Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Build Your Own Solar Space Heater

Solar Space Heater Student project:

In two workshops last winter Steve Hren and Chris Allen led reassembly & installation of our solar space heater, (built in Mar 2009 by students at NC School of Science & Math). Then Marc & Henry hooked up the PV fan - so the system is now working! Time to test it! Anyone have an infrared temp. gun we can borrow?

In spring 2009 a "miniterm" class from the NC School of Science & Math built the solar space heater at the EcoLounge (at Carolina Biofuels). These boxes, which come in a variety of designs, save energy in winter and many models have a rapid payback. YIKES! coordinated the project, which ran from Feb 26 - March 6. Prof. Marion Brisk taught the class; Steve Hren, Chris Allen & Matt Jacobi advised students on materials and construction. Special thanks to The Forest Foundation, which sponsored the project.
See the resulting YouTube video which lays out each step in construction:
How to Build a Solar Space Heater, Parts I, II & III (too bad big brother killed the cool soundtrack)

Here's photo of our prototype (below, right):

This project grew out of a yikes!/NC Powerdown workshop: How to build your own solar air heater on Feb. 6, 2009 held at the N.C. School of Science & Mathematics, Durham, NC, taught by Steve and Rebekah Hren, authors of The Carbon-Free Home.

Update: In fall 2009, after some trouble-shooting, we decided to redesign the space heater with fiberglass insulation, as we discovered the rigid polystyrene warped when it got too hot.