You must already be convinced about the benefits of adopting solar panels for energy instead of the conventional sources. And now, that you about to witness how easy it really is to build them yourself, you might be even more willing to embrace "the light".
You wouldn’t believe it, but those Coke cans you have been drinking can actually prove useful as part of a home-made solar panel. That’s because they’re made out of aluminum and that heats up very quickly.
So grab some plywood of 15mm and some tempered glass or Plexiglas/polycarbonate of 3 mm (0.12 inches) and enough beer or soda cans to match the size of them. Don’t forget to wash them first to avoid a smelly room and to cover them in matte-black paint afterwards to maximize the heating process.
To start with, make 3 holes in each can with a nail and then drill them as in the pictures. Also, it’s important to make a small fin at the top of the can to obtain a nice air flow in each solar tube. So cut the top in a star shape and get rid of the parts with pliers, but be sure to use gloves to prevent cutting yourself.
Next comes gluing the cans with any adhesive silicone that can last up to 200 ° C: just cover their edges and press against each other.
The following step involves a template for the cans, which you can easily come about by nailing two flat boards as in the picture. The cans should be attached to the template with rubber for jars. Use wood or aluminum for the boxes of intake and exhaust parts (1mm) and where there are gaps around the edges, be sure to fill them out with adhesive tape or heat-resistant silicone.
After the cut-outs are made 55mm in diameter, the first row of cans should be fixed with glue to the cover of the suction boxes, but left for at least a day to dry up.
Also, you can use plywood to take care of the back of the solar box collector. For further consolidation, you can isolate between the partitions set using rock wool or styrodur insulation. At the end, put a plywood panel to cover it all up.
To attach the solar collector to the wall, feel free to use 10 mm screws, but before that, you may consider adding an empty box on the wall to define the place of the drilling.
Before putting the solar absorber in the case, mind you to paint it in black and afterwards set the frame in place.
After completion, please bear in mind the fact that this solar panel doesn’t accumulate thermal energy – it just heats up the next room as soon as it starts producing it. So be sure to stop the air supply in the solar collector if there is no sun outside to prevent the room from chilling.
Also, you can go to an electronics store and buy a differential thermostat to control the fan. Tests in this solar collector have been very encouraging, so try it yourself to see how much you can reduce your electricity bill!