Green Home Heating Improvement Using Cheap DIY Pop-Can Solar Panels

By constructing and installing solar panels at your home, you can significantly reduce your monthly electric bill and at the same time set an example for other people in your neighborhood who are not so ecologically conscious. This is very easy project and possible for anybody to do, no matter what experience you have at DIY projects.

Ingenious solution shown on cansolair site served as an inspiration to build efficient “home-made” solar collector. Basically, it is incredibly simple and cheap solar panel for supplemental home heating, which heats the air directly.

The most interesting thing is the fact that solar panel is almost entirely constructed out of empty beer and soda aluminum cans!

Housing for solar collector is made of wood (plywood 15mm), while its front is made out of 3 mm (0.12 inches) Plexiglas / polycarbonate (you can use tempered glass as well). The back of the case set is made of rock wool (you can use Styrofoam) as insulation.

Solar absorber is made of beer / soda cans, and painted in matte-black paint resistant to high temperature. The upper part (cover) of cans is specifically designed to provide greater efficiency in heat exchange between the cans and the passing air.

When it is sunny, regardless of outside temperature, cans and inside air heat up very quickly. Small fan drives heated air back into the room.

Our solar system is not able to accumulate thermal energy it produces. When it’s sunny, the solar panel produces heat, but it is necessary to use it immediately for heating the air inside the house. If the sun does not shine, it is necessary to interrupt the supply of air in the solar collector, because otherwise the room will begin to cool down. This can be solved in a simple way – by installing the valve, which will reduce the heat loss to a minimum.

Small differential thermostat (snap disk) controls the fan. This thermostat can be bought in better-equipped electronic component stores. The unit has two sensors. One placed inside the top opening for warm air, the other inside the lower opening for the supply of cold air in the solar collector.

If you set the temperatures carefully, the solar collector can produce an average of 2 kW of energy for home heating. This generally depends on how much sun do you have during the day.

Dress rehearsal of solar collector was carried out in the backyard before installing the system on the house. It was a sunny winter day, no clouds. A small cooler extracted from a faulty power supply of PC was used as a fan. After 10 minutes in the sun, solar collector produced hot air with temperatures of 70 ° C!

The test results have encouraged us to install solar heater on the house as soon as possible.

After completing installation of solar panel, the outside temperature was -3 ° C, and from the solar collector was coming out 3 m3/min (3 cubic meters per minute) of heated air. In the home version we used more powerful fan than for the test. Heated air temperature went up to +72 ° C. Temperature was measured by digital thermometer. Small anemometer measured the speed of the air circulated through the solar collector. To calculate the heating power of our solar panel, we took the air flow, and average air temperature at the exit from the unit.

Calculated power that the solar panel produced, was approximately 1950 W (watts) which is almost 3 HP (3 horsepower)!!!

CONCLUSION: Considering that the results were quite satisfactory, we can conclude that this solar panel is definitely worth making. The collector, at the very least, costs under 150$ and can be used for additional heating of our home, and it is up to you to calculate and figure out how much savings you can achieve.

Complete and detailed instructions on how to build your own pop can solar panel heater can be found on DIY solar projects

Top Five Most Loved Collector Figures

Collector figures are miniature replicas of certain characters or figures, images and normally imitate particular themes. Back in the days, porcelain, clay and wood were used to make these collector figures, however, PVC or otherwise known as Polyvinyl Chloride is now widely used since it makes it very easy in molding the figures.

One of the widely known collector figures is Swarovski Crystals. Swarovski has been around since 1895. Because of its very appealing quality, it is recognized as the world leader in collectible crystal figurines and crystal jewelry.

Another collector figure which a lot of collectors fancy is the Lenox Lotus Ware. Lenox was founded in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox. It began as an art studio and had full lines of unique art wares. Their products were carried in shops specializing in high-quality pottery.

