Solar Space Heater Student project:
In March 2009 YIKES! (the youth enviro-ed group that became Recyclique) worked with students at NC School of Science & Math to build a solar space heater. Dr. Marion Brisk, who taught the class, worked with Dr. Sandy Smith-Nonini to organize the project. Steve Hren, Chris Allen & Matt Jacobi advised the students on materials and construction. The Forest Foundation provided space in their EcoLounge for the project. In fall 2009, after some trouble-shooting, we decided to redesign the space heater with fiberglass insulation, as we discovered the rigid polystyrene warped when it got too hot. Steve Hren and Chris Allen led reassembly of the heater [using a different insulation] & in Feb. 2010 the system was installed with a 10 watt photovoltaic panel and small computer fan on the side of the Forest Foundation’s GOAL campus building.
These heater boxes come in a variety of designs, save energy in winter and many models have a rapid payback. See the resulting YouTube video which lays out each step in construction:
How to Build a Solar Space Heater, Parts I, II & III (too bad big brother killed the cool soundtrack)
Here’s photo of our solar space heater ( right):
This project grew out of a yikes!/NC Powerdown workshop: How to build your own solar air heater on Feb. 6, 2009 held at the N.C. School of Science & Mathematics, Durham, NC, taught by Steve and Rebekah Hren, authors of The Carbon-Free Home.