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How About A Solar Heated Shop ?


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#16 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:02 AM

What a timely thread.  I have to start thinking about some heat for the new shop.  One of these may work quite well.  Al thanks for starting this.


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#17 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:06 AM

Those beer can heaters actually work better if you leave some of the bottom on there. Just cut a hole in the centre of the bottom with a drill press. The turbulance caused by the hole versus a smooth sided tube results in more heat being transferred to the air column. This outfit makes these commercially http://ww.cansolair.com/index.php They used to have a video of the manufacturing process but I haven't checked the site for years. If you cut the hole in the bottom first it would be easier because the can would not bend on you.

  The heat in the sun is about 1000w/10square feet. These work really well when the sun is out and it's not too cold. If it's cold the efficiency goes down and you also need more heat to get the job done. There are much simpler ways to do the job then the can heater. It's very labour intensive to build. Builditsolar.com is a good place to go if you want a bunch of links on alternate energy solutions.


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#18 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:14 AM

What a timely thread.  I have to start thinking about some heat for the new shop.  One of these may work quite well.  Al thanks for starting this.

Bill, Look at the layout for your new garage. If you orient it right, insulate it, and have most of your windows facing south you can gain a significant amount of heat from solar. On my house I spent an extra little bit to make the house passive solar but I saved more because I didn't have to put in an oil heating system.

 

I came across this interesting little article  http://www.builditso...gIntro15772.pdf


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#19 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:15 AM

Labor is cheap at my house, Brian. Plus it keeps me occupied. I thought about the drill press, but that would mean about 50% more cans to get what I want due to crushing during drilling. If I can grind/cut that ring off easily, I'm ahead. Won't know till I try!



#20 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:21 AM

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

attachicon.gifImage001.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.

Now that i see what your wanting,I got to thinking? How about taking a pece of pipe the size you want, Welding a strap across one end with hole to fit a bolt(arbor) in your drill press. Then use and abrasive like Valve lapping compound on the other end to make a core drill?

Simular to drilling glass.


Edited by JD DANNELS, January 25, 2013 - 11:22 AM.

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#21 marlboro180 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:28 AM

Kenny, I like the can collector idea for an air heater. I've seen a couple working, and are okay for a little bump in air temperature.

Try checking here ,  http://www.builditsolar.com/  I am pretty sure there is a writeup that details a build like yours.

 

Alc, I only wish my shop had the kind of warm floors that my home does with it's radiant floors combined with 200 sf of solar collectors on the roof , and the dual drainback system in the mechanical room . Our setup on the first floor is a concrete floor with PEX running around the house in 8 heat  loops. Our second floor is carpeted, so we used a staple- up pex system from Rehau .  Aluminum heat transfer plates clip over the tubing, and said plate is stapled to the underside of the subfloor. I initially  thought the rather thick subfloor and carpet would hold back a lot more heat than it does, I set that zone to run 20 degrees warmer than the concrete zones though.

 

I have thought about running a similar staple - down system in the shop, with a couple home- brew solar panels ( and related stuff required such a a circulator pump and expansion tank)  just to see how it might work. On a small scaled down version,  run some sleepers on the floor, some pex loops filled with proylyne -glycol mix, and lay a plywood floor over it.

 

This past fall I made a home - brew solar collector out of a couple patio doors, some copper tubing , road mesh and some black paint . I was surprised that at 1/3 GPM flow I was getting  ~ 90 degree delta T out of it.

 

For anyone who might be interested in solar thermal, there is a book I highly recommend. Bob Ramlow has been into solar water heating for a  long while, and wrote  " Solar Water Heating " with Benjamin Nusz,  published by New Society Publishers. I have had the pleasure of meeting Bob on several occasions at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. Heck of a nice guy and sure knows his stuff.

 

 

I've attached a couple pics of my system just for fun :-)

                                                     

53480212.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#22 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 11:36 AM

Thanks Rick,  One of my big problem is going to be all the trees we have.  I ordered the building with one window and I was going to put it in the front for two reasons.  One for security because I could see what is going on from the house but also I think that would give me the most light but the front will be facing east south east.  I am going to insulate it with foam panels and I do have an area just a few feet to the north that get's good sun so I could put a solar panel there and pipe the air into the shop.  

 

This thread has perked my interest.  Thanks for the article, it is cold and gloomy here today so I plan to sit down and read it and look over all the other links posted.



#23 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 12:09 PM

Kenny, Cut the tops off then use a punch. Make your punch out of what ever pipe you have that will fit. Once you cut the to off the can find a piece of wood that will fit up in the can. Put wood on the floor, drop can on top of wood, set punch, whack with hammer, repeat.


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#24 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 12:16 PM

Those beer can heaters actually work better if you leave some of the bottom on there. Just cut a hole in the centre of the bottom with a drill press. The turbulance caused by the hole versus a smooth sided tube results in more heat being transferred to the air column. This outfit makes these commercially http://ww.cansolair.com/index.php They used to have a video of the manufacturing process but I haven't checked the site for years. If you cut the hole in the bottom first it would be easier because the can would not bend on you.

