Cansolair Air Heater

7 Posts
Nov 30, 2006 12:52 pm
Cansolair Air Heater

We are often asked if the Cansolair solar air heater can be used horizontally.  While I think the optimal orientation is vertical, I received this great feedback from Keith in NY:

"The Lexan panel on the front of the RA-240 acts as a one-dimensional lens, bending early morning or late-afternoon light so as to hit the heating tubes at a less tangential angle.  This adds to your effective heating time.  According to Jim Meaney (the owner/inventor at CanSolair), mounting the panel horizontally should work fine, although you might lose 15 minutes on either end of your heating day.   Probably a more important fact to consider is which configuration intercepts more sunlight during the heart of your heating day (around 10:00am to 2:00pm for a south-facing panel).   At my location, roughly 41 degrees N latitude, wall mounting looks to be the best compromise between efficiency and convenience.  I am currently designing a roof-mount system for a client site where wall-mount is impractical.  In this configuration I calculated the optimum angle as 30 degrees off vertical.  Mounting directly on a shallow roof will probably cost you too much in efficiency due to the shallow intercept angle with the sun's rays, averaged over a typical winter day.

Remember too that your closet may be part of your insulating dead air space.  You might consider using divider panels or ducts so that your inlet air comes from the main room, rather than the closet.   You will have to make a judgment call as to whether this is worth doing in your particular case."

Thanks Keith!

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