Solar heating panel installation photos

For anyone interested in seeing photos of an installation of commercial "drop-in" passive solar air-heating panels, you're invited to visit
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/SC_Madison
The pictured installation took less than an hour with a four man crew and has kept the building "shirtsleeve comfortable" through the winter.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Neat, I designed a similar solar preheat system for a college field house, gymnasium, and 25 meter pool in NH back in 1979, where the HVAC supply air is brought through 3 banks of 60' black metal ducting (made up of 4" deep galvanized decking). Worked great, with air on a sunny 0 degree F. day at about 80 degrees F. at the HVAC intake. The lexan covers however distorted from the heat and had to be replaced with glass. I gave a talk on this project at an environmental conference in Norfolk VA. in 1980. Total additional cost was $48 K. for a 60,000 sf facility. EDS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EDS wrote:

Thank you. I also built my first panels back in the 70's. There has been, of course, a fair amount of improvement in the variety of materials available in the years since. If you're still interested in the topic, now might be a wizard time to catch up on technical reading - interest in solar seems to be very much on the rise again.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EDS wrote:

I'd love to see your paper from the talk.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good Lord, 28 years ago. I might have it somewhere in a mouldering box, but the firm I was with then is long gone. Sorry. Funny tale about that building, the ducts came in just over the Athletic Director's office, and he had to work in his shorts to stay cool. Also during the night condensation would freeze in the ducts above his office, when the sun came up it would unfreeze and drip onto his desk. Only leaked on sunny days ;-) We were able to fix both problems with some insulation. The building had a field house that held 3500 spectators, another full gym, 3 squash courts, offices, a 25 meter 6 lane pool w/ 3 meter board, and appropriate lockers, showers, etc. Walls were prefinished aluminum insulated panels. Pool was all cedar clapboards inside with 5' gluelam beams. Heat was required only on cloudy days and at night when temperatures dropped below freezing as we did not have a heat storage system. Somewhere I've some negatives of it. Have to digitize them. EDS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EDS wrote:

The fieldhouse sounds like a dream project! If you do find the negs and convert 'em to digital, I'd also like a look...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EDS wrote:

It seems like the materials used would have cut down on potential mold issues and still withstand a pretty huge temperature range. Do you remember what you used for insulation?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think it was iso, but possibly Styrofoam EDS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

THanks, I think that's very interesting. Would it be structuraklly possible to use these panels as the major portion of a house structure...?
An additional aspect - how to add solar panels in ways that wouldn't get you sued by the local suburban "architectural approval board"...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kris Krieger wrote:

Gotta state the obvious: these panels aren't suitable for use as load-bearing components. Less obvious: I /can/ build structural panels, and I've worked out a way to integrate framing _and_ collector, but it'd only make sense for new construction.
Having laid that groundwork, I'll say that incorporating these panels into a south-facing wall in such a way that they /appeared/ to be the major portion of that wall would be more than just "interesting".
Panels in east/west walls will provide heat in morning/evening which seems attractive until you realize that they'll do that on a year-round basis. I wouldn't put 'em there without planning to install covers every spring (and store 'em every fall). Even as the proud designer/manufacturer, I think I'd rather have east/west windows. :-)

That, fortunately, hasn't been a problem so far for any of my customers. If it's like to be an issue for you, I'd suggest getting favorable resolution before doing the installation.
Just to keep things interesting, it's possible to build other than black panels if an efficiency hit is acceptable. Use of colored panels will raise the square footage required to produce the same amount of heat, but may help in dealing with approval boards, neighborhood associations, etc.
If that strikes you as interesting, you may enjoy looking over another web page at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Absorber.html
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


That's what I'd thought, but wanted to check. I think it's a good idea and also think it'd go well with a "contemporary" or "modern" style building (in quotes because I'm not sure whethe what i think of as contemporary or modern is still called that).

In my useage, "interesting" is a high compliment ;) and takes in everything from "clever and practical idea" to "potentially way-cool aesthetic" ;)

Re: panels specifically for heating, given that ther are things such as retractible awnings, it shouldn't be that much of a stretch to add in a recessed retractible Summer cover...

