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Solar Panel Update

civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
edited 3:48AM in Off Topic
I finished building my vertical solar air panel on the side of my garage. It is approximately 9 ft wide and 7 ft tall. I have a single muffin fan (110 cfm) exhausting air out of the panel into the garage. On a sunny day, air temps reach 110 degrees with around a 50 degree inlet temp. Used some salvaged glass I had laying around for 30 years! The fan turns on when the interior hits 65 degrees using a snap switch. Overall, I am pleased with the results and am hoping it keeps my electric resistor heaters from running much in the winter time. Currently, garage temps hover in the 60s with the outside temps ranging from the high 20s to 50s in the daytime.


  • RedBagRedBag Posts: 72
    Got any pictures? I'd love to see it.
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    Me too!
  • I'll try but it has been awhile:



    Can't believe it worked...I have to post more food pictures. Anyhow the one photo is it outside the 26' x 40' garage. The other is the muffin fan inside the garage. I had two fans initially, but the one was starved for air so I removed it and plugged the hole.
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    Very nice installation, it looks like it should work well.

    Thanks for the pic
  • RedBagRedBag Posts: 72
    Thanks for posting the picture. That looks great. I don't care for the way the roof ones look but yours fits right in. Nice job.
  • A roof mounted panel would have been more efficient as it would be orientated towards the sun better. The garage has an un-heated attic storage area but I wouldn't want to try and mount it on the roof (steep). The vertical installation will actually be shaded in the summer time as the sun shifts way north in my neck of the woods. It is also protected from hail storms which we can have our fair share of during the summer.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    nice big single sheet of glass, and it looks pretty well made and considered. i like it better on the wall than on the roof, too, FWIW

    do you have any relief built in for the (probably rare) times it might get quite hot in the panel and the fan isn't dumping that heat into the garage?

    just wondering how hot that might get if the fan is off, and you are enjoying a really warm sunny fall or spring day (when the sun might still be at a low enough angle to get that thing hot), but the thermostat never kicks one because of the moderate temps.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Actually, it is 3 individual pieces of glass. There is a small internal block to support them from pushing in but they are joined with silicon with electrician tape covering the seam. In the event I lose power or the snap switch fails, temperatures could reach above 300 degrees from what I have read. Makes me a little nervous...

    Luckily I work out of my home and am around most days. For now, should the power go out I can hook up my generator for some relief. I could also remove the fan plate and then there would be a 7" x 14.5" opening to vent heat. I will have to scratch my head a little to develop and emergency plan.

    The snap switch is located inside the unit and if working correctly we turn the fan on once temps rise above 65 degrees.
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