Solar Hot Air Collector

Status: Completed

This is a look back at a project from 2006-2008.  The concept is based on similar projects using panels with metal sheet plates, pop cans, and similar systems to gather solar energy in a passive collector. A fan is used to circulate air through a closed duct system, heating the air as it flows through the area heated by the sun.

General Details:

  • External dimensions approx 4′ X 8′
  • 6″ wide extruded aluminum exterior frame (used in commercial signage) (~$110)
  • 3/4″ sides and 1″ back foiled faced foam board insulation core – Polyisocyanurate Foam Sheathing (John Manville AP Foiled Face)  (~$40)
  • 14 – 3″ aluminum ducting collector tubes (dryer vent flexible ducting) (~$85)
  • Painted with Solkote selective solar coating paint (1L) sprayed on (~$60)
  • 1/8″ Lexan/Tuffak XL glazing  (~$100-$120)
  • Johnson Controls A419 temperature control (~$80)
  • 6″ Inlet fan, ~150CFM on 5″ outlet (Dayton 4WT42A or Fantec FA-6)  (~$50-$110)
  • Ducts and foam glued in place with silicon (regular and high heat for top box)  (~$15)
  • 3M 5200 Adhesive/Selant to seal glazing to frame.  (~$15)
  • Assembly brackets, rivets, etc (~$25)
  • Mounting aluminum angle iron 8′ (~$35)
  • Collector box front aluminum panels ~1/16 10.5″X4′ (~$15)
  • Total materials cost approx $625-$725 depending on materials used and current pricing.
  • All prices are approx in $CDN before taxes.

Heating Performace:

  • Under clear bright conditions at mid day typically see a ~40F-45F temperature rise from inlet to outlet (from ~65-70F in to ~100-115F out).  Air is ducted from basement floor through unit and out into basement ceiling.
  • Airflow on outlet of ~150CFM
  • Typical output of ~5500-7000BTUs output per hour

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