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How About A Solar Heated Shop ?


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#1 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 06:53 AM

I started a thread about how cold your shop gets , now that the temps. are around freezing and below the concrete floor is getting very cold , guessing 32*f . When I built the garage I was thinking of running hot water floor heat but I was talked out of it being the reason I'm not in it everyday so it would have to be left on ( $$$) or take foever to warm up . So I went with oil hot air furance . It will bring the temps up pretty quick ( yea 3.5gph nozzel ! ) but the floor is still like an ice block ! Now I wish if I would have just put the plastic pipe in the floor I might have been able to at least keep the floor sort of warm with solar and just used the furance if it was very cold like it is now . Anybody have floor heat or solar type in their garages ? Al

#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 07:20 AM

I had thought about using the empty pop/beer cans. Got a bunch saved up, just haven't put it all together. Cutting the tops and bottoms out will be fun. I'm still noodling how's the best way to do that. Hole saw is just too aggressive for that thin aluminum.

Sitting here writing this out, I had a brainstorm. I used a can opener and cut the top out real slick. Now to get the bottom out.


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#3 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:11 AM

I know my garage stays colder than outside due to my concrete floor. I'll be following along ti see what others due to warm the ship using passive heat.
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#4 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:12 AM

I had thought about using the empty pop/beer cans. Got a bunch saved up, just haven't put it all together. Cutting the tops and bottoms out will be fun. I'm still noodling how's the best way to do that. Hole saw is just too aggressive for that thin aluminum.

Sitting here writing this out, I had a brainstorm. I used a can opener and cut the top out real slick. Now to get the bottom out.

 

Ok Kenny, I'll bite. What are you going to do with the aluminum tubes, to heat the shop/floor?

And pics would be good too.



#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:41 AM

You  can add passive solar heat by just adding windows to a true south facing wall. If you dont have a true south facing wall then an active system of panels can be used. When designing an active system I find that using air as the carrier is cheaper and less likely to have failures. The old Mother Earth News heat grabber was an excellant example of a simple but effective solar heat collecter.

http://www.motherear...ling/solar.aspx They have several other ideas too.

 

I have studied alternative energy sources for 40 years and built my house passive solar. These days it isn't working too well because I've had less than 7 clear days since Halloween. The sky is almost always hazy.

 

Look around at various plans and designs. Three ideas that I'm playing with is panels from sliding glass door panels, using a solar electric powered fan to move the heated air, and using a temperature sensitive cold frame opener to control the flow from the panels.

 

The glass cannot be Low E or it will defeat the whole idea. I use cardboard under me when working in the garage. It helps alot.


Edited by boyscout862, January 25, 2013 - 08:46 AM.

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#6 Arti ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:43 AM

 Radiant Heaters or Radiant tube heaters work well in this type of application.. When you step into a big box store like Walmrt you can feel this it feels like the Sun. 

 

This type of heater doesn't heat the air it heats the objects in the building including the floor. If you google        Reznor High Intensity Radint Heater RIHN 30         that should show you an example of what I am talking about.

 

If you have a fairly tall ceiling it works over a larger area because the heat waves will spread out over a larger area.

 

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#7 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:52 AM

My sister and brother-in-law put in solar hot water heat when they added on to their house in 2007. They added on a two stall garage with a master bed and bath above. They have a solar array on top of their chicken house, across the drive.

tn_1341250685ScreenShot2012-07-02at18.35.32.png

 

Those tubes have a copper conductor that comes out the top, it gets hotter than a political thread. There is a 1" copper piped wrapped around that, which goes into an insulated pipe that is buried underground to their basement.

mqdefault.jpg

 

In the basement, there is two 80 gallon super-insulated water storage tanks. The piping from the collector tubes are wound around the inner tank. The incoming line is split, so it goes to both tanks at the same time.

Heat_Storage_Solar_Water_Heater_Tank.jpg

 

There is a propane boiler after that as a back-up.

triangle-tube-gas-boiler.jpg

 

The manifold is in a closet right next to the garage wall, it has 6 zones. One for the bath, two for the bedroom, and three for the garage.

Radiant-Heat-Manifolds.jpg

 

If they would of cleared out more trees, the system would be putting out excess heat year around. As it is now, it dumps excess hot water in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, it heats that 1,600 square feet to 60 degrees in the garage and 70 upstairs without using propane about 75% of the time. It heats well even when its partly cloudy. When its butt cold, (like now) it will heat the addition by itself from 9 am to 7 pm, then the propane will run. They did not heat the existing house with it due to having real hardwood floors. My BIL thought the heat would ruin the flooring. With six of those arrays I pictured above, they have the capacity to heat another 1500 square feet, roughly.

