Solar Panel Air Heater – How it Works
By building your own Do-It-Yourself solar panels using coke cans, you can achieve significant savings during the heating season. Depending on construction and material quality, one square meter of pop can solar air heater panel can heat between 10 and 15 m2 of your living space. In other words, 2x1m solar panel (2 square meters covered with pop cans) can heat up to 30m2 (square meters) of your home.
Let`s take a look at the picture. Fan draws cool air from the room. The air then passes through the filter and one-way-pass-valve, which ultimately goes into the bottom hole through the aluminum insulated pipe. For the purpose of directing and distributing air through the solar panel, there are separate suction boxes made of aluminum sheet 1 mm (0.04 inches). These boxes are located on the lower and upper part of structure. The bottom of the collector’s box has a purpose to direct air to the tunnels made out of cans, and in the upper part of the draw heated air from the cans toward the output to drain the heated air.
On a sunny day, regardless of outside temperature, sun is rapidly heating the air in pop cans. The heated air is returned to the room through the upper hole of solar collector and aluminum pipe for the supply of warm air. Heated room, feed tube cold air tunnels of cans (solar panel) and the pipe to drain hot air, form a closed system. The air can not escape from the cans (which are located inside solar air heater panel) into the space inside the case of solar collector in order to avoid deposition of dust and fogging of Plexiglas.
The following picture shows a simplified sketch of the elements of the solar panel for air heating
This solar air heater system is not able to accumulate heat / solar energy produced. When it’s sunny, the solar collector produces heat, but it is necessary that it be immediately used for heating the air inside the housing. If it is not sunny, you need to interrupt the supply of air in the solar collector, because otherwise the room began to cool (valve).
Solar air heater panel is usually mounted on the south side of the house, but if not possible then you can place them on the south-east or south-west side. When determining the angle of mounting the solar collector, consider the angle of the sun’s rays fall in the winter season.
After completion and installation of collector on the house, the outside temperature of -3 ° C, from the solar collector came out 3 m3/min (3 cubic meters per minute) of heated air. Heated air temperature went up to +72 ° C. Calculated power that gave the solar collector was approximately 1950 W (watts) which is almost 3 HP (3 horsepower)!
Considering that the principle that solar energy heats the air quite easily, we can conclude that the solar collectors of this type and their cheap price, quickly pays off.