I’ve started part 2 of my solar heat project.. Its been a while! My little guy which had just 12 cans I think worked day in day out (as long as it was sunny). At the time I did calculate how much money I was saving, it was about $13 from my little solar heater (Calculations in this blog: 359)
The new heater is about 4 times the size, 40 cans. Savings estimated between $30 and $40 a year. I’m more hoping that the ‘savings’ are greater based on the relative comfort of the colder upstairs area, if I can push a bit of extra hot air up there, the relative increase in comfort will likely be more valuable then the cost of fuel saved. Realistically, we will burn the same amount of wood, but the heat doesn’t migrate upstairs well so this will add a bit of comfort to the up stairs. Is it noticeable? Well,… the heat coming out of the little guy when the sun is out is significant, you can definitely notice it. Does it provide more then one human being up there breathing in and out? Thats a very good question.
As suggested before, the ‘ideal’ solution (and I put it in quotes because its not real feasible) is to have 2 or 3 4×8 panels on the side of the house collecting hot air or a full thermal mass wall. These would, on a sunny day, produce significant heat. They suggest one 4×8 panel for 1000 square feet or so I believe as it will heat an area that size noticeable / efficiently
I have a bunch more photos to post for ‘in progress’ display of the solar heater which I will post once I have this one going. I have a LOT more cans to use up too! If I had a decent shop area, I’d get to work on a 4×8 panel or something of significant size. Stay tuned!
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