote  #32 
Welcome DJman-

That's why we are here. Collaborating can be a wonderful thing. Can you start by telling us where you live, your goals and what you are thinking about building?

Greg in MN[wave]

Posts: 720
Reply with quote  #33 
Welcome DJ,

Lucky you, if you are just starting into solar thermal. The site is full of like-minded, experienced solar bugs.

We want all to succeed at their projects. Ask away with any questions.....our responses has a very attractive fee rate & very fair..(free). lol

FYI, keep in mind pictures are worth a thousand words for us to give best advice.

Central IL
Solar air & water

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #34 
Thank you! l am from Greece-Europe!!! In winter most of the days are full sunny so I was searching for a way to heat the house. 2 years ago I installed a water solar system for the bathrooms.

Now I am thinking for a hot air collector.I live in a 3 floor house(each floor is about 70 square meters -sorry for using metric system but I am not familiar with "feet and
Fahrenheit"- )You guys can always give me feet and I will convert them to meters.

So for the beginning I 'd like to heat the 1st flour (like Scotts basement)!! the problem is that the only place my house see's sun is the flat roof (12 meters high from the basement window).The roof has a tiles(over the balcony's) but I'd like for safety reasons,to install the collector at the flat concrete roof(70 square meters). My roof is something like that http://timelessmemory.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/rooftop-veranda-with-firepit-and-bbq-cabo-san-lucas-mexico1152_12946851598-tpfil02aw-17475.jpg (not actual picture)

So I have many problems to think like: a) air circulation(how much watt the fan should have??) , b) temperature loss from the tubes (12 meters up and 12 down),c) tubes diameter(maybe I should get smaller tubes in order to increase pressure because it's a long way to go up and then down) and finally d) cost effective(the electric fan should be low in electricity consumption-maybe work with a solar panel)

Temperatures here in winter are never below 0 and on the sunny winter days I easily reach 40-45 degrees Celsius on the solar water system

I appreciate any help. Here in Greece the  petrol for the house is very expensive and you are not allowed to fire up the fireplace when the atmosphere is too foggy because of the many fireplaces!!

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Posts: 2,240
Reply with quote  #35 
Geia sou, DJMan,

and welcome to the site !

Just wondering if your house looks like this ?
Just to get the nomenclature right...
(trust my US counterparts will correct me if I'm wrong)


That is, we are dealing with heating of a basement (hypogéio…)  (like Scott’s).  It might be a walk-in basement, or a CELLAR (accessed from inside the house).

It would be interesting to have details of this volume, from the point of view of windows, doors, openings, aspect (facing north or west etc.)

Also, what is the present heating in this area (type – gas, electric,) and above all, the POWER of the present heating… (in kilowatts of installed system).

Also details of the structure (wood, concrete floor) (both floor and floor-above), and details of insulation (walls, floors). In fact, would be useful to know what are the OTHER floors of your house made of: guessing from the photo, I should think they are massive (masonry / concrete) floors…

Finally, can you tell us the present type of heating in your house. We are guessing you use oil, and also you apparently have an open fireplace.

Apologies for the barrage of questions !

If you can post a drawing or two, it would sure help !
One thing to bear in mind, is, if you want to get heat down from the ROOF, to the BASEMENT, you are looking at big holes in floors.

If however you currently have forced-air heating powered by a gas or oil-fired boiler, you presumably have existing DUCT WORK, which might make things a lot easier !

Otherwise, since you already have solar water, it might also be possible to heat that lower floor by water-air heat exchange… It is a bit early yet, to say.

Looking forward to getting your details, lots of ideas & help available on this site, to get you up & running !


(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
(2) It's wrote, "voilà" unless talking musical instruments...

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #36 
Thank you for the quick reply.

Do you know ancient Greek and Greeklish(Greek language with English characters) ? [smile]
You know (hypogéio…) and Geia sou! Amazing!!!!