 

I'm still debating what to do when I finish my shed. With a small budget and only intermittent use, I can't get the extra cost of the insulation under the slab, the piping in the floor, (and the costs and worries of watching it when you pour) and the heat system to pencil out. I can buy a lot a natural gas for the extra cost that in-floor heat would cost. The tubing isn't so bad, the insulation is what kills it. 


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#8 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:57 AM

Ok Kenny, I'll bite. What are you going to do with the aluminum tubes, to heat the shop/floor?

And pics would be good too.

Something like this, Will. You hook a small fan through a hose from the floor area at the bottom and blow the warmed air out the top. Needs to be in the sun. I've been wondering if you moved it to shade in the summer if it would reverse and cool.


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#9 oldtimer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 08:58 AM

Hope this isn't a dumb question, but wouldn't some rubber mats or cheap carpeting help ?



#10 JRJ OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 09:17 AM

I agree with Boyscot, cardboard, it comes in different weights, I have also used it in the past, the only disadvantage to it is that is slides around alot. Dick

#11 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 09:24 AM

After the floor is poured I can think of no easy way to warm it up. You can warm up the air, but the concrete holds the cold.

 When my brother-in-law built his pole building shop, he put down 4" sheets of styrofoam and poured the concrete over it. It has an added benifit in that the concrete does not sweat when the frost goes out(moisture barrier). That helps quite a lot. Passive Solar will warm up the air in the shop, but does not do a lot for the floor temp. Old Timers idea of putting down heavy rubber mats in areas where you walk and stand a lot and I have put down scrap carpet infront of the workbench. It has the added benifit of being easier on the legs and feet as opposed to standing on concrete all day.  Stall mats from the Farm Supply might be a good option?

Kenny, My brother did make a passive solar panel from soda cans and used it for many years, Painted black they absorb a lot of heat and conduct it into the building. I think he abandoned it only when the pine frame started to deteriate.


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#12 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 09:58 AM

One of these days, I'll put it together. Trying to figure out cutting the top/bottom was the stalling point. But I have a plan now. The can opener does great on the tops. Thinking to use coarse sandpaper to grind the lip off the bottom. Hope that works!



#13 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 10:11 AM

That stuff cuts easy, even a heavy pair of scissors will cut it. Just punch or drill(even a pocket knife will do) a small hole to get the tip in and cut away.

That's how I do it when I need a thin shim material and don't have anything else on hand. The Grandaughters always seem to have an empty soda can sitting around.



#14 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 10:31 AM

Let me explain somethings. Passive solar means no mechanism, its just sunlight coming through and directly heating the interior. My passive system has 9 sliding glass doors allowing the sun to hit and warm my concrete slab floor. The floor warms up and slowly releases the heat after the sun goes down. It only works in the winter because the sun is low then. In the summer, the sun is high and the roof overhang shades the windows. The house has 8" of insulation in the walls and 12" in the ceiling. There is no mechanism to pay for or fail.

 

Active systems use collectors and a transfer system. The beer can collector may work but a flat sheet of metal painted black will work just as well inside an insulated collector box. I referenced the MEN solar grabber earlier. It is about as simple and cheap a system as you can do. In this case simple and cheap is also very eficient. It requires no electricity nor valves. Warm air rises out of the collector into the building and stops flowing when the air in the building is warmer than the air in the collector.

 


If you have enough room a greenhouse attachment can be your solar collector and give you more storage area. But, it must be on the south of the building to get the most heat gain.

 

I have seem many solar heat and electric systems installed where they didn't face south. Then the people claim that solar didn't work. If you do it right, it works great and can be inexpensive. Good Luck 


Edited by boyscout862, January 25, 2013 - 10:32 AM.

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#15 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 10:34 AM

That stuff cuts easy, even a heavy pair of scissors will cut it. Just punch or drill(even a pocket knife will do) a small hole to get the tip in and cut away.

That's how I do it when I need a thin shim material and don't have anything else on hand. The Grandaughters always seem to have an empty soda can sitting around.

Yes, it does cut easy, but I want to save part of the bottom so the cans fit together easy.

Image001.jpg

The area marked in red is what I want out. The outside part of that fits into the top real nice, allowing me to 'glue' them together and make a stack. The ring left helps keep the heat in the cans so they don't cool too quickly with the fan running. You can get quite the temperature difference from the air going in and what's coming out if the fan is the right size.


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