I have a garage that is about 33 X 22 ft square. The south/east facing
wall is 22 ft. I read somewhere that I could build a very simple and
cheap solar air heater. The idea was to mount some used patio doors on
the wall, then cut holes at the bottom and top of the wall so as to
allow cold air from the garage to enter at the bottom of the heater and
warm air go back into the garage from the top. Similar to the Solarwall
except that the cold air would come from inside the garage instead of
Anyone have any idea where these types of panels are described in more
detail? I am concerned with things like the size of the holes to make
in the walls and how many panels I should put up to heat that space.
The sun will rise directly in front of the wall in the morning and stay
there most of the AM. Also I have a farmer's field in the back so I can
benefit from reflected sun in the morning. In the PM, part of the wall
still gets sun but not much. I have a furnace in the garage to
supliment on cloudy or colder days and evenings.
This is not exactly the same as what you describe, but pretty close.
I have been using this on my workshop/garage for 2 years now, and I can say it
works well and has required zero maintenance.
The guidelines on colector depth, vent size, ... are listed in the Home Power
Article at the link above -- they came mostly from Nick who frequents this
group, so just ask if you need more design help.
You could substitute the sliding patio door glass for the polycarbonate if you
like. Another choice would be the twinwall polycarbonate -- if I was doing the
project again, I might use the twinwall.
My local glass shop has an accumulation of odd pato door panels and other window
panels that have some kind of a probelm (usually just cut the wrong size) --
they offered this to me at a very good price. So, you might want to check
around at your local glass places.
I have another shop (an attached garage), and I use this arrangement on it:
They are both pretty nice setups and do the heating job, but I have to admit I
like the bright as daylight lighting from the 2nd one a lot.
More solar heaters here:
Good luck with your project.
"Build It Yourself" Solar Projects
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