With the combination of economical hardships and utility costs rising many people are searching for ways to decrease their monthly living expenses. One of those ways can be found in making the switch to solar energy. Solar energy may seem costly to implement but the truth of the matter is that solar energy can be utilized at a very low cost with some ingenuity, materials, and the knowledge of how to put those materials together. In fact with just a few scrap materials you can build a small solar heater unit for a room in your home.
To build a solar heating unity you will need:
· A sheet of plexiglass, tempered glass, or a double paned window.
· Four 2x4's
· 1 sheet of 1.5” insulation board
· Utility knife
· 50 aluminum cans
· Fireplace paint in black matte finish.
· Silicon adhesive
· Sheet of plywood.
· Two small fans for intake and output.
1. Construct the heater casing. To begin building your solar heater you will use the wooden 2x4's, hammer, and nails to construct a case that will fit snugly around the fifty cans which will be placed in a ten by five pattern. Using the sheet of plywood cover what will be the back of the solar heating unit. Secure the back cover with hammer, nails, and caulk.
2. Insulate your solar heater. Place the sheet of insulation board into the frame leaving no room on the sides. Cut a hole into the top right corner and the bottom left corner for your intake and output fans.
3. Prepare and place the aluminum solar heat conductors. Taking a drill cut holes in the bottom of each can. Paint the cans thoroughly with fireplace paint and allow to dry. Stack and connect the cans with silicon and allow to dry. Once dry arrange the cans into the solar heater casing.
4. Seal the solar heater. Place your Plexiglass cover over the front of the case and secure with sealant. Caulk all corners and sides of the solar heater.
5. Place the fans. Using the small fans attach one to each of the vent holes to allow air to move freely. The hot air will rise to the top and escape into the room with the aide of the fan placed at the top right corner of the heater.
Upon completion you will need to allow the sealant and caulk to dry. Place the solar heater in front of or in a window that receives sun most if not the entire day. This heater can be built to fit any window of the home and you have the ability of placing as many solar heating units as you wish throughout the home.