The EPA, and Mother Earth, have expressed interest in “Passive Solar Heat Box” units for home and commercial building heating. We decided to build one, 4.5′ by 6.5′ to check it out. Using old 2 x 4′s, some polycarbonate panels we had in storage, we built a box, spray painted screen wire black, tacked aluminum foil on the back wall of the box. When the sunlight came through the polycarbonate, it hit the “black” screen wire, and some of the light hit the aluminum foil and that reflected back creating more heat. We cut a hole in the bottom of the back wall and a hole in the top, and sealed it all tight with silicone.
To our amazement, after only 10 minutes in the sun, the box was throwing out a breeze of hot air (130 to 140 degrees F) while the temperature outside was 78 degrees. We tested it several times and even when few clouds passed by, managed a 40 to 60 degree spread.
We have been told that if you add bottles of anti-freeze, or rocks, in the unit (would take a larger, deeper unit) that the heat will keep on for about 6 hours after the sun goes down.
I plan to put a little solar powered fan on mine to get even more volume of air. I have a basement that is hard to keep warm. It is always 30 degrees cooler than any other room in the house, and I’m going to “Passive solar” heat my “man cave”.
In this case, the EPA, and MOTHER EARTH NEWS had a great idea.
We know there are commercial units available out there, but it was fun building something, especially something that worked.
If your house or commercial buildings have energy efficiency units they sell for more, have higher occupancy, and higher rents. The also appraise for more.
Put one of these on your Green House and you can heat it even more, and grow vegetables all winter. See: http:www.cornucopia-enterprise.com
Give us a call: www.benboothe.com, or www.environment-soultions.com
1. Build wood frame
2. Put aluminum foil on inside of back
3. Install wire screen 2″ above the foil
4, Cover the entire frame with polycarbonate to allow the sun to come in
hit the foil and reflect and concentrate the heat on the “black wire”.
5. Cut a hole at the top of the back wall and another at the bottom of the front polycarbonate wall.
6. Cut a vent hole to match each in your wall, be sure you use an AC vent that can be opened or closed seasonally.
7. If you want to control the speed of the air, install a fan to pull or push the air through.
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