Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Solar Air Heater

I was reading the summer issue of Mother Earth News and they have an article on a solar air heater. Basically what it is is a greenhouse that is only six inches wide. It can be made out of a variety of materials but you need a clear face to allow the solar energy to enter.

I've decided there are a number of uses for a solar air heater. In my continuing effort to save energy (money,) I've decided that a solar air heater would work great for a clothes dryer. Of course you'd need a backup for those days when you don't have any sun. But even if the solar part is not working, the important part is that the air can be brought in from the outside, rather than taking nice conditioned air from inside and dumping it outside. I just need to figure out how to mod a dryer to bring air from outside. If I can figure that out, I'll be set.

Another idea is to run the exiting hot air through some kind of recuperator to get back some of the heat to dry the clothes with. Probably the best idea would be some sort of of pipe over a pipe style heat exchanger. Of course, I don't know how much all this would cost or save, so I have to take that into account.

Or I could just go back to how we did it when I was a kid. We had a three string clothes line behind the house in the summer, and we had a two stringer across the living room in the winter. Wood stove heat baby!


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