It seems like ther could be something like "heater bricks" - for example the bricks used on this house are hollow - there are 4 holes inside of each 9" brick. Seems to me that, for a cold climate, there ought to be a way of making the bricks out of soomething that collects the sun's heat, and uses those holes (?piping?) to transfer the heat around. Well, it's prob just another one of my wacky ideas. It just seems like there should be a wide variety of ways to take advantage of passive systems - well, there prob. are, and I don't know what to use as my search terms/phrases.

Nifty :) In a hot climate, people still need hot water, so is it way off-base to think that this might also be applicable to heating water?
Normal houses, esp. in hot humid climates, just seem to me to be constantly at battle with themselves - even in hot dry climates, where passive methods work really well, almost all houses are the typical battelfield between trying to keep the interior cool an ddry, and creating heat sources for hot water and coooking. IOW, you have ot input energy to cool, AND energy to cook/wash, AND THEN add even more energy to cool the place after adding in the heat for cooking and hot water... It just seems a bit stupid to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kris Krieger wrote:

My taste runs toward streamline modern - and I think it'd be wonderfully possible to integrate solar panels gracefully into that kind of design. I'm not sure that anyone would be willing to accept the result as bearing that same label, but I am sure that it'd be both efficient _and_ aesthetically pleasing (to me).

Thank you (I took it as a compliment.) The thrust of my remark was that, depending on the length of that south wall, the space might end up being considerably warmer in the winter than in the summer. :-)

Of course - but plan on "cover" rather than "awning", because simply shading these panels isn't enough to turn 'em off. My shop is in an aircraft hanger and one partly cloudy day I opened the door (45'W x 12'H), positioned a panel 15' inside the door facing north, and measured a 7F temperature differential between intake and discharge flows...

This is a really tough problem! A solution of the type you suggest /may/ be possible, but probably not with currently available materials. For a starting point, I'd suggest reading everything you can root out of Wikipedia on "black body" and "black body radiation". Warning: the math will make your head hurt - I came away with a profound respect for Max Planck.

Absolutely. I built the my first two passive panels with "stealthy" absorbers in the Hudson Valley in early 70's. One panel was an air heater, and the other was a water heater that gave me the only burn I've ever had from a flat panel. When I started building panels full-time I focused on air heaters to avoid all of the liabilities involved with water-heating subsystems because there were just too many factors over which I had no control, but which /could/ bite consumers.

I understand, but the cost of energy use is heat. With major help from a good friend, I've been working to develop a multi-horsepower fluidyne engine. The fluidyne is a liquid-piston Stirling cycle engine whose only moving parts are air and water (nothing to wear out!).
A Stirling cycle engine has some rather special properties: (1) if heat energy is applied to its "hot side" and allowed to escape from its "cold side", it produces mechanical energy, and (2) the process is reversible - that is, if mechanical energy is applied to drive the engine, it will /develop/ a hot side and a cold side.
Our notion is to drive a (first) fluidyne with solar heat energy to produce mechanical energy, and to then use that mechanical energy to drive a (second) fluidyne to produce hot and cold sides. There's no reason to keep the heat from the hot side, but the cold side becomes the heart of a refrigeration/air-conditioning unit that runs off (only) solar radiation. :-)
If that captures your imagination, you can see a bit more at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Stirling
The bottom line is that we can have heating and cooling both without needing either fuel or electricity. I like that, but it may just be my Scottish background at work. :-D
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don wrote:

When I had time, I was more or less a regular on news:rec.woodworking, and I still keep an eye on news:alt.solar.thermal, news:alt.solar.photovoltaic, news:alt.energy.renewable, news.alt.energy.homepower, and news:comp.lang.c - and decided that I'd try to follow current architectural thinking here. I'm not an architect, so I probably won't be able to contribute much - but architects exert considerable influence on my life (and so bear watching <g>).

Probably so - especially if the garage is attached.

I can't even begin to help with the "too much stuff" problem, but framing rough openings for panels (especially in a garage) shouldn't be a big deal for most carpenters who know their trade. It is, of course, easiest in new construction. File the notion away for retrieval if the costs of heating rise beyond your comfort level...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.