Solar Air Heater
Most solar air heaters work a little bit different then you might expect. When we talk about solar energy it is usually in the context of energy generation. However for a solar air heater we are only generating heat by using the sun not electricity. This simplifies the process quite a bit, and makes it very easy to build your own. Just like with most things in life, it really is quite simple as long as we look at it that way. Lets take a look at the process:
The first part deals with collecting the heat. You can do this through many methods, you just need something that will collect air and allow the sun to warm the air up inside of it. A good example is a soda can painted black. The can will hold air and because it is painted black it will absorb the heat from the sun. Because heat rises naturally the heated air can then be introduced into the second part of the system.
The second part is ventilating the heated air through a duct system by either natural ventilation or a fan system. Their are two types of solar air heaters, passive and active. Passive collects the heat naturally and then uses a siphoning system, while active utilizes a fan to draw heat through a solar array. Because heated air rises it can be naturally collected by a duct system and spread throughout a space without using any electricity. The use of a fan in the system can make it more efficient depending on how large the system is and how far the air needs to travel. The heated air can then either be directly sent to rooms or sent to a storage medium such as a water tank.
A good solar air heating system usually utilizes solar panels as a heat generator/collector. The heated air is then siphoned or fanned through the duct system to a water tank as a way of storing the heat, which then can be distributed throughout rooms at a later time.
Solar air heaters are an easy and cheap way to use solar power, they are extremely easy to make as well. Find out how to easily make your own solar air heater.