How to Build a Solar Heating Panel with Soda Cans


If you’ve got good sun exposure on one side of your house, you can take advantage of free heat from the sun with this DIY solar heating panel, which uses old soda cans to collect and transfer the sun’s energy into your house.

How to Build a Solar Heating Panel with Soda CansSometimes, low-tech solar devices are much better than high-tech ones for home use, as they not only tend to be cheaper to make, but will also last much longer before any repairs or maintenance are necessary.

And even better, they can be built in part from repurposed or recycled components, which is something you don’t see very often in new solar devices.

This solar space heater design uses old soda cans to increase the surface area for heat transfer inside of it, and in its most basic design, uses no external power to move the air.

Double-glazed glass or polycarbonate panels make up the front of the device, allowing the sun’s rays to enter it while restricting heat loss to the outside air, and the box is also insulated for more efficiency.

When exposed to the sun, the air inside the solar heater begins to warm, and as it does, it rises to the top of the box and can be ported directly into the house.

For more control over the system, small fans and thermostats can be added, so that warm air enters the house only after the temperature reaches a desired range, and installing adjustable air registers at the outlet lets the system appear almost invisible from inside the living space.

For an overview, and complete downloadable plans for this DIY solar space heater, see Greg’s Pop-Can Solar Space Heating Collector.

Source: Blackle Mag



  1. well i understand the concept, sounds pritty brainfarting logical.

  2. You collect cans, buy a double glazed glass, find an old vacuum hose(s), some small fans and DIY! Where's Brain fart?

  3. Also, paint the cans black and it will work even better.

  4. Finding unsmashed cans may be the real challenge.

  5. why would this produce more heat that a standard window of the same size. The sun is shining into both. In the window it is trapping 100% in the house. I am skeptical. Has anyone actually used this thing and can confirm it works to the extent they can shut off their other heating source. Dave.

  6. I did this for a Year 10 physics project experiment/competition. I won on getting the water to 45degrees in less than an hour! I would love to try this on a larger scale! Thanks!!!

  7. Dave, the black cans collect and transfer way more heat than would radiate through a window.

  8. Housing for solar collector is made of wood (plywood 15mm), while its front is 3 mm (0.12 inches) Plexiglas/polycarbonate (you can use tempered glass as well). The back of the case set is made of 20mm rock wool (or styrodur) as insulation.
    Solar absorber is made out of beer and soda cans, painted in matte-black paint resistant to high temperature. The upper part (cover) of cans is specifically designed to provide greater efficiency in heat exchange between the cans and the passing air.
    When it is sunny, regardless of outside temperature, cans and inside air heat up very quickly. The fan drives heated air back into the room.
    To begin with we have collected empty cans from which we will assemble solar panels. We have marked three holes on each can with nail, then drilled the bottom and finally carefully cut the top of the cans in the form of star, and then distort free parts using pliers. Glue all cans using any adhesive silicone resistant to high temperatures. It is necessary to form rows of glued cans and form the solar absorber. At the end, the solar absorber is painted in black and placed in the case. The casing is covered with plexiglass that we attach to the frame and thoroughly complained silicone.

    After completing installation of collector, the outside temperature was -3 ° C, and from the solar collector is coming out 3 m3/min (3 cubic meters per minute) of heated air. In the home version we used more powerful fan than for the test. Heated air temperature went up to +72 ° C. Temperature was measured by digital thermometer. Small anemometer measured the speed of the air circulated through the solar collector. To calculate the heating power collectors, we took the air flow, and average air temperature at the exit from the unit. Calculated power that the solar panel produced, was approximately 1950 W (watts) which is almost 3 HP (3 horsepower)!!!



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Thinking Humanity: How to Build a Solar Heating Panel with Soda Cans
How to Build a Solar Heating Panel with Soda Cans
If you’ve got good sun exposure on one side of your house, you can take advantage of free heat from the sun with this DIY solar heating panel, which uses old soda cans to collect and transfer the sun’s energy into your house.
Thinking Humanity
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