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NOTE: the longer the panel that is exposed to the sun the hotter the air gets as it rises.

Let me explain on this page, so you understand why these panels work:

At the bottom of the panel the air will enter at room temperature and be lifted through the panel (hot air rises)... as the heated air rises, it is exponentially being heated the more it travels before exiting the panel. Additionally, the black Cinefoil is very thin which heats quickly even on days where the sun goes in and out. The longer the panel is exposed to the sun, the better it will work.

The black Cinefoil is THINNER than pop or beer cans... THAT is why these panels work so well. If you use thicker materials than the Cinefoil, by the time that material is heated enough to be beneficial, the sun may get covered again by a cloud and the panel will have to start all over again when the sun comes back out.

This panel is only 3/4 of an inch thick and weighs in at less than a couple pounds.

On a partly cloudy day the black foil collector reached about 150 degrees (during the sunny times) and on days where the sun was without a cloud in the sky, the foil reached 185 degrees. The plastic film on the front of the panel only felt warm to the touch and the aluminum flashing on the back of the panel only made it to 98 degrees.

In the video below, it was an overcast day and when I took a temperature reading... it was actually reading the plastic film which was still 143 degrees.

This type of solar panel (like most) only work if you have larger south facing windows or patio doors (which are better); and of course, a little sun helps. But the nice thing about these panels... They are VERY easy to make and hang "INSIDE" your window where you don't need to concern yourself with zoning codes or big ugly boxes hanging on the side on your house. A plus, you can take them down in the summer; also, because of their design... you can use these in apartments and condos.

The panels use no electrical or mechanical parts and they work awesome as the air is super heated through back chamber of the panel and exits out the top as if there were a blower in the panel.

To aid the distribution of the heated air that exits the panel, add a small fan (on a low setting) to circulate the heated air from the main room to other rooms in each doorway. DO NOT add a fan to blow through the panel itself... that will only serve to force cool air through the panel and not allow the air to super heat as it rises through the panels chamber.

Yet another option... turn your thermostat's fan to on so the furnace fan runs all the time; this will allow for the best circulation throughout the house... put it back to auto at night.

The only hard to find part of this panel is the Cinefoil which can be bought from my website RedbarnCrafts.com

Additionally... by using the Cinefoil, your panels will look more professional!

Check out these videos before starting the project. I explain (AND SHOW) how functional these panels really are.

[Play Video]

Let's get started...

Step 1: Materials

Materials needed for the Window Solar Panel:

1. Screen frames and framing Corners
3. Aluminum flashing
4. Black Cinefoil
5. Heat resistant aluminum tape
6. Window treatment film (comes with double sided tape)
7. Suction cups with #10 eye screws
10. Optional two soffit vents (not shown)

...

