Solar Drying & Air Heating


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The Concept

Solar Air collectors are designed to allow you to select the optimal number of Solar Air Modules for your home or commercial building and offer maximum flexibility in installation and location of the modules.

We receive heat radiation up to 1100 watt/square metre.  Solar Air helps you direct this heat into your home or commercial building, improving the indoor climate by ventilating the building with fresh preheated air.

The fresh preheated air reduces condensation, mould, mildew, musty smells and dampness. Furthermore it increases efficiency for existing heating.

The fans are powered by high quality amorphous solar panels, ensuring the unit operates even in partially overcast conditions.

The solar operation ensures that the unit only operates when beneficial, and without any running cost.

Solar Air is thermostatically controlled, ensuring only warm air is being brought into the house when it is required.

Any excess power from the solar panel may be redirected via the thermostat, to be used to power a heat extraction fan, if there is cooling required, instead of heating.

Solar Air may be roof or wall mounted. The ideal angle for mounting is around 55 degrees with the longitude. It is possible to mount it following the pitch of the roof although that may affect the efficiency in some months.


Solar Air Operating Principle

The Solar Air collectors are the centre piece of the complete Solar Air Heating and Ventilation System, incorporating solar panels, solar fans and unique mounting frames. These systems require no external power supply, and therefore operate without ongoing costs.

In a standard installation a solar panel powers the solar fan, which is mounted in a convenient and effective position for supplying warm dry air.  The fan will draw fresh air through a filter and into the solar air collector, where the sun will heat the air before it is supplied into the building. The number of modules required will depend on the area to be ventilated and/or heated.

There are many opinions on how to optimise Solar Heating, however an effective solar collector is always required!   SAM may be used in powered systems with a variety of airflow volumes as well as different types of controls and thermostats.  Operating SAM with a grid-powered differential temperature thermostat allows you to maximise running time and dehumidifying benefits, by giving the option of operating the system regardless of solar conditions.

A bank of collectors may also be used as a simple and cost effective way of pre-heating air for standard ventilation and air conditioning systems.


Heating air using solar

The main features of the solar air heating units are as follows:

• Provides HEAT FOR FREE – The Solar Collectors mounted on a roof collect fresh air and heat it.  A solar-powered fan is used to blow this warm air into the building, providing a continuous supply of warm fresh air through the building whenever the sun is shining (including partial overcast weather), with NO RUNNING COSTS. The solar air heater provides heat contribution to a building, to reduce running time of traditional heating systems.

• Solar air heating can save on traditional heating costs. The solar air heater maintains or contributes towards heating the indoor temperature during the day, whenever the sun is out – without any running cost and carbon emissions. Because of this, regular heating systems only need to maintain the desired temperature, or just operate at night. Because the interior temperature of the building is heated up during the day, you can avoid the start up from cold, when heating systems are usually switched to high to achieve the desired temperature quickly, using larger amounts of gas or electricity, at ever-increasing rates. sam2

The Solar Collectors are approx 1metre long X 1metre high X 100mm deep.

The frames are made from aluminum, with 4mm tempered Safety Glass with a patterned front.

The inside of the backing plate is painted black to maximize solar heat collection.

The backing plate has a series of 2mm holes that allow filtered fresh air to be drawn into the solar collector.

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The sun heats the air, as it is drawn through the solar collectors by the Solar Powered Fan.

The warm air is ducted into the house through a ceiling vent.

Each solar collector backing plate has the facility for a duct to be connected, and can be blocked off unless it has the duct connected to it.

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The solar collectors are designed to be modular, so you can add as many collectors as the job requires.

A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 3 solar collectors for heating about 100 square meters of space. If you are using multiple solar collectors  chose the best-placed module for the outlet, leaving the remaining outlet cover plates in place. The solar collectors may be mounted on the roof or an external wall using the specially designed rail mounting system. The optimum angle for the collectors is around 15 degrees.


