Updating the Window box heater

in diy •  19 days ago 

I've been fixing the window box heater. It's been working OK over winter but not to its maximum.

I'll rebuild it over Summer and add a temperature control so that it only comes on when the air temperature in the box is over 20°C. I'll use thick glass as the cover instead of thin perspex as glass traps more heat. I'll also make the whole box fit the front windows much more closely. That'll mean making it longer, potentially doubling it's length.

This box was originally made for the chook run to warm that over Winter but it was too effective so I had to take it down.

It is made from scrap and has coir flute as its backing and thin Styrofoam as insulation. I know how well it works and I've got much better materials now so it'll be a real furnace next Winter.

I also learned how to improve its heating ability. First, I repositioned the inlet so that it takes air in from brickwork that has been in the Sun. That's added heat to that end of things.

Repositioning the whole box helped a little. Moving it only 15 cm made a measurable difference to the output earlier in the day.

For the record, as I type this:

It's 24C outside and 18C inside the house (more about that later)
The air coming out of the heater is a toasty 31C. That's a boost of 7°C!

I'd like to get an air flow meter from somewhere so that I can measure the flow of the air coming out. Then I can work out how much heat and energy this little system is producing.

This sort of system doesn't produce constantly. Being run off a single 5W solar panel it only blows when the Sun is shining so its no good on dull, overcast days and it's output drops when a cloud passes over. I've thought of adding a battery but then it would blow when the box isn't trapping heat.

This sort of passive device can trim enormous amounts off of a house's energy use but I reckon you'd still need some kind of heating in the depths of Winter. It can however, extend the range of comfortable days greatly at no expense beyond the cost of the initial build.

My goal over Summer 2019 is to make the house temperature responsive using only the movement of the Sun throughout the day as the controller.

Of course, there'll be lots of posts about this, so keep an eye out...

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This is such a great idea! This is a safe alternative to heaters in a chicken coop for those who live if extreme cold areas. It's also a great option for greenhouses where electricity isn't available. We are also building a dry cabin on our lot for guests so this could be used to keep it a bit warmer in winter. What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks. It is a simple idea and the first year I used it for our chook house but it got too hot for them

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You've been visited by @minismallholding from Homesteaders Co-op.

That sounds pretty efficient. I cant wait to see what more you've got coming. It won't be long before we're fighting the heat again. I’ve featured this post in the Homesteaders – Living Naturally newsletter.


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Thanks @minismallholding. Now I know the idea works really well, I'll be building a couple into the house ready for next winter

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Temperature responsive house sounds great! We have a tree that reduces the yard by a couple of degrees and inside the house by a couple more but only on the tree side, need to do something about the rest of the house XD and see if we could rig up something similar to warm it in winter as sometimes the inside is colder than the outside x_x

I'll be adding more design ideas ready for next winter and will probably post them on Steemit otherwise, our main blog is https://ligayagarden.online if you want to follow up for more ideas

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Impressive. No reason we shouldn't be harvesting the sun given where we live.

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That's my goal for this year. I'll be building a couple of these into the house on a larger scale

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