Ganged Solar Air Collectors

This collector design was posted on the forum.


"We've built (3) 4-1/2'x7' panels and get 124 deg air on sunny days here in Colorado using 1/4 hp blower. panels are suspended plate .010" aluminum.
very happy with results."


Finished (Except for insulation of left end duct.  A leaf of alum was sandwiched between duct and end of panel to wrap duct and allow 3" of fiberglass insulation.



Wall Mounts for solar air heater panels. Made from 2"x4"x3/16" wall rectangular tubing.


Panels through bolted to wall mounts. Ready fo 3" of formaldehyde free fiberglass insulation.   Insulation was then covered by .010" aluminum. Then 1" thick stick work runs the perimeter and 2 runs at 1/3 the width to support the suspended plate. Thermistors (temp sensors) were installed for air temp and plate temp in and out, for a total of 4 sensors + a snap disc thermostat.



This method for joining the collectors together seems really clean and efficient to me.



I asked the builder some questions about the collector -- here are are the responses:

What kind of glazing did you use?

Insulated, tempered 3/16" with 1/2" spacer. One of the 3 units was not tempered and it broke from thermal shock. I replaced it with a tempered unit.

It looks like the aluminum absorber plate sits right on top of the FG insulation, and that the air flow path is above the absorber, between the absorber and the glazing?

Nope. There is a 1" space between the insulation and the absorber and a 1-1/4" space in front of the absorber.  This is a front and rear pass collector.

Do the entry and exit ducts go through the house rim joist? Or?

Yes. 2- 6" holes through the double rim (end?) joist.

How do you distribute the air in the air to the house?

Air enters through a filter housing, passes through a 24vdc electric damper, then exits the house to panels, reenters the house, passes another electic damper to the suction side of a 1/4 hp blower, then discharges to the basement through a utility room wall.

How are you sealing the areas at the panel ends where the air channels go through to the next channel?

There are 3 channels to connect end to end. They are sealed with some 1/2" wide 1/4" thick foam tape. Then i drilled aclear hole through one side and drew them together with 6 - 3" screws. on the front,I ran a silicone bead.

Gary  12/1706