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RockyG666 63M
1749 posts
2/6/2014 9:16 am

Last Read:
3/5/2014 8:26 pm

solar heat in action

i have posted a lot about producing pop can solar furnaces in this blog, but not really reported on thier utility very much. the truth is that i have gotten some good results, but they fall a little short of sufficient.

i have 5 of these solar furnaces, with styrafoam frames, in the windows of the church, which face south. they are about 3.5 x 3.5 each, with the two bigger ones in the middle a little taller, maybe 3.5 x 4.5. the one in the transom over the door is wider (maybe 5). i have a made in china digital thermometer that records the highs in lows in the church that i leave in the middle of the space.

on extremely sunshiney days, the highs have been in the upper 50s. the highest high i have seen is 59. it depends some on how cold it is outside, but even when it has been zero and lower, i am still in the middle 50s.

this is great because it is totally free heat. i never measured tempatures before i started putting these in, but suffice to say, it was not EVER 50 in there in the winter without a heater. that said, the low temps i am getting are never lower than mid 30s, even in the middle of the night.

overall, i am pleased...it would be nicer if we were getting upper 60 highs, but oh well. this is all the sun is putting out. with the same thermometer on the top of one of the furnaces, i have gotten consistant highs in the upper 140s, with one as high as 149. that is pretty darned hot. i think that part of the problem is that the church is really pretty big (25 x 60) and the heat is sort of wimpy. it is convection heat that just kind of radiates, and it is not getting to the rest of the space. coupled with the fact that the highest temperatures are at the top of the room up against the windows, where it has to fight the outside cold directly up against it.

i am still prowd. i have to supply a little heat to use the church, but not nearly as much as i used to. i am also really happy that i can use the church on a sunny day without any extra heat at all. i just need a sweater sometimes. keeping warmer durring the day also means it needs less heat at night, and that it warms up much faster when i do turn on heat in the evenings.

i am most prowd that i conceived the styrafoam window idea myself. i REALLY researched the web, and i found a few people who put standard wooden frame furnaces near windows, but nobody who used cardboard or styrafoam and put them IN the window. the softer materials made it a LOT easier to build them to fit the spaces needed, and were not only free, but i was recycling. i also had access to a LOT of good styrofoam building materials.

there were a lot of ups and downs, and back to the drawing boards, but i think that i might have accomplished a scientific feat that hasn't been done before. at least, it is not anywhere on the internet. when i started, i had the idea i might be able to manufacture these for production...but now...i don't think they would really sell well. they are really ugly too.


RockyG666 63M
1357 posts
2/6/2014 3:02 pm

there are solar battery chargers now. the sun can do batteries, slowly. but it really can't provide regular a/c effectively enough to use. i don't really use many batteries around here, and the things that use them use thier own chargers.