New inventors solar heater

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

See

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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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Peter K
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Just did a google search for corrugated solar air heaters.

See the DIY youtube video

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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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"Peter K"  wrote in message 
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Peter K

Try this link

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Pete

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"Peter K"  wrote in message 
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Peter K

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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David L. Jones

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.

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.

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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David L. Jones

So much for his patent:

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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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David L. Jones

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

Graham

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Eeyore

No, it leads to the discussion about the solar heater

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

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Peter K

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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

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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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