The solar room heater

Have you ever been in a cold room and seen the sun shining outside? Even in winter we receive sunlight which can be used to heat a cold room. This project is designed to give you ideas for your room heater.

house example solar heater

Positioning: Make sure any solar device is positioned correctly, in the southern hemisphere panels face north, in the northern hemisphere panels face south and depending on the latitude of the area this determines the set angle of the panel for maximum efficiency. Choose your location and calculate the angle carefully.

solar heater crossection

Construction of the collector panel. Materials required: sheet galvanized steel or sheet aluminium for the outer casing, polystyrene foam insulation, well sealed double glazed fixture made to the size of the housing. The housing can be any size bearing in mind the legal requirements of the glass sheets. 20mm x 20mm square aluminium angle and rubber seal used to fix the double glazing to the housing, quality matt black paint to paint the copper sheet or other suitable material.

solar heater side view

When making your panel, use good quality flexible insulated tubes connecting the cool air input and hot air output of the panel to the inside wall output unit and cool air input unit.  In this design there are two hot air output connections although one is sufficient.

solar heater inside house view

When constructing the wall units provide some way to control the flow of air through the panel or the room will get unbearably hot, especially in the summer months. 

This design has a slot cut on the side of the unit to allow a snug fitting board to slip through the unit and block the flow of air in the input and output units.

This project requires various skills, usually taught at high school but with adult help you should be able to achieve the same result. It may be necessary to work on the project after school hours. Arrangements will have to be made with your manual arts teachers or nab some adults who are willing to help you, to use the equipment and supervise after hours, this will require some planning. 

This project uses the technique commonly known as passive solar design if you are interested in learning more about passive solar design visit your local library, lots of books have been written to encourage people to build houses and buildings that effectively utilise the sun's energy and save on non-renewable resources.


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