One of the favorite collector figures is the Precious Moments series. These famous “teardrop-eyed” images of children are well loved by both kids and adults. Up until now, a Precious Moments collector figure enjoys a world-wide popularity because of their portrayal of sharing, love and faith. These are one of the best gifts one can give to families and friends alike.

Lladro’s on the other hand are specialized collector figurines that promote luxury and style. It started in the city of Almacera, Spain, where three Lladro brothers produced porcelain figurines which has now become the world’s identifier of status quo. Lladro values its authenticity therefore every time we purchase their Lladro porcelain figures; it comes with insurance against breakages

Last but not the least, we come to Hummel figurines. The designs of the Hummel collector figurines were brought about by a nun, Maria Innocentia Hummel. It is described as the epitome of youth and innocence. The reason for this was because the figures were based on Sister Hummel’s drawings and paintings of children.

Collector Figures are perfect for anyone who is venturing for a different kind of collection of beautiful and touching pieces. These collectible figurines can be a new way of having fun with an easy access to relaxation and recreation right in the comfort of your own home. These porcelain figurines are also great for warming up and putting a touch of personality in any home.

How to Decorate With Antiques, Part 2 – Knowing Which Collector Type You Are

A clear understanding of how you envision antiques in your home is a solid starting point in understanding how to decorate with these strong designing tools. It’s no exaggeration to say that successfully using antiques is predicated on knowing what you want to accomplish in your home. The strategy required to fill an entire house with period perfect pieces will vary greatly from the homeowner seeking one sculptural piece to offset a collection of modern art and furnishings.

But equal to this understanding is the need to clearly see yourself in one of the following 5 collecting categories. While not a ridged system, these groupings are, in my experience, slots into which most antique collectors fit. See which one resonates with you:

The Flea Market Aficionado. Loves old things but is unwilling to part with more than a few bucks for the procurement of a piece. This creature is often found a flea-markets, tag and estate sales looking for fun things at discount prices. This typically precludes fine period antiques (with rare and rapturous exceptions) putting the focus on vintage or collectible items that will make stylish additions to their home. Questions of provenance and authentication are non-existent for this buyer for whom the only real questions are “do they love it” and “is the price right”?

The Weekend Warrior. Whether at home or while on vacation this antiquing creature is compelled to wander quaint streets (often following a charming brunch at a local eatery) in search of cute shops through which to wander. Lacking any plan for buying or collecting this individual is best known for their impulse buys. Pieces thus appear at home randomly and are treated as unexpected guests rather than as anticipated arrivals.

The Occasional Collector. I describe this individual as a timid collector; one who is limited, either by knowledge, confidence (usually a lack thereof) or investing capital. They are not afraid to ring the bell at the door of their cities finer antique dealers or to appear at an auction house preview but they rarely buy, typically for the reasons noted above. Undaunted they are content to wander isles, timidly ask a few questions and head home to dream about acquiring any number of interesting pieces.

The Serious Collector. Whether supported by an architect or interior designer or on their own, these buyers have invested the time to educate themselves about antiques in general and, when appropriate, about specific areas of their interest. This buyer has the means to purchase good pieces and enjoys the hunt particularly when surrounded by their very own hunting party. Active attendees at regional and national auction house sales as well as regular guests at their home town’s finer dealer’s showrooms. Never adverse to a good deal, they wield their knowledge appropriately to secure the best value for their investing dollars and typically have a clear idea of where and how the piece will be used and appreciated in their home.

The Connoisseur. As focused a collector as there can be, this buyer of fine antiques is at the top of the purchasing food-chain. Always with a purpose, this buyer not only knows their stuff but are aware of (and give thoughtful consideration to) current and anticipated trends in the industry. They are interested in building collections and are guided in their purchasing decisions by this over-arching objective.

Whatever category(s) feels comfortable to you there is much joy and satisfaction to be found by including antiques in your home’s interior design program. In our next and final article in this series we will look at a number of successful methods for integrating the pieces you collect into a modern home.