I will try to answer all question the order(paragraph) you asked [smile]

The house is very different from yours in US. My house is something like
this one in the middle http://aanchalhomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/group-housing-at-pinjore-haryana.jpg

So west and East I have my neighbors house's and very tall trees in my front(south) and back(north) garden, 4 meters away from the house's wall.So we have no sun at all.The only place I have room to install this system is only the roof.

The house is like this--> Basement(like Scott's with windows on the
top of the wall),Ground floor(entrance-living room-kitchen), 1st floor(bedrooms) and then a stair to terrance floor
(with yellow color is the potential hot air tubes )
Pic--> house.jpg 

Entrance is facing east-south

Present heating, is house petrol (like trucks petrol).[I think in US by saying petrol you mean gas(witch common cars
use-unleaded 95)]. Each floor has 3 radiators.When we turn up the boiler we also have hot water. In the summer we have always hot water from the solar panel on the roof.

The whole house is made of  steal-armed-concrete(like all houses in Greece) with external 2.5cm felizol insulation.A normal winter requires 1,5ton of house petrol to heat the 300square meters house to 17-19 Celcius.


Can I use external tubes? I also have a fireplace in the basement witch goes up to roof.Can I use this? But then, I wont be able to use the fireplace(which either way I don't use too much-only 3 times in the winter just with friends).

I wish I HAD DUCT system !!!! Here in Greece all house have radiators with petrol boilers.

I have also think of that.A solar panel with water or glycol and then small tubes(1inch) to the basement on a radiator(maybe?)


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Posts: 1,102
Reply with quote  #37 
Might be time to start a thread in the Member Projects! section


Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #38 
Yeap. I think too! I am transfering the 3 last posts to a new one. Garage_Hermit see you there [smile]
link--> http://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/new-to-hot-air-systembuild-questions-7077368?pid=1284269878#post1284269878

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #39 
Hello all. My name is Angie, and I'm a 50+ year old single woman (with a mechanical aptitude. I used to build motorcycles.) I'm new to this forum, today. I have not tried any solar heating (yet) and I'm hoping I can learn a lot here. I also hope this forum is still active and I can ask questions later when I get to work. I just looked up "small scale solar heaters" on Google this morning, and after watching hours of videos, I found a link here on a video by G. Scott Davis. 

I live in an older 12 X 60 mobile home in West central Wisconsin. Heating this place has been extremely expensive, and in recent years with heating oil prices going up and up, I have had to install an old wood burning furnace (salvaged from an old farm house) to cut costs. 

Unfortunately, the price of firewood is now up, because the supply is running low (apparently paper makers are getting to it first). As a consequence of all these rising costs, I am now looking at building a series of solar heat collectors to try to save money over the course of the Wisconsin winter months.

A little about the house; built in 1965 by Liberty Homes, it's corrugated steel outside, approx. 2" frame, poorly insulated with fiberglass (I have fixed what I can access with 3" fiberglass), wood paneled interior walls. It sits about 28" off the ground with corrugated metal skirting to keep the wind from entering under the house. Has a bowed metal roof.

I have access to a lot of CocaCola and Mountain Dew cans because almost everyone I know drinks a lot of both (I don't drink sodas, I am addicted to coffee). Because of this my plans are to build my collectors from cans, but I am not yet sure how I can move the heated air into the house.

In the next few weeks I plan to ask a lot of questions about heat collector construction, placement, automation for fans (and maybe automated for the best alignment to the sun) and maybe even some about building solar panels to power the fans in the heat collectors. I only hope this forum can provide some answers because I'm so new at this I'm not even sure how to ask the right questions.

Well, that's all. I just thought I should introduce myself and let you know my motivations for future discussions. [smile]

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Super Moderator
Posts: 2,446
Reply with quote  #40 
Hi Angie-

Welcome! This forum is very active. And now that many parts of the country are experiencing the first chill of autumn, you can bet things will be much busier. Can you tell us how your home is situated? Is the 60' side facing south? Or better yet, do you have a photo of your house from the South that we can assess? It might give us some insight as to your situation and how we can help. 

Greg in MN[wave]
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