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So the problem is that on sunny days we *should* open all our curtains so that the light can hit and heat up the room, the floor, the items in the room etc. Our curtains are mostly white which means they don’t retain the heat and even worse they reflect it back outwards and generally don’t tend to help in heating the house or ambient air.
We could be super vigilant and make sure to open all curtains when the sun comes out but realistically that won’t happen, and Arden needs naps for which we have a dark curtain covering the window for. Yes dark but still not doing anything to assist in the movement and collection of all the sun is giving off.
A solar panel with a fan attached would be ideal but its whiny / noisy, works for one room that is empty upstairs but we don’t want it in our room (though most the time we aren’t in there during the sunny portions of the day, and we don’t want it in Ardens room where she may be trying to nap. The less sound pollution the better for growing children!
The solution? I’ve taken my first solar heat collector that had a fan in it (the fan is used now in my larger unit) and modified it to be a completely passive unit, collecting the sun and using convection to move the air. Not 100% ideal, probably not making as much use of of the suns energy but making more use out of it then closed white curtains on the window.
First image is of the partially modified first solar heater / collector. The sides were too tall to catch the angles of the sun passing our window and the collector / aggregator on top where the fan was housed is no longer need, and infact impedes the convection needed to get by without a fan pulling the air through.
Will it work? Well, it will collect the suns rays more for sure, and is better then nothing. I need again a full windows width unit to maxmize this, that will be my next project for Ardens window which is otherwise closed all day long.
I’ve also seen some really inventive solar collectors which hang out the window so you can take them away in the summer but then you need to otherwise seal the window around the collector. I’d love to make that one (as opposed to having permanent ones outside with holes cut through the house etc), but it costs money and I have other projects. I’ll make due with my pop cans and cardboard for now, again, every little bit helps so better to do it now than wait until I have all the best materials and plans – which may never happen!
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