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solarhotairpanels 11-05-13 05:48 PM

Pics of 2 DIY systems being built / Hot Air Collectors and Drainback System
1 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone,

Here's a couple pdf files documenting how I constructed my latest solar hot air collectors and my solar hot water drainback system.

Hot Air Collector PDF

Solar DrainBack Hot Water System

The solar hot water system was constructed for 2 purposes.
1 - To provide my home domestic hot water by connecting my solar storage water tank directly to my tankless domestic hot water system.
2 - To provide hot water for heat distribution via a very large 14 ft Long x 1 ft High - used Runtal radiator.

If anyone has any questions pertaining to any of my construction stuff, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Pat from Rhode Island

jeff5may 11-05-13 06:48 PM

Both links lead to 404 errors.

EDIT: Now it works. The hot air collector looks like it would work really well on a trailer or home with a package unit heater. It would tie right in.

solarhotairpanels 11-06-13 06:06 AM


both links have been fixed now.

My error.. typo I guess.

Thanks for letting me know.

Daox 11-06-13 08:11 AM

I only just read through the hot air panel one. REALLY nice work. Great document to help people build their own. Thanks! I really wish more people would make these kind of panels. They're so easy and cheap to make its almost a no brainer. In addition to my solar hot water I do plan on building a few of these for my house as well.

I can't wait to read through the hot water one. :)

AC_Hacker 11-06-13 08:35 AM


Originally Posted by solarhotairpanels (Post 32810)
...documenting how I constructed my latest solar hot air collectors and my solar hot water drainback system...

Thanks for the PDFs. I think it's more useful to readers of your work if the discussion happened in the open, so that everyone learned from the questions & responses, rather that just individuals.

Having said that, have you had your metal-stud hot air collectors in operation long enough to know how they stand up to the wind and weather?


solarhotairpanels 11-06-13 08:47 AM

Hi AC Hacker and Daox

First, Daox... thanks for your nice comments Sir,

AC Hacker
So far all 4 of my hot air collectors have with stood very harsh winters here in Rhode Island.

They not only shed the snow by themselves but kick out terrific heat in outside temps as low as 13 degrees.

1 has been in place for 3 years now.
That's the first one I built out of 2/ x 4 PT frame.. and 3/8 plywood back.

the other ones are 2 years old and have all been built with metal stud framing.

I love using the metal stud framing.
They look more professional built once done and never have to worry about treating any wood framing.

If I took pictures of these for you today they'd look the exact same way as they do in the PDF file.

The polycarbonate is holding up super.. nice and crystal clear.
All 4 of my 6 inch booster fans are working fine.. no problems with the snap disk controllers .... just no problems at all EXCEPT for backdraft issues I'm not satisfied with.

I am currently building my own new backdraft damper which will be installed on all 4 collectors. Supply and Return piping.

Heading to the store for supplies now and will post back here or start a new thread for the backdraft damper build with a bunch of pictures.

solarhotairpanels 11-06-13 08:51 AM


for some reason, I'm not being notified when someone posts to this thread?
How do I 'subscribe' to a thread so I know when people post/reply?

Sometimes I get email notifications.. other times I do not?
Don't want anyone upset by my not responding to questions/comments.. know what I mean?

What's the trick I'm missing?


Pat B. Warwick, RI

Daox 11-06-13 08:59 AM

At the top of the thread click "thread tools" and then "subscribe to this thread".

SimpleManLance 11-06-13 03:28 PM

I just checked out both your systems. very cool! On your drain back system, don't you need some sort of a vacuum break to get the water to drain back into the 6 gallon tank?

pinballlooking 11-06-13 03:46 PM

The Hot Air Collector is very cool. Thanks for sharing!

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