diy solar heater -DIY Solar Heater

March 21, 2013 – 6:22 am

** Using the “pop can solar heater” method, I built this solar heater this winter to better heat my tool shed. Video Rating: 4 / 5

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  1. 25 Responses to “diy solar heater -DIY Solar Heater”

  2. wouldnt glass be more efficient?

    By ArduinoMan101 on Mar 21, 2013

  3. Very nicely done, seems like it was a successful test well worth the effort. I wonder if you can push it more if you use 15 cans and use the last 5 with soup cans since they are slightly thicker and have ridges that would keep in the heat better and condense?

    By VAND4LL on Mar 21, 2013

  4. Great video. I just kind of wish that people didn’t always have loud background music playing, as sometimes it makes it hard to hear what you’re saying, or is just distracting, and some people can’t focus on what you’re saying. Other than that, thank you! This taught me quite a bit

    By thegoodfaery on Mar 21, 2013

  5. To the tubing/snake folks. You want maximum temperature difference between the (cold) air and the (hot) cans for most efficient thermal transfer (hot to cold). What’s the point of the 100th can, if it can only add a degree or two of extra heat to air that’s already been super-heated by the previous 99 cans? Best to have lots of optimum-height columns of cans.

    Well, that’s my view, anyway.

    But I’d like to know what the optimum height is (I guess it’s about 15 cans, max). Any ideas?


    By sorrythatnametaken on Mar 21, 2013

  6. I see people wonder about “snaking” the cans in the solar furnace…. Somethings I’ve learned in my air conditioning class are…. The more temp difference/the more loss there will be. A (calculated loss per ambient temperature vs. furnace temperature “heat moves to cold” and the amount of insulation in the heater will determine heat loss) You also need to know how many cfm (tons) your building requires (Manual J) :-) a small bathroom requires no less than 50 cfm :-) although….. Conventional

    By crawldood on Mar 21, 2013

  7. well done, excellent.

    By Anthony James on Mar 21, 2013

  8. The Plexiglass was 3/16 thck and was probably the most expensive part. I think a sheet was about 60 dollars. good luk with your project Ramrod

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  9. how much was the glass and where did you find it?

    By thegenrl on Mar 21, 2013

  10. @000Winter000 No step by step ins only pix are on utube. I used 4×8 sheet of plwoodfor back and made it fit to that. I have just put a small furnace fan on to get enoujgh heat out . It seems air flow is the biggest thing to work out so you can get the heat out .  Today was warm 38degrees but panel was putting out 110 degree air into garage Pretty cool huh? Good Luk

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  11. Any do-it-yourself project is inspiring. But this is especially so. With winter around the corner, this video definitely gives some food for thought.

    By HorizSvcs on Mar 21, 2013

  12. tubing as in..any kind of hose or something to link the cans. arrange them horizontally . the air goes across left to right and is then turned by a tube, then back right to left on the next level up. etc etc.

    By ariana29x on Mar 21, 2013

  13. I dont know exactly what you mean about tubing

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  14. Think of it as a system though, the only energy going IN is from the sun over that surface area painted black. Letting the air cycle through longer will get it hotter, but you will have slower flow so your total energy will be the same if you have good insulation like you talked about. I guess snaking some cans if you want very hot air would be good to heat water or something, so you can store the energy overnight? Also remember that snaking the cans will kill your natural convection

    By bradkrit on Mar 21, 2013

  15. well then insulate more and use a double glazed sheet instead of plexiglass. use a solar powered fan to drive the air. i still say snaking the cans (perhaps 50% of them) would create more heat . so what if you lose a bit through insulation , provided you are producing lots more.

    By ariana29x on Mar 21, 2013

  16. If he did that the cans would have heated up too much. The higher the temp of the cans and air, the more you are losing through insulation and the plexiglass. You want to get the heat out as quickly as possible to avoid losses, so a lower temperature, but higher flow rate is actually better. Remember its about air volume and temperature, not just temp.

    By bradkrit on Mar 21, 2013

  17. why did you not snake the air through all the cans (link all cans with tubing ) more time for air to travel and heat?? bottom to top

    By ariana29x on Mar 21, 2013

  18. plexiglass was 5/16 i think

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  19. Oh, one question about your build. How thick was the glass you used?

    By qcages on Mar 21, 2013

  20. Thanks Have fun building your heater and good luck

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  21. awesome! this is one of the most successful heater builds i’ve seen so far! I’m collecting cans to make a small prototype by this winter to see how it goes in my location.

    By qcages on Mar 21, 2013

  22. I ended up going up to an old style furnace fan that had the pulleys and belt and got the rite pulley ratio to get the air movement I needed. I was havin trouble gettin the heat out so had to go a lot bigger on the fan good luk

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  23. Can you comment on the 80 cfm fan? are you happy with the output?

    By onesojourner on Mar 21, 2013

  24. I checked all the floor vents in my house and the hot air that comes out is about 130 degrees f. It seems to me that if you were to add a second intake and exhoust vent that you could double your air flow and the air temprature should still be high enough to keep you comfortable while the sun is shining. Give it some thought…

    By charles burnett on Mar 21, 2013

  25. Yes I move it indoors in summer.
    A freind has made a cover to put over it though and says it works well.

    By ramrod573 on Mar 21, 2013

  26. In addition to @problah question, how has it held up during the summer months? Do you/should you make something like this portable enough to move indoors?

    By Mike Garde on Mar 21, 2013

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