Friday, March 5, 2010

Collector Absorber Fins from Tom

Tom Sullivan built a couple large water heating solar collectors.  To reduce the work involved in making the heat absorbing fins that go on the collector tubes, Tom built a very nice press to stamp out fins.

Tom has decided to make these fins available as a product from his UP Truck Center business.  He is offering fins to fit 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch tubing in lengths from 24 inches to 34 inches.  He also offers a sort of super fin option that achieves more wrap of the fin around the tube.  The prices are very reasonable, and I think this is a good option for anyone wanting to save some time on building the fins.

Here is the web page describing all the options and some notes on how best to install the fins...

Tom is a long time friend of Build-It-Solar, and has sent in detailed descriptions of some of his very well done solar projects...    Thanks Tom!




  1. Very nice and at a reasonable price!

  2. I just finished a nearly 100 sqft collector using Tom's plates. The fins really fit very nicely. The clamps are very helpful in getting the fin to close very tightly around the copper tubes. I continued to use the flat 3 inch wide piece under the tube and screwed the grooved fin to the flat piece underneath after clamping tight -- this way the 3 inch wide flat piece holds the grooved piece tight to the tube. With this arrangement, I don't need the plywood backing, which will improve collector performance by reducing mass.
    The new collector will replace the smaller collector I am not using for the solar domestic water heating system. The idea is to change the system to get both solar domestic water and some winter space heating out of the same system.
    I'll put up some pictures when further along. I do like the way that the same storage tank can support both domestic hot water and space heating.


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