Passive Solar Window Heater For My Off Grid Camper
January 16th, 2012
I recently made a passive solar window heater for my off grid camper. You can find the details here: Passive Solar Window Heater. It is simply a sheet of styrofoam with aluminum foil on one side, painted black. There are vent holes in the top and bottom to allow air to flow. The heater is kept away from the window about an inch to allow free air flow from top to bottom.
On really sunny days this solar heater puts out so much heat that you can feel the hot air flowing out the top of the heater. On partly sunny days it still works though. Enough to keep the inside of the camper above freezing on very cold days. One day when I tested it, the temperature outside was 30 degrees F and inside it was 65. This morning it was 7 degrees F outside and in the camper it was about 30 degrees at 10 am. I have not been heating the camper for a few days while working on other projects in the house. I find these results impressive considering the fact that the only heat in the camper for days now has been the passive solar window heater and the temperatures are above freezing in the day. And also the fact that the living room and bathroom are both missing most of the insulation in the ceiling while I repair water damage.
Later in the day today it got up to about 30 degrees outside and 45 inside with no other heat source.
I will soon be installing another passive solar heater on the bathroom window, which faces south – south west. I will use an outdoor version which rests on the window sill and draws air from the interior of the camper, heats it up and then passes it back inside the camper through the window.
Another project I am working on is a passive solar heater under the floor of the camper. I have been putting skirting around the camper outside to help keep the heat inside during the cold nights. On the south side I am using some salvaged window frames and some old black roofing materials I found. I will post details when it is done.
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