Fan and Thermostats.

When ordering a solar air heating system, it is broken up into different components.

The fan and thermostat can be ordered seperately, and kits may include the fan, or fan with flanges,  external ducting, roof penetration flange, ceiling vent and adjustable thermostat. We can help you design your system, and supply you what you need.  Additional lengths of 6 meter 150 mm R1 insulated acoustic duct are available at the hardware store, and this is recommended for bringing the warm dry air effectively to its destination.

Semi-rigid expandable aluminum ducting connects the solar collectors to the roof penetration flange – and is covered by UV resistant duct providing a weather-proof cover and to minimize heat losses.

A roof penetration kit is available for several different types of roofs, and rood type must be specified. For mounting details please refer to the installation manual.

Use the insulated ducting mentioned above to connect the inside of the roof penetration flange to the fan, which is located approx ½ meter from the outlet vent.  Use the same insulated ducting for connecting the fan to the outlet vent. This reduces fan and wind noise, while optimizing airflow.

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The 8 Watt fan supplied with the Fan kit can service up to 3 collectors.

If you are installing more than 3 collectors it is recommended to upgrade to the 16 watt fan, which requires two solar panels to operate.

The 8 watt fan capacity is around 300 cbm/hr, and the 16 watt fan is about 450 cbm/hr in clear sunlight.

The fan is installed in the roof or other cavity as close to the outlet vent as possible. The outlet vent may be mounted in the ceiling or on a wall of a cupboard or cavity to allow the air to be vented into the building.  Ducting the warm air in low into the room optimizes the heating effect, but may sometimes be too difficult to warrant the extra work/expense.

The thermostat is installed on a wall inside the house, in the area you wish to control the temperature of, but not directly in the path of the warm air supplied by the SAM system. The thermostat makes the SAM system fully automatic and controls the fan operation.  Depending on the room temperature, the thermostat will turn the fan on or off, or if the digital thermostat is used, will control the fan speed.


What Solar Panel ?

The  fans are powered by a 20 or 40 watt solar Panel.

• 1 x 40 Watt PV Panel is required to run the 16 watt fan.
The solar panel has been chosen due to its superior performance over the more common solar panels, when operating in partially overcast conditions.
• Cooling. The system may also be used in summer to cool the building at night. When the outside ambient temperature falls below the inside temperature, a manual override function will allow a 12 volt power pack to run the fan. This draws cool night air in through the solar collectors and ducts it directly into the house reducing the temperature throughout the night.


Solving damp /mould / bad air quality problems

The solar heating unit can be used to reduce damp, mould and air quality issues in homes and buildings.   Introducing warm dry air into problem areas is a very effective way to address these issues.   Because the solar air heating unit heats fresh dry air from the outside and ducts it directly into the house, it improves the quality of the air inside the house.  It is like having the doors and windows open on a beautiful warm day.  The flow of warm dry air pushes out the moist and stale air.  This reduces the amount of moisture accumulated in the house, which brings down the relative humidity of air in the house.

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The solar air heating unit can also be ducted directly into specific rooms or areas in the house that are experiencing moisture issues.  Particularly into bathrooms and cupboards where linen, clothes and shoes get mouldy.

Because the solar air heater is modular you can use a single collector for a small room or area, or you can add as many collectors as you need to heat a whole house.  If customers want to they can start with one collector and add more later.

 

Drying Rooms

By ducting the solar air heaters into a small room, such as a laundry, you can effectively dry clothes. Because the air from the solar collectors is heated and dry, it will help remove the water from the clothes easily and dry them quickly.  In order to effectively remove the moisture evaporated from the clothes an additional fan may need to be installed to provide cross flow (ideally diagonally) through the drying space.

Benefits of the solar Drying Room: Free to run, reduces the need for conventional dryers, reduces electricity bills, will operate as normal during brown outs, can use as walk in robe, no need to worry about the weather.

 

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