  The heat in the sun is about 1000w/10square feet. These work really well when the sun is out and it's not too cold. If it's cold the efficiency goes down and you also need more heat to get the job done. There are much simpler ways to do the job then the can heater. It's very labour intensive to build. Builditsolar.com is a good place to go if you want a bunch of links on alternate energy solutions.

 

Here's a video where the guy does exactly what Brian suggests.

 


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#25 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 12:28 PM

Making the air get hotter makes the system less efficient becuase of losses through the glass, sides, and ducts. You are better off keeping the heat gain to 20 degrees and moving the air faster. You will actually gain more heat that way. If you need to use a fan, look at a solar electric panel to directly power a fan. When the sun comes out it powers the fan. When the sun goes down the fan stops. Use a heat sensing valve, such as are available for cold frames to control the flow to the building.


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#26 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 12:30 PM

Okay, now I under stand more. I need turbulence in there, so if I use a utility knife on the bottoms and bend the pieces, I'll get that. Thanks, guys!



#27 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 04:00 PM

Kenny, I like the can collector idea for an air heater. I've seen a couple working, and are okay for a little bump in air temperature.

Try checking here ,  http://www.builditsolar.com/  I am pretty sure there is a writeup that details a build like yours.

 

Alc, I only wish my shop had the kind of warm floors that my home does with it's radiant floors combined with 200 sf of solar collectors on the roof , and the dual drainback system in the mechanical room . Our setup on the first floor is a concrete floor with PEX running around the house in 8 heat  loops. Our second floor is carpeted, so we used a staple- up pex system from Rehau .  Aluminum heat transfer plates clip over the tubing, and said plate is stapled to the underside of the subfloor. I initially  thought the rather thick subfloor and carpet would hold back a lot more heat than it does, I set that zone to run 20 degrees warmer than the concrete zones though.

 

I have thought about running a similar staple - down system in the shop, with a couple home- brew solar panels ( and related stuff required such a a circulator pump and expansion tank)  just to see how it might work. On a small scaled down version,  run some sleepers on the floor, some pex loops filled with proylyne -glycol mix, and lay a plywood floor over it.

 

This past fall I made a home - brew solar collector out of a couple patio doors, some copper tubing , road mesh and some black paint . I was surprised that at 1/3 GPM flow I was getting  ~ 90 degree delta T out of it.

 

For anyone who might be interested in solar thermal, there is a book I highly recommend. Bob Ramlow has been into solar water heating for a  long while, and wrote  " Solar Water Heating " with Benjamin Nusz,  published by New Society Publishers. I have had the pleasure of meeting Bob on several occasions at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. Heck of a nice guy and sure knows his stuff.

 

 

I've attached a couple pics of my system just for fun :-)

                                                     

53480212.JPG

 

Nice looking house and solar heating system. I have that same book! I have 2 4x8 panels on my place to heat hot water. The house was built in 1996 under the R2000 program and was oriented facing south for some passive solar gain. Heat is electric with proportional control thermostats. If I was doing it again I would consider the in floor heat and a larger collector system. As it is, with the solar for hot water we are paying about 1600 a year for heat, AC and electricity for a total of 3180 sq ft. The extra cost of building to a higher standard like  R2000 is payed back pretty quickly in lower utility bills. Builditsolar is a great site for anyone wanting to learn about this stuff. 


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#28 lyall ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2013 - 09:08 PM

I have a small solar collector on my garage (2'x4')  helps a little.  so next summer I am going to change that, the whole south side of my garage (42') is going to be one big solar collector.

 

in my work area in my garage I put down 5 - 1"x4'x8' sheets of foam on the floor put 1/2' plywood, then old carpet over that

only had the foam and plywood - the carpet was free.  Friend re-carpet his house and I hauled it way.

sure keeps the feet warm

 

cut some of it to 4' x 6' so that I could slid it under a car to work on.


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#29 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2013 - 07:44 AM

Thanks  for all the input, links  and tips :thumbs:   The one link showed a solar water system on a wall instead of the floor that might be do able in those that already have the floor poured .Hot air ones too might work too . Our forecast this coming week shows it will be in the mid forties so those days the concrete will make the inside colder then outside , have to keep the doors open to warm the floor back up lol , Al 



#30 marlboro180 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2013 - 11:59 AM

Alc,

 

Yes indeed there sure are a lot of ways to go about heating a shop . I was just re- reading a few posts , and the one from Cat385 sparked a memory.   The local solar/ boiler hot water products place where I sourced my parts  has an evacuated tube collector array ( like the one in the post,) hooked up to a water to air exchanger for heating their shipping / packing area. It really puts out the heat , too much sometimes they say. Those evacuated tubes can boil water pretty quickly if they have nowhere to dump the heat.

 

I found a pic of a similar heat exchanger , a hanging Modine unit . Just another idea for ya :-)

 

 

5730d1353421108-hydronic-garage-heater-b






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