Friday, January 01, 2010

Little Down Time and Side Project

Well with winter upon us and temps colder than hell, biodiesel production will have to be put on hold for awhile. Although I do have an idea I need to work to test out.

But in the mean time I've been playing around with another "green" project, a passive solar collector heater. I found a very novel take on this technique through the use of soda or beer cans. At first I thought this was a complete joke but after a Google and YouTube search the concept is very sound.

Basically you cut the bottoms, and in some cases the top, off, glue and stack the cans together, paint the cans black, and then build a frame/box to house the cans into. Insulate the interior and then cover the enclosure with a piece of glass or plexiglass. Place on south facing side of house and VOILA you have an environmentally safe supplemental heat source. From the information I located outside temperature can be as low as 15-20 degrees fahrenheit out side but the unit will produce temps up to 130 or more! Due to the thin aluminum wall of the cans they collect and transfer their heat quickly. Downside is that once the sunlight is gone they don't hold any residual heat. Might look into lining the bottom of the enclosure with 4" ceramic tiles as a thermal mass to store some heat.

I've got the cans glued together and just about finished with a 4" enclosure. Should be ready to paint the cans black tomorrow and test this sucker out. I imagine I could do something with this sucker to preheat in the biodiesel process. Hmmmmm.......