Welcome to Solar Heater and Solar Air Conditioning week on GreenJoyment!
There are many technologies available today for solar heaters and solar air conditioning, from commercially available solar heaters to solar heaters you make yourself. Some people are even showing how to make a solar heater from beer cans.
This week, we’ll be detailing many of these options and sharing with you the variety of simple and low cost solutions for saving money.
Using solar heaters, you can significantly reduce the energy it takes to heat your house, which can help you save lots of money in the winter.
Solar air conditioning panels are really easy to install (and even build) if you’re a do-it-yourself type.
Building a beer can solar heater can happen in a day or two, and installation can take 2-8 hours, depending on how good you are and how complex you make your solar heater.
It is easy enough that you can do this all yourself, and by the end of this week, you will know how to make a solar heater for your home or garage.
However, if you’re not the DIY type, and just by giving the person you hire some very simple explanations (which we aim to offer you this week), you can hire a professional handyman, or even your next door neighbor (who happens to be handy with tools) to do the solar heater build and installation for you.
One of the nice things as well about solar heaters: depending on where you live and how much you spend, getting your money back out of the investment you make for your solar heater can happen in as little as three years.
So, some basics for today…
The sun moves energy around our planet in amazing ways.
There are many ways to harness and apply this energy.
The application most people think about when harnessing solar power is getting electricity from converting sunlight into electricity.
This is generally done through photovoltaic solar panels.
We won’t be covering solar electricity this week.
What we will be covering this week is how to generate huge amounts of heat, even on cold days, through Solar Thermal Panels
Solar thermal refers to direct heating of materials or air for purposes of providing direct heat.
When it comes to solar thermal applications, there are ways to convert the sunlight into heat that are:
- Active (Heating air directly by forcing it through a space that has been heated by the sun)
- Passive (Heating air indirectly by focusing sunlight on a material that retains the heat effectively – say, for example, a brick).
This week, we’ll be mostly talking about active solar heaters.
And we’ll be talking about forced convection solar collectors (fans moving the air through space heated by the air) as opposed to passive solar air collectors.
We talked a lot as well about solar water heating systems (a few months back).
Solar water heating systems are great. They’re about as effective as solar heaters in terms of being low cost and quick payback.
If you haven’t seen the posts about solar water heating, you’ll probably want to check those out.
But stay tuned this week as the whole week will be devoted specifically to solar heaters, and the high-tech and low-tech options for installing your own solar air conditioning systems.