Solar Heating Calculations

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I FINALLY found a site that has a great little calculator for BTUs so I can figure out what my little solar furnace is producing.

Here is a great Watt / BTU / Joules / everyting calculator:
http://www.mhi-inc.com/Converter/watt_calculator.htm

To calculate the ball park figure for what your house requires for heating:
http://www.valorfireplaces.com/education/btu_calculator.php

Here are the numbers:

Picture 2

So basically, my little solar panel is heating half a percent of our house,.. hey, thats not bad for free :). That equates to $13.50 of fuel savings a year 😛 .. Ok, not that impressive. How about the fullsize 4×8, this calculates out to $216. Now we’re saving some tangible money. I have two of these units, so in theory I could be saving $432 a year. (this is based on spending $2700 on oil a year for heating / hot water, may be more or less).

Because I got the solar panels free (originally solar hot water panels, converted to hot air), the cost here is the solar panel and the fan to pump out the air. The panel is $10, and the fan (brand new) is $16. So the panel itself would be paid back in months. Getting stuff for free is great!

Will write more later.

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3 thoughts on “Solar Heating Calculations

  1. That’s cool Micah.
    Every little bit helps.
    It’s neat that you can build stuff for free and just experiment.
    Sounds like fun!
    If you need any more computer fans, let me know. I might have a couple.

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