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Passive Solar Heater
Here is a passive solar heater that has been in my mind rolling around for years.
It is a modification of the trombe wall. I constructed it out of pvc pipe and vinyl plastic in Philadelphia, PA.
It is pleasant on a sunny day and provides heat between 9 am and 3 pm.

I use a thermostatically controlled fan to bring the air into the top window and there is a return for the hot air heating system in the room that circulates the heat throughout the house.

There is alot to be said for carrying ideas around in your head for awhile.
They are more nearly clear when you do 'em.
I wanted to add to the direct gain through the windows.
The heater came together pretty quickly.

You can get the pvc pipe at Lowe's.

or home depot.

And the vinyl sheeting on
The stores and auctions change so search for vinyl sheets

I looked for a brick colored paint
and I wanted something that would stick to the pvc.
I used a spray can or three of 'appropriate paint'. .

I was and remain TOTALLY IMPRESSED with the tape that I used on the 54 inch wide vinyl!
I joined two full width sheets almost 20 feet long.

It was clear duct tape.

Here are some pictures after a winter and a summer

Here is the worst place and it's not bad

The tape is on both sides of the plastic
and is holding well in spite of being under tension
to increase the air space

The heater is held to the house using nylon twine.break strength 165 lbs

I have an inch and a half pipe inside the house lined up with the top of the first floor window and the pipe in the center of the heater.
The twine is strong (break strength 165 lbs) and with a few strings coming in the house, I am still able to close the window tightly.

There are two deck screws in the soffit that keep the top close to the house.
The bottom is in the ground slightly and the weight holds it in place.

There have been some major storms with severe winds in Philadelphia since it went up in September of 2007. It's February of 2009 and the heater is as it appears in the year-old pictures.

The heater is a nice addition to the house (Could be 'nicer', but it is a prototype and it was very affordable.) and we have enough sunny days to enjoy it. The heat is circulated by the central heating system to all the rooms in the house through the existing duct work. The house stays at 69 to 72 degrees depending on the wind between 9:30 and 3:30 on the coldest days.

Here are some pictures from the day it went up:

photograph by beautifulhighways

here we go
photograph by beautifulhighways

photograph by beautifulhighways

setting the toe in
photograph by beautifulhighways

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