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Pop can solar heater...  RSS feed

 
Eddie Roberts
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I built a pop can solar heater using 256 cans (the first photo shows 240 cans but once i put them in my heater i saw that i had room for 16 more). I haven't got the headers or the polycarbonate sheeting sealed yet (waiting for another tube of high heat silcone) but i wanted to test it so i put it together without sealing it. It was putting in 60 degree air from my house and it got up to 218.5 degrees at the exhaust. I was only using a small fan to move the air through it but i was impressed. The next day i had a bigger fan (around 100 cfm) and the heater got up to 201 degrees. It wasn't cold out though so the real test will be when the winter hits. I'm hoping to get it sealed soon because the temperatures are starting to drop here in Newfoundland, Canada...



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Will Holland
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Location: CT zone 5b
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My fathernhas been telling me to try this. Interested to see what your results are.
 
Eddie Roberts
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Here's a couple videos posted on youtube showing the temps they get in winter...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33QXwqNtnmY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOtNDVQYa6s
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Eddie Roberts : If you have had chance to spend a little time with this can you give us your immediate impressions !

One good source of plans is through Instructables.com ! What was your source of plans ?! Big AL
 
                    
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Location: AR ~ozark mountain range~zone7a
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Nice efficient set-up you have Eddie. I found your results very interesting.

Is it good practice to block off the intake & exh ports to prevent night time heat loss from the room to the solar panel?

Because your sealing can upon can, do you think that the many baffles created by the ends of the cans connecting, better collect heat, than if it was a simple 6' long non-baffled tubes were used?

james beam

 
Eddie Roberts
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allen lumley wrote:Eddie Roberts : If you have had chance to spend a little time with this can you give us your immediate impressions !

One good source of plans is through Instructables.com ! What was your source of plans ?! Big AL
The only testing i've done so far is in my original comments. I have not yet tested it in cold weather but from what i've seen and read on the internet, there won't be much difference in the heat that it puts out in the winter as what it's putting out now. It works from the sun's light not the sun's heat so it will still be putting out nice temperatures hopefully.

My source of plans was looking at alot of youtube videos...
 
Eddie Roberts
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james beam wrote:Nice efficient set-up you have Eddie. I found your results very interesting.

Is it good practice to block off the intake & exh ports to prevent night time heat loss from the room to the solar panel?

Because your sealing can upon can, do you think that the many baffles created by the ends of the cans connecting, better collect heat, than if it was a simple 6' long non-baffled tubes were used?

james beam

Yes block it off or you can get vents that automatically close when the fan is off to prevent heat from leaving the house.

The cans i used have holes drilled in them so now the cans act as a tube. The longer the tubes the better because it gives the air more time to heat up before coming into the house.

Here's a pic of the top and bottom of a can after being drilled...
 
Eddie Roberts
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I have to make a correction. My original comments was wrong. Instead of my heater putting out 218.5 degrees with a small fan, this is an error. My heater got up to 218.5 degrees WITHOUT a fan. (Just by letting the air heat up in the heater without any air flow.) WITH the small fan putting in 60 degree temperature from my house the temperature was 201 degrees when the air came back to the house from the heater. Now i have even a bigger fan the temperature is down to about 175 degrees with more air flow which makes it more efficient...
 
Dan Grubbs
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Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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There's a particular tea product out on the market that uses taller cans, but also thicker aluminum in their cans. I'm constructing my can heater out of these, but I guess I just assumed a thicker aluminum would be better in this case. Is that a correct assumption?
 
Eddie Roberts
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Dan Grubbs wrote:There's a particular tea product out on the market that uses taller cans, but also thicker aluminum in their cans. I'm constructing my can heater out of these, but I guess I just assumed a thicker aluminum would be better in this case. Is that a correct assumption?
I'm not an expert at this. I got all my info from youtube. My guess is that the thin aluminum would be better, it would absorb and release the heat quicker than thicker aluminum would. This is just my guess so i could be wrong. Coors Light beer cans (not sure about their regular beer cans) are almost twice as tall as pop cans too...

https://www.google.ca/search?q=coors+light+beer+can+images&client=firefox-a&hs=SK9&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&channel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=3z48VLmLMoahyQTR-YCIDA&ved=0CB4QsAQ&biw=1193&bih=618
 
Eddie Roberts
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Today it was about 14 degrees F outside (-10 Celsius) and my fan was blowing into the heater from my house 60 degrees F (18 Celsius) and the air returning from the heater was 167 degrees F (75 Celsius). That's 117 degree rise from the air temp going in and then coming back out. That's pretty good considering that this is the day with the shortest daylight of the year here in Canada and the sun is pretty low in the sky. I got this one up for sale for $1200.00 OBO if anyone is interested. I want to build a bigger one...
 
Michael Young
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Eddie Roberts wrote: it got up to 218.5 degrees at the exhaust

SWEET!! Nice job
 
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