I built solar thermosyphens for the knee wall of my south facing screen porch.
My goal was to use as much recycled and reclaimed material as possible.
The heat is fed into the enclosed porch. I open the house window and I have free heat in the winter.
In the summer months the sun tracks higher in the sky and the overhang of the roof prevents the sun from hitting the collectors.
Step 1: Trimming Window Panes
I picked up a bunch of double hung windows out of a house that was getting replacement windows. The contractors are happy to give them to you. Saves them a trip to the dump.
I used a circular saw and a straight edge and trimmed them to all have a uniform side, I made them about 1 3/4 inch.
Step 2: Building Frames
Once I had the window panes trimmed I now had my working dimensions. I cut a rabbit in the frame for the window pane to sit in. I also laid in some vertical bracing and a nailer for the window to join over.
Step 3: Fastening to Wall
I primed all the surfaces with a good exterior primer. Next using a pocket hole jig I set out a series of pocket holes for fastening frames to kneewall.
Step 4: Shoot It Up
Set frames in place, level up and shoot screws into pocket holes.
lay a bead of caulk on inside and outside. caulk in pocket hole pockets and prime.
Step 5: Paint Interior
Paint the interior flat black, I laid on 2 coats.
Next is to drill holes top and bottom for air to circulate. Touch up flat black paint around holes.
Step 6: Interior Metal
I used several items for my metal collectors. The long collector is pieces of scrap sheet metal in my garage. One collector is made of dog food cans and my third collector has old license plates.
paint all the metal flat black.
On the flat metal collector i have the metal suspended from cup hook attached to the top of the collector box. The dog food cans are glued to the back of the collector.
Step 7: Glazing
Pre Prime all the window pane edges you cut with the saw. Windex inside side of window pane.
Set window panels into a bed of caulk and screw into place.
Caulk any gaps and paint with top coat color. I trimmed in spaces next to panels with vinyl siding.
I can sit on my porch in January in a tee shirt and enjoy my afternoon coffee in a balmy 70 degrees