Saturday, February 11, 2012

Initial Considerations

This blogging effort (my first) is in response to inquiries by several of the folks who have been kind enough to donate empty soda (Pop for you Yankees) cans for this project. 

While no effort will be made to create an exhaustive "How-To" blog, I will try to document as much of the project as I can and share some of the "lessons learned" as we go along. I have gleaned a lot of useful information from the internet - just browse for "pop-can solar".

At the risk of stating the obvious, here are some starting suggestions:

1. Since accumulation may take a bit, begin can collection; solicit family and friends' help.

2. Identify "window" material to be used.
  • considered using salvaged windows I had in barn
  • checked Craigs list "Materials" and "Free" categories for storm windows/doors, shower doors, glass
  • I ultimately found a free 34" x 76" single tempered pane, and two 46" x 76" double-pane tempered pieces offered by a remodeler simply for the taking
3. Determine insulation material to be used; 3/4" thick, aluminum-foil faced insulating board, from Lowes in my case, and called PERMA "R".

4. I then measuured the length of two cans (9 1/2") and the diameter (2 5/8") to determine how many I would need to fit the space allowed by the glass.

5. Next, I decided I'd use 6" ducting in and out of the heater box.  This is needed so the size of the input and output manifold boxes could be determined.  This will become clearer as the picures are posted. 

6. Having determined these dimensions, I then designed the frame (pictures to follow) in Google SketchUp - a great free 3-D CAD program.

The next post will document the process of building a fixture to hold the cans during the drilling process as well as the process itself.


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