Question by Littlej: How much will a Solar Hot Air Collector heat a room?
I’m looking to figure out how much heat can be generated using Solar Hot Air collectors. If I know the volume of solar hot air collector and the temperature the air will be inside the collector, as well as the volume of the room I’m attempting to heat and the temperature in that room – would it be possible for me to just average out these temperatures? Ie:
Total Volume of collectors = 5m^3
Temperature of air inside = 50C
Total volume of room = 900m^3
Temperature of air = 10C
[(5*50) + (900*10)] / 905 = 10.22C
I just made up how to do this in my head so I have no idea if it is actually a reasonable way of working it out or whether there is variables I’m missing. Thanks for any help.
Actually I don’t think this will work at all since it’s constantly heating not just chucking a bit of air in there.
Answer by Ecko
The heat from the sun is measured in terms of watts per square meter. If the efficiency of the collector is rated as a percentage, then say 1000W of sun per square meter may result in 800W per square meter of collector panel for an 80% efficient setup.
This heat is transferred to the room in much the same way as other heaters. The heat is added, and the temperature rises. In an ideal case with no losses the temperature would keep rising as long as heat is added.. In reality, some heat escapes through the walls and windows etc., so an equilibrium will be achieved eventually, where the heat lost is equal to the heat gained. This is because the heat lost through insulation (leakage) increases as the temperature increases. There are other ;imits – clearly the ability of the occupants and the room itself to withstand higher temperatures, and the ability of the collector itself, which has its own losses, to increase beyond some particular temperature.
There are estimates for the heat in watts to heat a room based on the volume, and the insulation efficiency etc.. The link below shows a calculator that seems relevant to you.
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