Saturday, October 3, 2009

Scott's 24 by 8 foot Space Heating PEX Collector

This is a really interesting solar space heating collector design.  It is built as a single unit that is 24 ft wide by 8 ft high.  Compared to building a bunch of separate collectors, the single unit construction saves some time, effort, and materials, and looks very nice.


The absorber is an extra wide variation on the PEX/aluminum absorber.

For more on the collector, including a link to Scott's site with all the construction details, and a few of my thoughts on the collector...

This is a good example of the kind of freedom to try new things and fit your design to your situation that building your own system gives.

Scott is a founder of the Yahoo SimplySolar group -- a good place to discuss your new solar ideas.



  1. Well done! I wonder about the trench just below the surface, though? Surfing through Scott's site, I noticed a snowblower so I assume he's in an area that will freeze...occasionally.

  2. Hi Rowland,
    Thanks for your interest and kind words! Yes, I live in northern Maryland so I had to incorporate freeze protection in my design. Since the collector is lower than the house I couldn't accomplish that by drain back. Instead, I added environmentall friendly propylene glycol (about 40%) to keep the fluid from freezing. In fact, I just did that this weekend. I had been running just water up until now with my initital testing and tweaking of the system.
    Please let me know if you have any other questions!
    Take care,

  3. I think this is a great site. I've been thinking about putting one on the side of my fence. I'll go with a closed copper collector. I'm in the planning/designing stages. The area I'm looking at is 40 feet long by 6 feet high. that would give me 240 SF of collector. I have a couple of questions if it isn't too much of a bother. I think it would be cheaper and easier to connect 4 10' long pieces of copper to get my 40' horizontal and then serpentine them every 7" for a total of 10 horizontal runs giving me 400'LF of 1/2" copper plus about 80' of pex or pvc to and from the storage tank. Is that too far to run in a closed system? or would I be better of to make 4-- 10'by 6' manifold type collectors and connect them? Sorry for such a basic question.

  4. Scott,
    Thanks for sharing this. It looks great. I just have a quick question about the flashing you used. I looked on Amazon and there are several different types of 8x50 flashing. Some are 0.0078" thick and some look to be about double that. How thick is the flashing you used? Gary mentions using 0.018" thick flashing on his collectors and I've often wondered how much difference the thicker flashing makes vs the thin stuff. Thanks,

  5. Oops. Maybe I should have paid as much attention to the words as I did to the pics ;-) The part about 'not a drainback system' would have clued me in. So, you're using a heat exchanger in your storage tank?
    Loved the low profile hot air collector, too!


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