If you’ve got good sun exposure on one side of your house, you can take advantage of free heat from the sun with this DIY solar heating panel, which uses old soda cans to collect and transfer the sun’s energy into your house.
Sometimes, low-tech solar devices are much better than high-tech ones for home use, as they not only tend to be cheaper to make, but will also last much longer before any repairs or maintenance are necessary.
And even better, they can be built in part from repurposed or recycled components, which is something you don’t see very often in new solar devices.
This solar space heater design uses old soda cans to increase the surface area for heat transfer inside of it, and in its most basic design, uses no external power to move the air.
Double-glazed glass or polycarbonate panels make up the front of the device, allowing the sun’s rays to enter it while restricting heat loss to the outside air, and the box is also insulated for more efficiency.
When exposed to the sun, the air inside the solar heater begins to warm, and as it does, it rises to the top of the box and can be ported directly into the house.
For more control over the system, small fans and thermostats can be added, so that warm air enters the house only after the temperature reaches a desired range, and installing adjustable air registers at the outlet lets the system appear almost invisible from inside the living space.
For an overview, and complete downloadable plans for this DIY solar space heater, see Greg’s Pop-Can Solar Space Heating Collector.