Picture of Solar Panels made easy - VERY Easy!
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...

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OhMike (author) 4 years ago
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

Last year usage was 5.5ccf this year is 4.1ccf

andreqeens OhMike5 months ago

If you are interested in learning exactly how to generate power and reduce your bill then this is the perfect resource for you! With the ever increasing costs of living, there is no better time than right now to stop throwing money out the window and start generating our own electricity. Check http://inplix.com and learn more about it. My boss was talking to me about inplix (http://inplix.com) , after seeing it on the news. He said he has saved almost 70% on her utility bill and I'm thinking about giving this new program a shot. Has anybody else used it? It seems to be super popular.

EveC1 andreqeens5 months ago

So I think http://inplix.com is the best for You if you know how to use your hands and brain. It's so cheap

lillianwf OhMike11 months ago

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

Dr.Bill OhMike2 years ago
Sorry, pictures still not working.
OhMike (author) 4 years ago
No disrespect to the very smart people out there, but in here lays the problem...

This project is not intended to be scientific or an engineering feat. It is a simple project that works.

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.
Dustin Rogers made it!7 months ago

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.

ntense998 months ago

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/

joshgoes ntense998 months ago

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.

ntense99 joshgoes8 months ago

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!

ButterflyNate8 months ago

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.


RogerJ39 months ago

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.

incidentals3 years ago
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...

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 "black" 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..

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.

Just a thought

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?

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.

Galonii9 months ago

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?

phall01069 months ago

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.

gsavage19 months ago

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.

LyeG10 months ago

I dont see any images. Would love to make this tho!!

Isaiahs310 months ago

so what you have is two window screens put together with the foil in between and the flashing on the back!

Truehart2 years ago
I just wanted to give a friendly bump to say that your pictures were no longer working.
OhMike (author)  Truehart2 years ago
Thank you!!!! I fixed it ~ MikeM

OhMike, still no pics, I REALLY need this. Ohio is very cold (as you would know, and I'm in northeast Ohio, so we get all the lake effect snow, too!), and my windows are terrible, house is always chilly, and ALLLLLLL my windows face the south! I have been searching for weeks, and this is my best choice, but with no pics, I have nothing to go on except what I imagine. Please post pics?

I don't see any images......
Truehart OhMike2 years ago
You're very welcome and thanks. Now I can attempt making one of these.
dreamweaver45411 months ago

I think I can make this myself but would REALLY appreciate the pictures being available so I can get a better idea of how this all goes together!

Ok .. consider this - if the sun gives away aprox - 1kw pr/ m2 .. ok

Thats the most you can harvest with the perfect set up.

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 ...

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 :-)...

Only think is the energy is condensed in the absorber/panel you use...

ivan_s4 years ago
excellent idea¡¡¡¡

I have been looking for a thin solar panel design. Why no pictures? Legal issues with sharing them? I think I can make this panel with the typed instructions. However, not all instructions are complete as they are intended to have the pictures as a visual aide. Can you please post the pictures?

OhMike (author)  ivan_s4 years ago
Thank you!
mgharri501 year ago

Can you get the pictures fixed...please!

dondi21 year ago
what are flutes?
mgharri501 year ago
I still do not see any pictures. I would love to build this for this winter, but would like to see the pictures to help with the build.
ict4ngo1 year ago
We can't see the images because they are linked http://the-savvy-tech.com/Projects/Solar/

and probably disapeared from there
pics of all the steps being done would be very helpful as well. there are lots an lots off pple learn by seeing some thing done in a picture vs steps typed out.
i hate to type this but it not a pv solar panel at all. its a heat siphon panel. please correct this!
jon_chalk2 years ago
Most of the pictures are missing. I refreshed my browser a few times. Only the top images and the two videos are visible. The others show as broken links.
Sweez2 years ago
are all the pictures from the steps gone just for me????
You don't need to all these complicated thing!!!
Just buy a Solar Panel at cheapest rate
from here DIY Solar Panels 
amerville552 years ago
Do you punch holes at both ends of the flashing?
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