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Posts: 1,845
Reply with quote  #41 
   Cans will take too long to collect, and is a long finicky build. Look at screen heaters both here and on another great site called Build it Solar,   http://www.builditsolar.com/   lots of great info there on conservation and solar projects.

  Dan, from Duluth MN


Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #42 
Hi Greg, and thanks for the reply [smile]

My house, unfortunately is situated almost exactly north and south. Only the "short side" faces south. But I have a good sized lot, and another empty lot that I rent next to mine on the west side. So I have room to spread out a bit. My issue presently is the trees. I will put a photo up when I start a new thread about all this all, so as not to clutter up this welcome area. Although my alignment isn't perfect, having only 12 feet of wall directly south, I have noticed that most of the day the sun is in the south west. I might be able to angle my (future) collectors at the sun, and maybe even mechanically turn the collectors to track the sun during the day. (I have a lot of interesting old garden tractor/motorcycle parts in 2 sheds, and I'm sure I can build pivoting bases or something). I just have to figure out how to move the heated air into the house without losing the hard won BTUs [wink]


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Posts: 3,058
Reply with quote  #43 
I'm not impressed with solar trackers. They DO work but being mechanical they are expensive and require maintenance. For the money it's probably cheaper and less hassle to build a bigger or more collectors.
Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay

Posts: 720
Reply with quote  #44 
Welcome Angie!

I agree, can panels are alot of work & trackers aren't necessary for flat panels. Take the cans to recyclers & use the cash to buy aluminum screen & materials.

When you are ready, start a new topic in the projects section.

Pictures are priceless for us fellow solar bugs. I'm sure we can come up with a workable
panel for your home.

You mention a 12' area....that may be a good area. The last 2 years I've used a 8'L x 3'H panel
feeeding hot air into my living room (22'W x 32'L). It provided enough heat to keep my furnace
from running on sunny days.

Welcome again & looking forward to your new project.

Central IL
Solar air & water
(rider also)

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #45 

Great site - looking forward to lurking/learning about this.  I insulated my garage last spring so I can us it in the winter as a work shop.  I purchase a vented propane heater but only want to use it in the nights.  I just looked at some electric solar panels for a project to add heating during the day - and maybe store some excess energy into some batteries for use at night but the $ added up fast. I think the panels are cheap enough - 89 cents/watt for a 305 watt panel but then you start adding everything else and things get crazy. 

I have been looking at solar air heating on and off and finally found this page -- fantastic! I don't think anyone could ask for more when it comes to place for free info on such a valuable topic.  The hours and dollars put into building testing and info sharing!!! 

Anyway, thanks in advance and hope to put forth some ideas to get some priceless feed back.

Cheers, Patrick


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Super Moderator
Posts: 2,461
Reply with quote  #46 
Hi Patrick-


Solar air heating is a very easy, cheap and effective way to add heat to your home or garage. I live in Minnesota and solar air heat saved me a lot of money in a very frigid winter. Where are you located and how big is your garage?

Greg in MN[wave]

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #47 
Thanks Greg -- Just north of Toronto Ontario  - 2 car garage.  

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Super Moderator
Posts: 2,461
Reply with quote  #48 
We have plenty of Canadians in our group. Actually, we have members from all over the world. Does the side or back of your garage face south?


Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #49 
The front faces a little more south east I estimate.


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Posts: 1,108
Reply with quote  #50 
Welcome Patrick. Might be an idea to start a thread about your project in the Member Projects section

Member Projects - Please use a topic title that includes your name and brief description

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