passive solar heat - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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passive solar heat

@cycledude,
you recently posted about using solar heat in your garage and I did not want to hijack that thread. I am assuming you made a passive solar panel. I am gathering materials for the same. I got 3 pieces of glass about 45" x 75" x 1" thick free from a supplier I work with. Right now I'm waiting on some aluminum framing which is also free. I'm curious what material you used on the inside of yours. I was going to pm you, but thought this subject would be of interest to some others here. It's free heat!

Last edited by CAC; 12-04-2015 at 06:00 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by CAC View Post
@cycledude,
you recently posted about using solar heat in your garage and I did not want to hijack that thread. I am assuming you made a passive solar panel. I am gathering materials for the same. I got 3 pieces of glass about 45" x 75" x 1" thick free from a supplier I work with. Right now I'm waiting on some aluminum framing which is also free. I'm curious what material you used on the inside of yours. I was going to pm you, but thought this subject would be of interest to some others here. It's free heat!
Cool!
This is a GREAT post for the OTE.

Solar heat to keep your 'WINGS warm.
I love it.

Thanks

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 10:53 AM
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Sharing my experience

I did some home experiments with solar heating in 1975. I was impressed. I built a 4' X 4' panel about 4 inches deep with a plywood bottom and pine board sides with a Plexiglas cover. Bent up 1/2" aluminum tubing for water to circulate in and out and used a small barrel for a reservoir and aquarium pump to circulate the water. Painted the inside of the panel and tubing dark flat green. It was amazing how the sun can heat a liquid.

Also if you have ever been around a house that has a porch closed in by glass facing southwest in the winter you will be impressed with how warm the porch is. Many people use fans to send the natural heat to warm the rest of the house.

Personally, I believe we need to put more effort into solar heating and use solar electrical panels in a limited 'smarter; way until the technology improves.

I remember reading about a guy that heat his garage with solar in the winter by hanging a big panel about 8 inches deep on the outside wall that the sun hit during the day. It was painted with a flat dark paint inside with glass front . It had fans installed that pushed cold air into the panel on one side and forced the solar heated air out holes on the other side. He seemed pretty happy with it.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 02:39 PM
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I did some home experiments with solar heating in 1975. I was impressed. I built a 4' X 4' panel about 4 inches deep with a plywood bottom and pine board sides with a Plexiglas cover. Bent up 1/2" aluminum tubing for water to circulate in and out and used a small barrel for a reservoir and aquarium pump to circulate the water. Painted the inside of the panel and tubing dark flat green. It was amazing how the sun can heat a liquid.

Also if you have ever been around a house that has a porch closed in by glass facing southwest in the winter you will be impressed with how warm the porch is. Many people use fans to send the natural heat to warm the rest of the house.

Personally, I believe we need to put more effort into solar heating and use solar electrical panels in a limited 'smarter; way until the technology improves.

I remember reading about a guy that heat his garage with solar in the winter by hanging a big panel about 8 inches deep on the outside wall that the sun hit during the day. It was painted with a flat dark paint inside with glass front . It had fans installed that pushed cold air into the panel on one side and forced the solar heated air out holes on the other side. He seemed pretty happy with it.
I did about the same but I made 2 4'x8' panels using 1x6 8' boards, 1/2" plywood 1" foam board in back, sides spray painted flat black. Facing it top left I cut register size hole and opposite bottom same. Clear Plastic front with two small low speed computer fans hooked to a 110v thermostat that I set to about 80 or so. Using a meat thermometer it would register up to 190 coming from the fans in January at about zero outside sunny day. Back then with the windows on my10' x 16' porch and the 2 panels I had enough sq. ft. To equal requirements for a solar greenhouse. I had about 5K in building the finished room and got back around $1600 or so from great uncle and a 50% tax deduction forever. So room was taxed at about 10K back then in which $5k was tax free so I paid 50% of that in taxes. Or tax on $2500. Great investment. Funny part since I had to get building permit my city kept coming out about once a month to see if it was finished so they could tax me. The look on guys face when I said it was done and he had checked it all out and said I'd be taxed on the 10k. Then I handed him the papers from the state saying 50% off. PRICELESS. You'd think it was coming out his own pocket.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I did about the same but I made 2 4'x8' panels using 1x6 8' boards, 1/2" plywood 1" foam board in back, sides spray painted flat black. Facing it top left I cut register size hole and opposite bottom same. Clear Plastic front with two small low speed computer fans hooked to a 110v thermostat that I set to about 80 or so. Using a meat thermometer it would register up to 190 coming from the fans in January at about zero outside sunny day. Back then with the windows on my10' x 16' porch and the 2 panels I had enough sq. ft. To equal requirements for a solar greenhouse. I had about 5K in building the finished room and got back around $1600 or so from great uncle and a 50% tax deduction forever. So room was taxed at about 10K back then in which $5k was tax free so I paid 50% of that in taxes. Or tax on $2500. Great investment. Funny part since I had to get building permit my city kept coming out about once a month to see if it was finished so they could tax me. The look on guys face when I said it was done and he had checked it all out and said I'd be taxed on the 10k. Then I handed him the papers from the state saying 50% off. PRICELESS. You'd think it was coming out his own pocket.
nice! I am going to start with just the box heaters and see how it goes. From what I've read, and I'm not sure it is completely correct, windows and thermal mass is more efficient if the building's situation allows for it. With the glass passive box there would be no tax increase and I'm not sure if the cost of a solar sun room would justify cost vs.the gain with a retrofit. If I needed more space right now, it would definitely be a solar room on the south side. If I ever build again, the house would be oriented to the south and not the road. Right now my house has bedrooms on the south end and I don't need the heat there. I've been pondering this for over a year now and I think for me, a couple passive solar heat boxes is the best for me, especially with three big 1" thick pieces of free glass and frames.
I am going to experiment with a couple different materials inside the box. From what I've read vented aluminum soffit rates up there pretty high, but I got to thinking about my "Geo Deck" I have that I removed when I closed in my back porch, that crap gets hot! Once I paint it black it will get even hotter. Here is a picture of the decking I am talking about:


