Sunday, September 12, 2010

Greg's Pop-Can Solar Air Heating Collector

Greg's solar air heating collector uses recycled aluminum soda pop cans for the absorber. The pop cans have the tops and bottoms drilled out, and are assembled into vertical columns that the air passes through. 
In operation, the black painted soda pop cans are heated by the sun, warming the air that is flowing up through the cans.

Greg's finished pop-can collector
 A manifold at the bottom evenly distributes room air to all the can columns, and a similar manifold at the top of the collector collects the heated air for distribution back to the room.
Lots of cans!

The combination of uniform air distribution to the whole collector and the large amount of heat transfer area from the cans to the air makes for an efficient collector. Greg's collector also uses Twinwall polycarbonate glazing -- this is a type of double glazing that reduces heat loss and increases the efficiency of the collector.

Detail of upper manifold.

 Greg sent in a very detailed (22 page) description of the full construction process with lots of pictures.

All the details on Greg's pop-can solar air heating collector here...

Thanks very much to Greg for documenting and sending in this project!

Lots more solar space heating projects here...



  1. Wow.I never seen like this. Great job!


  2. Fine workmanship, indeed! I wonder about the baffles in the manifolds? In theory, they should increase efficiency. I thought about doing baffles in a similar collector that I'm building for my sister but opted for the lazy way out :-o Wayne's Solar Air Collector (from BIS space heating section) uses 3" dryer vent tubes in stead of pop cans.

  3. I had the same thought on the baffles -- I think that Greg said that Zoli did some testing to come up with this arrangement.
    Greg may have more to say on this, but I think he is away from computers except on weekends for now.


  4. Rowland,
    Thanks for the good comments. I also wanted to build one like Wayne built before I met Zoli on-line. Maybe I'll try one of those in the future.

  5. Another note on the baffels,Zoli tried a few different designs and told me the new one which I use was the best he and his other solar pals had come up with so far. And he like Gary being engineers, I tend to take their word for it :-)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

/* Start Analytics ---------------- */ /* End Analytics ---------------- */