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  • second season update...

    Last year I built a solar window heater that mounts over the window inside the house. I put a 12 volt fan salvaged from a computer tower in it and made a PV-panel with very marginal cells left over from a larger project.

    I left the PV-panel on the roof all year. I painted the outside/inside with white exterior paint. The panel is made of 1/4" plywood. I used window-pane glass on the front. I made a frame to hold the panel from an old lawn chair. The aluminum tubing is great to work with and it's pre-bent so you just cut it to length and assemble.

    I just finished re-roofing the house and during that time had to temperarily remove the PV-panel.

    The paint was cracked and peeling on the exterior of the panel and one of my solder joints came apart. I can see the cell and I'm not surprised as it's one of my early attempts. All the other connections are solid and the panel is functioning well. I touched-up the paint.


    I also have another PV-panel that I made that is running a fan in another heater in a different window that is also working well with no problems and it's in it's 3rd season without any maintenance.

    Here in Nebraska we get extreme weather from every spectrum. I'm glad to see my little panels are still working and in good shape.

    It's getting cold here and my solar-heaters are all running to help heat the house when the sun is shining.

    The PV-panels are hooked directly to the fans with nothing in-between. I tested small arrays of cells until I got the right voltage to run the fans. When a cloud passes over the sun they slow down. Over time that might put some stress on the fans but they were free as I salvaged them from discarded computers.

    All the above being said, guys like Sun-King are right. Home-made PV-panels are not worth the time or trouble or $$$$$

    However.................Home-made Solar Heaters are worth their weight in GOLD!!!

  • #2
    Agreed 100% - the yield on a solar thermal panel can easily be above 50% whereas a PV panel is doing exceptionally well to reach close to 20%.

    Solar thermal is far more practical for the DIY type as well.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    • #3
      Originally posted by russ View Post
      Agreed 100% - the yield on a solar thermal panel can easily be above 50% whereas a PV panel is doing exceptionally well to reach close to 20%.

      Solar thermal is far more practical for the DIY type as well.
      Agreed
      NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

      [URL="http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showthread.php?5334-Solar-Off-Grid-Battery-Design"]http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design[/URL]

      [URL]http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html[/URL] (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

      [URL="http://www.gaisma.com"]www.gaisma.com[/URL]

      Comment


      • #4
        opinions??

        Has anyone seen a quality diy solar heating system design they would recommend?? I would love any recommendations for a inside the window solar air heater
        thanks in advance!
        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Jeff - Take a look at these documents -

          1) From Rodale - you will have to search for it - I don't have the URL [SIZE=2][B] [/B]Rules Of Thumb For Solar Air Collectors[/SIZE]

          2) http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...AirHtingBk.htm

          3) http://www.builditsolar.com/Experime...ting/Index.htm

          I am looking at one using thin wall aluminum tube - say 1mm wall thickness
          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Guys,

            Love this site and am obsessed with energy conservation/self generated energy.

            I just finished a proof of concept panel to convince my wife that a solar thermal panel is a viable heating supplement. I now plan on incorporating 2 panels into our south facing front porch when it gets rebuilt next year.

            My panel design is based roughly on this one.



            Build it solar has TONS of designs.


            [B]Mod note[/B] - The 'Rules of thumb' are a copyrighted document and plagarized from Rodale so have been deleted - credit is given but permission to copy the document is not mentioned. The section about storage is pretty much nonsense - a potential health hazard with minimum value - sounds cool but heat transfer doesn't really work that way. The 'rules of thumb for solar air collectors' can be found by using search.

            The project is a great one and we will look forward to hearing how it goes.[U]




            [/U]
            Last edited by russ; 12-09-2011, 11:31 AM. Reason: removed section

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