The glass that I have is 45" x 75" x 1" thick and I plan to have it standing 75" high and run this decking material the 45" way stacking it 75" high. My plan is to use aluminum coil stock and fabricate end caps so that the air zig zags back and forth through each 5 1/2" piece to the top. It will create a long path for the air to be heated. Of course this is all working only in my mind, but I really think I can get some extremely hot air exiting the top. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Last edited by CAC; 12-04-2015 at 06:38 PM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Elder View Post
I did some home experiments with solar heating in 1975. I was impressed. I built a 4' X 4' panel about 4 inches deep with a plywood bottom and pine board sides with a Plexiglas cover. Bent up 1/2" aluminum tubing for water to circulate in and out and used a small barrel for a reservoir and aquarium pump to circulate the water. Painted the inside of the panel and tubing dark flat green. It was amazing how the sun can heat a liquid.

Also if you have ever been around a house that has a porch closed in by glass facing southwest in the winter you will be impressed with how warm the porch is. Many people use fans to send the natural heat to warm the rest of the house.

Personally, I believe we need to put more effort into solar heating and use solar electrical panels in a limited 'smarter; way until the technology improves.

I remember reading about a guy that heat his garage with solar in the winter by hanging a big panel about 8 inches deep on the outside wall that the sun hit during the day. It was painted with a flat dark paint inside with glass front . It had fans installed that pushed cold air into the panel on one side and forced the solar heated air out holes on the other side. He seemed pretty happy with it.
I've thought about using water, but the cost of materials for me gets a little pricey. It would have to be a closed system with glycol in it in PA with a heat exchanger. I want to keep it simple to start and move on from there. I have to be careful with the costs, since I heat my house with only 275 gallons of fuel or less per year. I am going to start with air and thermal siphon in lieu of a fan and see how it works. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 09:19 PM
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Here in Wi we have recycled glycol pretty reasonable. I do understand you wanting to keep it simple and the cost down. I have always wanted to build a solar unit for my shop. I will be watching this closely

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 11:54 PM
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My solar panel is actually the south wall of the building, it's 11.5 x 30 and covered with clear Lexan like you get in snowmobile goggles except it's corogated for use as sheeting on a building, I chose Lexan because it's pretty much unbreakable and supposed to never yellow, behind the Lexan is a 3 inch air space, then flat steel painted black, then 6 inches of fiberglass insulation, the inside wall is sheeted with blandex, there are 2 6 inch openings that run the length of the wall, one opening at the top and one at the bottom , when the sun shines through the Lexan and hits the black steel the air gets heated, heated air naturally rises to the top so I have warm air coming out the top 6 inch opening and cooler air from inside the building is drawn into the bottom, no moving parts, i think it all works incredibly well. I built it in 1992 and so far it's been maintenance free, if I was building a new shop I would most likely do the same thing again. I will try to take some pictures and post them
This morning at 10 it was 34 degrees outside and 80 degrees in the garage about 2 feet from the ceiling where I have a great big thermometer hanging. Occasionally it gets uncomfortably warm but all I have to do is open the door for a few minutes and it cools off very quick. One thing I really like about the solar circulation is the inside of my garage is always nice and dry, never damp.

Last edited by cycledude; 12-06-2015 at 12:07 AM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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@cycledude ,
do you have a way to close off the vents at night? I like the idea of a full wall, but definitely see it over heating. I have a 12 x 20 shed, I may give a test on it,. But I would put one opening at the bottom and one at the opposite end at the top and both would be able to close. I am also just making mine with no fans. Simple is best. I am fortunate to have access to free materials, so my cost is all but nil. Makes sense to experiment on my shed before cutting into my house. I'll test a couple different materials first. I wonder if it would make a difference in yours if you didn't have the too and bottom completely open? My thoughts (but I don't know) is that by making the air travel further it would get hotter. The air would get hotter but also cool more as it was drawn through the building, possibly making it hotter at one end vs the other end. Without being able to close it off at night it would work backwards and cool things down quick.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 08:35 AM
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On mine they had me put a plastic flap on the bottom vent to keep the cold air into returning into the room. My 10 x 16 solar room was unbeaten and sliding door into kitchen was kept closed unless it was hot enough to open.
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