No disrespect to the very smart people out there, but in here lays the problem... <br> <br>This project is not intended to be scientific or an engineering feat. It is a simple project that works. <br> <br>And is for the not so mechanically inclined, it allows the average person to be able to experiment in this technology at a low cost. <br>
How do I vent the heat into the home
Those small solar panels I made work... got my gas bill today. Last months payment (during a warmer cycle - December) was $131... this month (during a colder cycle - January) was only $126. http://bit.ly/Lower_with_Solar <br> <br>Last year usage was 5.5ccf this year is 4.1ccf <br> <br>~
<p>I would love to make some but can't see the photos to get the idea of how it is suppose to look and work</p>
Sorry, pictures still not working.
<p>Every drop of sunlight which shines through your window lands on something and is turned in to heat. What you are doing is confining all of that heat to something which is attached to the window. there is no net energy gain, just a lot of wasted effort and money and darkened rooms. Don't waste your time or money on this idea</p>
<p>If there are light-colored objects or surfaces in the house, wouldn't at least SOME of the light be reflected back out through the window? The greater and darker the amount of surfaces the light hits, the less that gets reflected out -- so there WOULD be a net gain. Whether that gain is worth the money and effort would have to be tested/justified.</p>
<p>Put it in an insulated box with the top air intake/output INSIDE the house and the rest of the rig OUTSIDE, and you will supply a measurable amount of extra heat to the INSIDE. I built a 2' X 6' panel with the in/out fitted to the bottom of a single-hung south-facing window, at a 45-degree angle, and measured the temp of the air entering the panel and the air leaving. Air temp inside the room was 65 degrees, air exiting the panel was 73 degrees. This was called &quot;Passive&quot; solar when I built it in... 1980. Slow-moving gravity-powered air. Ugly and impractical as an add-on to my home at the time, but proved my point that simplicity&gt;complexity. Peace.</p>
<p>This panel does nothing. The heat is already coming through the window and is being disbursed through the room. The panel only captures the heat and then releases it. </p>
Interesting contraption. Tell you one thing for sure, if you made a gizmo 5 or 10 times the size of your window on a pedistal unattatched from the house that bends light before it goes into the window, you may really be on to something... Or just start a fire. Kind of like the solar cookers you make out of an old t.v.... I'm not an engineer, but logic would tell me that would probably make some heat.<br><br> The more you bend in, the more you fry right???<br><br>Yes yes, i do take engineers ideas, and make them better, or actually work the way they should.... Sometimes... College, and all those numbers and fancy hyphens make my brain shut down, and sleep.<br><br>To each his own :)
<p>Ok .. consider this - if the sun gives away aprox - 1kw pr/ m2 .. ok</p><p>Thats the most you can harvest with the perfect set up. </p><p>Ok consider this then - the sun shines on your windows,depending on the type of glass in them they will let in only some of the 1000w/m2 ... lets say they let in 800watts ... and the window is exactly 1m2 ...</p><p>How will you explain that buy putting up an absorber behind the window will raise this effect ?? the 800watts will enter the room and be absorbed by the floor, furnitures ect ect ... - so I dont understand why you think u harvest more energy this way - its impossible :-)...</p><p>Only think is the energy is condensed in the absorber/panel you use...</p>
<p>I agree. The only way to gather more energy is if the panel is on the outside of the house and venting to and from the inside, then we would have the surface area of the window plus the surface area of the panel to collect heat.</p>
<p>Would the following cinefoil work for this project: http://www.amazon.com/Rosco-Matte-Black-Cinefoil-12/dp/B001KVMK38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1448407261&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=black+cinefoil </p>
<p>Nice setup! I also made solar air heaters that press into my existing interior windows. Here is my setup if you are interested in seeing how I did mine: https://diybarrelstoveoutdoorfurnace.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/diy-window-mount-solar-air-heater-presentation/</p>
<p>Awesome, great idea with the attic thermostat! I've been thinking about this and wondering how well it would work inside a window, since most implementations I've seen are intended to go outside. Thanks for posting the idea and results.</p>
<p>Works great man, for sure. For the attic fan thermostat - wow, i see people that have built AND SELL complex mini-computer controlled logic fans! HAHA, all that expense and feature overload when in reality all you need is a simple device that turns the fan on when it gets hot, turns off when it cools! LOL Cheap thermostat, cheap 12VDC fan and DONE! 20 - 30 dollars at most! </p>
<p>I am building one and am using a small solar panel to power the fan, so when the sun is not providing electricity the fan doesn't run.</p>
<p>I have lots of south facing windows, but they are all vertical sliders. Do these panels need to hang directly on the glass to work, or could the hang from my window frame?</p>
<p>can this technique be used to heat a cottage that is 16 x 20 cottage in upstate NY?</p>
I have 6 double hung windows in the cottage. Would panels in each window be enough to heat the cottage?
<p>Thank\ YOUUUU!</p>
<p>I made one of these a couple years ago after watching one of your videos on YouTube. I recently published an Instructable about it, but I just stumbled upon your 'ible. </p>
<p>I enjoyed looking over this project. Thank you Mike for the work you put into the videos and pictures. I am wondering what you think about using this application for camping. Could one of these types of panels be set up outside of a tent, with a hose coming off the top and vented into a window of a tent? or Do you have any other solutions for camping that would help naturally heat a tent? It might help get more Boy Scouts out camping during the cold months. </p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>OhMike I can^t wait to start making one. I have one like this I made two years ago, still working great,yours looks easy to make,no painting,cool.</p>
I noticed you are trying for a PATENT.. You Cannot tell anyone about an idea and expect to gain such a thing! If anyone else can say they know about it the patent falls...<br><br>Anyway nice vids and the quantative reasearch was great... There have been a lot of solar/air based systems on the web, a lot of them are based on &quot;black&quot; causing the heat to fall out of the air. The use of black netting in a window will warm up a room on its own and allow you to see through it to the garden/view..<br><br>Might I suggest you build your box using a mesh with both sides see through,that way you can see through and force the convection process.<br><br>Just a thought<br>
<p>What kind of black netting are you talking about? I assume that because you didn't specify anything that black screen door net will work or maybe even landscape net. Is my assumption correct?</p>
<p>any dark material will absorb the energy from the sunlight... a simple dark netting will cause the energy to be dropped out of the light passing through... the thicker the better, but a black door screen would be fine! you want to be able to see out of the window and the holes in the mesh lets the air push the heat out into the room.</p>
<p>the photos on your page the link must be broken, and your video says it's private and only shows static. have you taken this down?</p>
<p>SHTF Preparedness linked to this, but I'm really disappointed that the instructional video is not longer available and the pics aren't there. I'd love to know more about it.</p>
<p>I would love to make this project but none of the pictures are showing so It may be a bit tough to follow the instructions.</p>
<p>I dont see any images. Would love to make this tho!!</p>

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