New inventors solar heater

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For those interested, the inventor of this unit has justified his invention.

See

http://www2b.abc.net.au/tmb/Client/Board.aspx?b25 %

It seems it is not so much a new  concept as a method of manufacture; this
is not mentioned in the material on the ABC web site nor on his web site.
The solar collector is a corrugated single extrusion that is allegedly
cheaper and more efficient than other units on the market.  No supporting
data is presented.

Given that a method of manufacture can be patented as an invention then this
is what the ABC, and the inventor, should have presented, not spin about new
clean, green forms of energy.

Ultimately it is the price of this system compared to others on the market
that will determine success.  Not going to sell many in summer I suspect

Pete
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Re: New inventors solar heater
Just did a google search for corrugated solar air heaters.

See the DIY youtube video

http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DSF_mEoFRSAQ


Last minute of the video describes plastic rather than cardboard channeled
heat exchanger.  The stuff that rigid lightweight plastic signs are made
from. Very easy to make one of these for a few dollars.  Might have a go at
it.

Pete


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Re: New inventors solar heater
Try this link


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF_mEoFRSAQ


Pete
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Yes, go talk to the folk in alt.solar.thermal for advice, they helped me out
when I was developing my Solar Sponge.
Home made corregated poly air heaters are very popular in the US, and DIY
articles abound. Many of them passive, using the rising heat to feed into
existing windows etc.

Dave.

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Not surprising he won't provide data, as solar air heater performance can
vary by an order of magnitude based on installation factors. I bet he
doesn't even know how to really quantify it all in comparison to other
units.
The website graphs only show outlet temperature which means essentially
nothing. And numbers like 20KWh/day are plucked out of the air (no pun
intended).

The Sun Lizard that won on New Inventors previously for example was speced
and marketed completely incorrectly. It used the open air fan volume spec
for all its calcs, no one told him volume air volume drops by like 90% when
you drive a fan into a duct - oops.

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Almost anything can be patented, the patent system is a joke. If the
inventor is using this as some form of justification that his method is
unique, then he is deluding himself.

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Indeed.
I do wonder how much it costs.
It had want to be sub $500 for the panel and fan system for it to be
anywhere near "innovative" in the market.

Dave.
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So much for his patent:
http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/ols/auspat/applicationDetails.do?applicationNo20%07905886
His provisional application has been "withdrawn".
Although I have been informed that it's possible he has filed a PCT before
the prov claim lapsed after 12 months, but they have to be published within
18 months, that's last week. The office has been known to be a few weeks
late, so unless something pops up in the next week or two, his prov patent
has lapsed.

Dave.

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Well, I half suspected that there would not be an active Australian patent
associated with this work.  You can draw your own conclusions about why it
was withdrawn. Maybe the one he referred to yesterday as his patent is still
alive somewhere (Botswana perhaps?) but I doubt it.

There is room for someone to produce a kit form of these solar heaters.
Recycling internal air seems the way to go.  A bit of control electronics, a
fan and thermostat and something like the "Youtube" or "Renew" designs could
all be put together for less than $100. Haven't got the time myself  but
someone out there might like to take it on.  The ATA is always looking for
these types of things to sell in their store.

Pete

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I'm the designer of the Solar Sponge that was in Renew (www.solarsponge.com)

I do believe there is a market for low cost solar air heaters, but the fact
is they are not magic.
They do work, but you need a BIG surface area, BIG air flow rates, LOW loss
ducting, and a VERY thermally efficient house (or very small room) for them
to work effectively. Not to mention a nicely aligned roof, short duct runs
etc. Skimp on any one of those things and they simply will make little or no
difference. You can stick your hand under the vent and feel the nice warm
40deg breeze coming out, but if you do the calcs on how much volume it takes
per hour to warm a decent size open plan house these days, the numbers are
sobering.

Take the Sun Lizard for example, a previous New Inventors winner that has
sold probably more than any other design in Australia. For all but the
smallest rooms it basically doesn't work, money down the drain. Too little
surface area, too little fan power etc.

Yes, it's possible to put together a cheap DIY kit design, but you have to
market them realistically. $100 might just be achieveable for a panel alone
if you were clever, but the mounting hardware and attachments is going to
double that, and ducting and fans are more expensive again. And then of
course you will likely need more than one panel, and you can't (or
shouldn't) share ducting, so the entire system cost gets duplicated again
and again.

A lot of people have success though, so good luck to anyone that tries.

Dave.

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A shame your link doesn't lead to a solar heater.

Graham


Re: New inventors solar heater
No, it leads to the discussion about the solar heater

Not hard to find the story but here it is, just for you

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s2553705.htm

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