How To Produce Easy, Free Home Heat
Based on a design by a mechanical engineer who writes a column for over 100 national newspapers, here's a way to increase the heat in a cold room using nothing but the sun's energy!
Step 1: The Idea
Winter is fast approaching and so are higher heating costs. What if I told you that you could lower your heating bill this winter by using 100% free heat? We all know how hot a car can get when it sits in the sun with the windows closed. That’s because the sun’s light is converted into heat. And that’s our perfect source, the sun. So I’ll show you how to make an inexpensive solar heater that uses this hot car effect very efficiently.
Step 2: Create The Board
I use a 20”x30” piece of foam board as heat converter. Pennies makes an ideal medium because it is both easy to find and because copper is highly conductive and absorbs and disperses heat very effectively. I sprayed the foam board with adhesive and attached the pennies in rows. And then used black spray paint to maximize the conversion of sunlight into heat. I then cut another section of thorn board into the four pieces to build the frame.
Step 3: The Finished Product
The slits cut into the two-end sections create a circular airflow within the room by using the heat as it rises to draw the cool air into the heating unit. I use a hot glue vent to assemble the frame. Then used packing tape for reinforcement. I used an inexpensive clear plastic drop cloth then cut a section to cover the front of the frame and attached it with more packing tape. This gave me an enclosed area that would give me a good basis for testing the design.
Step 4: The Test
As you can see the outside temperature was 75 degrees. I placed the heater in the sunlight and within five minutes the temperature had risen almost 35 degrees. Despite the fact that it was quite windy. My final step was to replace the plastic sheet with a piece of plexiglass to provide a clear window and greater overall strength. This solar heater can be placed from the sill of any window to get sun and will quite easily raise the temperature of a 15 x 15 x 10 ft. room, by a minimum of 10 degrees. Which is about 8 thousand bits used of heat or roughly 2.5 kilowatts of energy every hour. With an average of 3 hours of sunlight per day, that could translate in to $35 to $45 energy per month. Not bad.
Step 5: Your Chance To Experiment
Now here’s an easy way for you to test the cell for yourself. Simply take a plastic bin and lined it with a piece of black poster board like this. Cut slits in the ends then hold it against the sunny window. Even though it’s not nearly as efficient as a full blown solar heater, you’ll soon quickly feel the hot air as it rises from the top. Have fun and thanks for watching.