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Solar Thermal Air Heater (on a Shipping Container)
I saw a few people ask what other uses might there be for Potassium Hydroxide (KOH). It is the electrolyte of choice for Nickel-Iron batteries. NiFe batteries are some fascinating old-school technology with some real-world applications and are definitely accessible to the DIY community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel%E2%80%93iron_battery
The initiative is good, because there is indeed a lot to gain from solar air heaters. It is always better to do a bit of research before beginning a project. At the Australian Q Solar Pty Ltd (www.q-solar.com) we developed the best and more economical solar air heaters (proven) because we are specialists in this since 2001. We have about 50 different models, for different applications, which can cost as little as 10$ per square metre to make and we teach others how to make them. The result is much higher efficiency and the lowest possible price per unit of heat. I do not necessarily want to sell you anything, but to suggest that things (especially the technical design) are better done by specialists... I just wish to see more worthy applications of solar energy in the USA.
Hi Skunkworx, Thanks for the temp numbers. It sounds like your lighting and 200w heater contribute a fair amount of extra heat. Your current insulation using magnets to hold it in place is quite creative. We're interested in hearing more about your commercial offering that's coming soon. Please contact us once you get closer to launching and we'll give you some coverage on our blog. As far as containers, yes we have containers in Columbus. (Currently inventory levels at your local depots are well over 100+ units in both 20's and 40's).
Hi Shipped,The container is insulated with 2" foamboard panels stuck to the walls with big flat magnets and covered with a dual-sided reflective material (Reflectix). We are growing food inside the container and are running about 1kw of T5 lighting at all times. The lighting generates heat, as does the small 200W heater that we run. On a cold, overcast day (e.g. 20F) the container sits at about 55-60F. On a cold, sunny day it sits at about 65-75F. On a cool, sunny day (40F outside) the container easily tops 85F.We are currently finishing the design of our production model and will start producing and selling them in April. The new models will have spray-foam insulation with drywall and FRP paneling. I'll keep you in mind. Do you have any containers near Columbus, Ohio?
Ultraviolet resistant materials are treated to resist degradation by UV light; UV resistance does not interfere with the passage of the infrared portion of the spectrum responsible for the transmission of heat energy.
That's good news. Thanks for your input!
Just a note on rabbit manure. It is a fertilizer, however it should be used cautiously. It is very high in nitrogen and phosphorous. Over application will cause more harm than good. When added to composter, placed in your grow area, you will get the benefits of the nutrients, as well as the heat generated by the composting action. the com
I agree as well. Unfortunately, just about everything usable as glazing is UV protected. The only alternatives I found were some acrylic sheets that were about 6 times more expensive than the roofing panels that we used. Do you have any suggestions?
I'm convinced. Gotta go find me some lop-eared rabbits!
Great question! It's completely dependent upon available sunlight. Two days ago was clear and sunny but the outside air temp was about 12F here in central Ohio. The temperature inside the hot air duct was 128F. We use a small fan to help push air through the system when it's sunny. The air coming out of the unit, about 8" from the hot air duct was just over 90F.On a 100% overcast day we get essentially no temperature lift from the unit.
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