Would this work?

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There is a video:
http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/diy-solar-window-heater/

I would like to try it out, comments? Should I try it? I am looking for cheap ways to get more heat into the room on sunny winter days.

1) Are there any window films or even curtains that attract sun and could heat up a room?

2) Fresnel lens heat up bugs, is there any way you could use one to heat a room?

3) Any way to use mirrors to produce more heat?

TIA :)

Comments

  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Would this work?

    What was built in the video, was pretty lame. To get the same effect, only EASIER, get a sheet of any metal (aluminum is easiest), any size, and paint 1 side black. He only put it in a container, to capture the heat, to show it working. Place the black metal in the sunlight, and it will heat up, and transfer the heat to the container (Room) it is in. Or put a black rug on the floor, in the sun.

    The EXTRA gain, is to create more window space. Make two of his boxes, hang outside you existing window, below your window, and duct the heat from the outdoor units, into your window. NOW you are getting extra heat. (besides what was coming in before)

    I did the same trick with a 5 gallon bucket of raw honey. I painted the plastic bucket flat black, and made a cardboard reflector w/aluminum foil, and focused that on the bucket too. In about 4 hours, the honey was melted, and then made into a 40 gallon batch of Mead.
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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,497 admin
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    Re: Would this work?

    The "solar heater" does nothing different than would happen if you just simply opened the curtains and let the sun into your room. The same amount of sun is either absorbed in the "heater" by the black material and heats the air vs the sun falling on the sofa next to the window and the warm fabric heating the air. The only advantage of building a "window heater" would be if you wanted to keep the room dark (such as preventing UV from fading your couch fabric).

    Your better bet is to insulate (walls, ceiling, double pane windows, etc.). Typically, an insulated wall is going to let less heat out (or in) than any good double pane window. If it the room is really cold, using good drapery and even cutting Styrofoam sheets to fit the window is going to be better at keeping the heat in.

    If you really want to build a useful heater, then what you need to do is build a large version of the "window heater" that sits on the outside wall so that it captures the "wasted" energy that falls on your exterior sunny walls/roof and transfer that heat into your home (and does not cool the room when the sun is not shining).

    Just use any Internet search engine looking for variations of "home made solar heater hot air" and you will find:

    DIY heater
    Another heater
    Nicer DIY heater
    Nice link to many different projects
    One that used wall/attic space in Ottawa for heating

    If you build one, since you are in a cold area, you might need to use plastic or even a double pane plastic/glass top surface and well insulated box/piping. Remember that you want to gather all of the heat you can, and not lose it back to the environment before you can pump the heated air back into your home.

    Of course, there are commercially built solar hot air heaters too.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: Would this work?

    Too bad, I really thought this could work. I might build one just to see.

    So what then do you guys think about this:


    http://www.cetsolar.com/solardrapes.htm


    Any comments on the other questions?
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: Would this work?
    NewLady wrote: »
    Too bad, I really thought this could work. I might build one just to see.

    So what then do you guys think about this:


    http://www.cetsolar.com/solardrapes.htm


    Any comments on the other questions?

    More baloney/hype/bad info/scam

    Glass in a window is just your basic greenhouse effect - pretty much whatever light gets in through the glass is what you get. When the sunlight hits ANY objects in the room, it basically creates heat. Heat is infrared, and glass blocks most infrared so it cannot get out again.

    Any of those gimmicks will do NOTHING. The only way to get more heat from sunlight is to get more sunlight, ie bigger windows.
  • Ralph Day
    Ralph Day Solar Expert Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Would this work?

    Solar brewing...would that be another thread or a new forum topic:p

    ralph