Aluminum Downspout Hot Air Solar Collector Construction




What do you think about this video?

G. Scott Davis: Hi Simon, for some reason I know longer have a reply link. Anyway, for night time heating with solar you'll need some thermal storage. Please see my thermal storage video for more details.

Saeid Momtahan: Hi Scott. Thanks for the great videos. WHen you provide a link on your video, you can click the box' open in new window'. That way your viewers won't be diverted from the video they are watching and can finish it b4 watching your other video. Saeid

Andy Fetisov: It would move more air if you have it blow into the intake.

mel porter: That's a brilliant way of collecting virtually free heating for your house, except if you live where i do, cold and almost always cloudy and rainy England! :)

SOLARCELLS101: Nice Video , and great looking solar hot air heater I'm looking to build one in the next year or two, Thanks, David

Richard Sims: Getting ready to build my first solar collector. Getting excited to start experimenting and glad for all your input. I am considering combining water and air collecting within same panel. I am sure someone has tried it already. Any input for combining the two ? good or bad? Also planning on pouring concrete panels to connect hot water pipes for thermal mass storage. Big enough to be of thermal value and still be moveable.

jonny pace: so your email group is simply solar@ ??

Ronnie Pace: I cannot tell you how much I truly enjoyed your ingenuity and sharing of this knowledge. Thank you SO much! I have one question. How would I figure out the angle I would need for my panels if i live in New Mexico at 5000'? 

william warren: Where do you get the fans & snap switches & Temp probes for the water storage tank on your other vedio? WW

omar ramadan: Why do you need hot air in the summer; and in the winter, the sun might not be out.

Thom Westergren: Have you collected any data on actual amount of savings you've achieved?

Kent Hall: AWESOME information! 

jerry casey: will this still work with out fans

manwithgills: I wonder if you could get more heat retention if you rolled up the aluminum screen and placed it inside the downspout (like baffles inside a muffler).

Tim Miller: yippee so easy for heat

Ngaire Genge: Hi! Thanks much for the great videos, really enjoying them! I have just a couple practical sort of questions. First, does it snow where you are? I live in southeast Canada, we get snow. A unit resting atop my window wells would disappear with the first snow! :) I assume it would be equally efficient mounted higher? Second, our residential code wouldn't allow us to block basement windows. They're considered important fire escape points. Any alternate suggestions? Thanks again!

G. Scott Davis: @Yourbadnightmare Hi Rick, From what I have read, air behaves more cooperatively pulled than pushed. If I remember right, the fan is rated at something like 130F, so while I'm at the upper end of its range at times, I'm not usually exceeding it. Thanks for your interest and kind words! Scott

SailaSobriquet: Great video, Scott! Thanks!

G. Scott Davis: Hi Grezegorz. There are folks on the SimplySolar group experimenting with hybrid panels, attaching CPVC or copper pipe to the downspouts to heat fluid as well. You can use the fluid to heat your thermal storage tank and circulate your town water though it before it reaches your regular hot water heater. Please see my thermal storage tank video for details.

david wilson: Thanks Scott for all the great ideas. Is that a radon fan. Thanks again for all your vid's. David

G. Scott Davis: @hootiemcgrudy2 Hi, that is a Snap Switch. They are only about $6.00, which I got separately. Youtube won't let me post links here, but if you join SimplySolar I'll tell you where to find them. The fan is powered by conventional house current. Fans draw very little power. To size your fan, you want about 3 CFM of air per square foot of collector.

G. Scott Davis: @justinmy300z Hi, I didn't see this idea anywhere before my son Brad and I came up with it a few years ago and built ours. I certainly would have given credit otherwise, as I credited Gary with the pex collector design that I built and as I credited Mike for the coroplast collector I'm considering. In this case, great minds think alike! Congratulations on a great idea!

jakhammers world: i saw this first on Build it Solar. Nice video to go with the write up from BIS!

G. Scott Davis: Sounds like a great project Norm. Please join our Simply Solar forum, share some pictures and tell us what develops in the Member Projects section!

G. Scott Davis: Hi Grandpa Bill. Youtube won't let me post links, but I can share if you join us on Simply solar. If you go to Pex Supply, you will find them there. They are only $6.00.

orignalbuckaroo: Hi Scott, TNX so much for this well done video !!! I wonder if this system would be good enough for a 24X 32 garage ??? TNX again Scott

huey216: Hi Scott. Great videos thanks. I am in PA and just completed a collector that is mid way in size between yours and Scott Smith's being 24x2 with four aluminium spouts using Scott Smith's plenum design. I wish I had the entry / exits at the back panel as the collector adjusts 26 - 60 deg. What have you found to be the best air gap between spouts and glazing? I have used flex-o-pane for cost, which is really clear but either sucks in or out, depending on + or - fan. Spouts aren't airtight I think.

