Saturday, 11 May 2013

Solar air heater. Phase 1, Introduction, prototype design and required materials.

After seeing several websites giving instructions on home built solar energy collectors I decided to have a go and build one for myself out of recycled or scavenged materials for as little cost as possible.
I don't know who to credit for the original design as there are so many variations on different sites, but if anyone knows I'll be happy to credit the original designer.

After looking at many different designs I decided on building a solar air heater rather than a water heater because it looks like it might be a simple build and I should be able to scavenge most of the materials if I don't have them already.
The main component of the air heater will be the heat collector. This will be made from empty drinks cans with holes drilled through the bottoms stacked and sealed into tubes. The tubes will be connected together with a manifold at the bottom for the intake of cold air and one at the top for the output of warmed air.

Initial collector design.

As you can see I haven't got a clue with CAD.

The parts list for the project so far is:

Empty drinks cans.                        - Collected
Insulation or polystyrene board.      - Needed
Plywood or similar.                       - Have already
Matt black paint.                           - Needed
Exterior paint.                              - Have already
Glass/Polycarbonate.                     - Needed
Sealant, glue, fittings etc.              - Mostly have already

No doubt as the build evolves from the prototype stage the parts list will increase.

Coming next... The start of the build, let drilling commence.

Have fun,

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