Monday, February 22, 2010

Making, Buying, Designing, Evaluating Fins for Solar Collectors

Many of the homemade
collectors shown on this site use aluminum fins to collect the incoming
solar heat and transfer it to a tube that carries the heat transfer
fluid. 

The fins need to transfer heat efficiently, and need to have a good thermal connection with the tube carrying the heat transfer fluid. 


Fins1.jpg
Copper tube with heat absorbing fin being installed.

This article goes over several fin designs, several ways of making the fins, some of the types of fins you can buy and where to get them. 

The new article also provides calculated fin efficiencies for some of the homemade and commercial designs.  I'm sure you are dying to know Which fins do best?  Does steel work as a fin material?  Are those big, thick, extruded fins worth the extra money? ...

All the details on fin design, fabrication, purchase, and performance here...

Some fin designs that people have sent in...

Fins2.jpg
Kevin's two layer fin

FinsMatt2.jpg
Matt's bicycle powered fin former.

FinsTom.jpg
Tom's most impressive fin press

Got any ideas on fin design or fabrication?

Update March 11 -- I've added a couple more entries that have been turned in since this blog entry was written -- all on this page:

All the details on fin design, fabrication, purchase, and performance here...


Gary









Many of the homemade
collectors shown on this site use aluminum fins to collect the incoming
solar heat and transfer it to a tube that carries the heat transfer
fluid. 

The fins need to transfer heat well, and need to have a good thermal connection with the tube carrying the heat transfer fluid. 


Fins1.jpg
This article goes over several fin designs, several ways of making the fins, some places you can buy the fins.  It also provides the calculated fin efficiency for several of the designs.

This blog entry has a few highlights, but all the gory details are here...

Some fin designs that people have sent in...

Fins2.jpg
Kevin's two layer fin


FinsMatt.jpg




7 comments:

  1. I have made a fin tube press from angles bolted together with threaded rod and a nut and bolt through another angle that has a 5/8" rod that presses into the plate. I use a cordless drill the tighten the bolts which presses down on the plate. Also it has the capability to pinch the top part of the fin. I have attached a photo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Anthony,
    I don't think the picture made it through -- can you email it directly to me?
    gary@builditsolar.com
    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was not sure how to attach, so i emailed it directly to you. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Anthony -- Got the picture -- thanks! Gary

    ReplyDelete
  5. Antony I'm interested in your press you made for fins. Could you send me a picture?
    Thanks
    Randy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Randy I just sent the picture to Gary and he should be posting soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,
    I added Anthony's fins press as well as one that John Canivan uses for his serpentine collectors to the page on fins here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/Fins/Fins.htm
    Thanks guys for turning these in -- Gary

    ReplyDelete

 
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