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Rhino shelter

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Posted by Van Chocstraw on August 11, 2009, 12:55 pm
I have one of those gray Rhino shelters that get very hot inside when
the sun is out. I thought of putting another one right next to the house
and piping the hot air into the house in cool weather. A kind of poor
man's solar heater. I'm sure if I make it more air tight it should heat
even better. Anybody tried this?

Posted by Morris Dovey on August 11, 2009, 2:57 pm
Van Chocstraw wrote:

(Appreciative nod to Ken Maltby)

If you don't already have another one, you might do better to look at
some of the more efficient DIY collector designs at
http://www.builditsolar.com  and spend the same (probably less) on
materials to build your own solar heating panels. You can produce
satisfying amounts of heat on a poor man's budget. :)

While they appear to be a convenient solution to short-term storage
problems, the Rhino shelters are likely to be shorter-lived and very
lossy (due to lack of insulation) compared to actual air-heating solar

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by Ulysses on August 15, 2009, 6:55 pm

Hi Morris.  I went to that web site and all I found was books for sale.  Is
there a link to how to build heating panels that I didn't find?

I've done a little with solar thermal and it all seems very insignificant
until I estimate how much propane I'm saving and then it IS significant.

and spend the same (probably less) on

Posted by Morris Dovey on August 15, 2009, 7:54 pm

Ulysses wrote:

On Gary's home page (link above), scroll down to "Projects" and "Solar
Heating" and click on "Space". On the page that comes up, click on
either "Passive space heating systems" (yea!) or "Active space heating
systems" (boo!).

I have an obvious bias toward passive systems. :)

If you follow the "Passive" link and click on the first offering, then
you'll have a chance to read about a successful project Gary did on his
own place and wrote up for a couple of publications. At least the Mother
Earth News article is worth reading (I haven't read the other).

[ There's a lot of daylight between Gary's designs and mine, but I think
that's because he's trying to provide inexpensive, easy-to-build, DIY
solutions while my efforts to maximize performance has led to somewhat
more expensive materials and tooling than is available to most DIY folks. ]

Gary is a regular at news:alt.solar.thermal and is pretty good about
answering questions.

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by Ulysses on August 17, 2009, 11:07 pm

I thought that was what I did.  Guess not.  I'll try it again.  Thanks.  :-D

I have an ingrained bias toward voltaic systems even though I don't have any
(besides my solar malibu lights ;-)  But I use solar-thermal every day.  I
think it's just one of those things such as faucets are for letting water
out but I finally overcame that prejudice and now let the water IN to the

folks. ]


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