What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Passive Solar Heater

I wanted to show you one of our summer projects. It is a passive solar heater based on the principle that hot air rises and cold air sinks. We built it with a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood for the back. It has two holes on the top for vents and two holes on the bottom. We cut them so they would fit between studs. We put a frame around them, using lumber similar to 1 x 6's. I painted the entire thing flat black to absorb heat. Then we used the front loader on the tractor to lift it up the wall. Doug used lag screws to attach it to the wall of our pole barn. Then he cut holes in the wall for the vents, lining up with the holes we had cut in the back. We used a saw-za with a bimetal blade. If you don't have the right cutting tool, it will not be much fun. Here you can see the open box up on the wall.

So, once we had the holes cut right through the wall, and the paint touched up, we were able to install the clear plastic corrugated panels. We put expanding foam along the two long sides, and caulk to seal in the other cracks. We put caulk along the seam where the two panels meet in the middle, and discovered that some little bolts to hold the layers together was very helpful. The only thing left to do is put some screening over the holes on the inside wall to keep out bugs. It was an interesting project, and we plan to install a few more.

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