G. Scott Davis: @josephdupont I don't recall the specs. Maybe 80 watts?

oxenpaul: Well explained! (now we have to figure out how people not named Scott can build them :^) At first I was worried that you were pumping basement air into the living space and worried about radon gas. But just warming the basement and then letting the heat radiate up is a lovely, thrifty and safe move. Are there condensation issues? Also I'd be tempted to rotate the downspout materials 45 degrees (long axis) to present a corner to the sun (and any reflections into a neighboring downspout wall...

blipco5: Scott, nice job on the low profile collector but if you're worried about street appearance you might want to trim those weeds. Just sayin'.

fundude53: been looking at solar water heaters and your use of black down pipes really inspired me its so simple its almost genius. thanks for shareing.

Daniel Reis: Really good project mate! I'm planning on doing something similar. Could you please tell me where did you bought the fan? A reference number or an ebay link would be great! Thank you :)

42lookc: Excellent video, Scott--thanks! I've always wanted to build my own solar collector for the fun and the savings of it. This summer I bought a fair-sized quantity (maybe 100 feet) of the larger size new downspouting at an auction sale for $10.00 for all of it. I don't usually buy stuff just to take up space, but that was too cheap to say no. It's been sitting around waiting for something good to do with it, and now I know just what! Thanks again! :-)

marz3335: How do you deal with snow on a collector right on the ground like that? You videos are excellent -- very instructive.

Charles Sargent: Hi Scott, Could you give info on how and where you purchased your blowers in Aluminum Downspout Hot Air Solar Collectors?

G. Scott Davis: Thanks for your kind words!

Mico M: Hi I really like your set up. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I would like to build a system like yours, but I don't know if it will work well here. We sometimes get down to -30 deg. Celsius. What kind of insulation should I use and should I put it in the box, the. Cover it with Masonite to protect the insulation from heat within the box. What do I do with it in the summer months when I don't need the heat. If I turn the fan off for the summer months will it ruin the box. Where did you get

fuzzyBoy1000: Hi scott, my name is Rob, i live in Sandy City UT. thats part of the Salt Lake Valley. We don't get as cold as you do in the winter but it still takes a toll on the utility bills. I have a question. How hot can wood and insulation get before melt down and fire? I am designing my own heater that i think will get much hotter than most i see on u tube but i don't need a fire or burn my blowers up.

Walt Donaldson: I am in the process of building a small cabin in Maine, off grid, and am considering this type of system to keep a room for water storage above freezing during the winter months. The room will be attached to the cabin, but not within. What are your thoughts about combining this with a small solar system that will power the fans with 12v battery? Also, is there a way to have it start and stop automatically based on the temp like a thermostat? Thanks.

John Evans: One comment - I just joined the simplysolar group but haven't searched there to see if anyone commented on this. Great project and I don't mean to take away a thing from that. The only concern I have has to do with local code. I suspect that laying the collector over the basement window access wells may block egress, assuming that the local code requires it. I suppose it all depends upon whether those window wells were counted as exit points for fire exits. Keep up the great work.

Grandpa Bill: Scott do you have the brand and part numbers for the fan and snap switch? LOVE IT! Grandpa Bill

009kronos: Nope - I did not like your video - I loved it. Educational, very well explained and at a pace that’s easy to follow. It’s fantastic to see folks like yourself that are successfully using solar heat and encouraging others to follow your ideas. Awesome!

G. Scott Davis: @johnn0hj Thanks for your thoughts. i'm not sure I could fit through those small windows anyway, but if I ever had to, I could push the collector out of the way. It is just sitting on top by its own weight.

Norm Howes: Being in central NY with a 1840 farm house I puttered with the 3"x4" downspout design. Mine is 7' x 4' outside measurements. Still need to make a thru window adaptor. Last weekend placed it in a sunny spot at 1:30 pm, by 2:15pm inner temp rose from 50 to about 130 w/o fan attached. Fan setup I hope works is a 3" computer unit powered by a 15 watt solar panel in series with a 110 on / 90 off snap switch from Grangeirs. I plan on pushing room air into unit hopefully extending fan service life.

Jeff Denton: Scott, thanks for the video, where do you purchase the snap switches,the small solar panel and dc fans ?

G. Scott Davis: Thanks for your kind words!

G. Scott Davis: @solarguyable Yes, we have tried an empty black box. YouTube won't let me post links in my reply, but if you will join our e-mail group on SimplySolar, I can tell you all about the experiments we have been doing and give you links to some side by side test results. it is a lot of fun and very interesting stuff!

Jon Larsen: Ever consider running water tubing in the gutters to get hot water from system in summer? , also how about installing gutters tipped at 45 degree angle and installing reflective material between them to get more heat out of them. in Minnesota we have a bit colder winter and maybe shorter days then in Maryland, So it would be good to get a higher temp out of the gutters if possable.

G. Scott Davis: Hi Huey, I don't think the air gap spacing between the downspouts and glazing is critical. Extra depth won't hurt as air is transparent and has minimal thermal mass. Thanks for your kind words on the videos!

Brian B: Hello Scott, Thank you for your great ideas, really appreciate them. I plan on using many of these ideas to make some more panels myself.

Rating:
Aluminum Downspout Hot Air Solar Collector Construction 5 out of 5

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