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Solar Heater Made With Scrap Parts
John Benoit heats his garage for free with his solar thermal heater. Not only is the sunlight free, but also most of the materials used were waste left over from past construction projects.
  “I got the idea to build it when my neighbor replaced his windows,” says Benoit. “Some of them had moisture between the double panes, but that has little effect on solar heating efficiency.”
  Benoit used treated 2 by 4’s and 4 by 4’s for framing and covered the frame with R-13 insulation and 1-in. wood boards. Before installing the windows, he positioned aluminum printer plates below the windows. The plates were recycled from the local newspaper and painted wood-stove black to better absorb the sunlight.
  The hot air is pulled from the solar heater and fed into the house by a 650 cfm blower purchased at a military surplus store. The heat intake is centered over the solar heater. Before the hot air is dispersed, it passes through a furnace filter to keep out dust and debris.
  “This past January, the heater racked up 110 hours of heat, keeping the 1,100-sq. ft. garage at an average temperature of 71°F," says Benoit.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Benoit, 2486 Sportsmanclub Rd., Bourbonnais, Ill. 60914 (ph 815 791-3605; grillheads@att.net).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #1