* CSA (Canadian Standards Association) Performance Factor is obtained
** The Lubi can use the back wall of the building as the absorber
and so it can be any color. The 1.2 rating above is for a black
absorber, the color used by most solar air heaters. See the Enerconcept
page on the CSA link above for ratings for other colors.
The SolarSheat is made by
Your Solar Home Inc.
The collector is glazed and takes indoor air from one end in the rear, heats it
behind the absorber, and sends it back indoors through another hole at the other
end in the rear.
Multiple SolarSheats can be connected together for more heat either side by
side or end-to-end. The fan is powered by solar electricity. You can see
the photovoltaic panel in the above photo in the top of the panel on the left.
The second connected panel doesn't have a fan and so is much cheaper than the first.
SolarSheat also has a kit for connecting the inlet and outlet to your
regular ductwork. The output from the panels would go to the input of
your furnace. If the sun is out then the air coming from the panels and
going into the furnace would be hot. The furnace thermostat would realize
this and not turn on the burner. But it would still run the furnace fan
in order to circulate the freely heated air through the ducts in the house.
The Cansolair is made by
Cansolair Inc. Similarly to the Solarsheat above, the collector is glazed and takes
indoor air from one end in the rear, heats it behind the absorber, and sends it back
indoors through another hole at the other end in the rear. Unlike the solarsheat
though, the fan is powered by AC, typically by plugging into a wall socket.
The Cansolar in place. The customer said that since
it looks so nice, it makes the rest of the building look horrible by
It took three to lift it to the wall (I'm taking the
Looking straight up the wall. The bottom contains the
fan for sucking the room-temperature, indoor air into the Cansolair panel
and the top is the hot air returning from the panel back into the room.
Relaxing after a job well done.
The absorber is actually made of recycled soft drink cans, hence the name "can"solair. Holes
are made in the tops and bottoms of the cans and they are then stacked on top of each other.
The outsides are painted flat black and the air circulates through the middle. When the air
moves from one can to another, it is made to vortex or rotate, causing more of the air
to actually come in physical contact with the inner surface of the can/absorber, enhancing
its heat exchange ability. See
my own experiments for doing solar heating with stacked cans.
My mini can solar air heater prototype -
Just to see if I could make a solar air heater that would actually heat
air and to try out the necessary electronics, I built a
mini can solar air heater.
Twinsolar and Jumbosolar
These products are made by
Grammer Solar Gmbh. The Twinsolar is mainly for small systems such as residential and has
a fan powered off of solar electric (photovoltaic) panels. The Jumbosolar is intended
for larger systems such as warehouses and office buildings. The Twinsolar use their SLK
collector whereas the Jumbosolar uses their GLK collector. All of their products allow
combining multiple collectors together. Variations also include whether the air is
taken from outdoors or indoors. Both are glazed.
An interesting side note is that Grammer Solar also offers a product which allows
you to heat water with this system using a heat exchanger. This solves the problem
of what to do with the heat during the summer. Here's
report of a customer installation of their system for using solar hot air to
The Luba Solar system is from
Enerconcept Technologies Inc.
It is typically mounted on roof tops but can also be situated on the ground and
attached to an inclined surface. It consists of unglazed collectors which can
be combined together to form a line of multiple collectors. Outside air is taken
in through the perforated absorber, passes behind the absorber through one or
more collectors and exits one end, typically into ducts which carry the fresh, heated
air into the buildings heating and ventilation system.
This system is made by
Matrix Energy Inc. It's intended for intallation on roofs. It consists of unglazed
collectors where the absorber is perforated with many holes and outside air is
heated as it's sucked in through the holes.
The Lubi system is from
Enerconcept Technologies Inc.
It's designed for use on walls, typically of commercial buildings.
The glazing is perforated and is where the outdoor air enters
through. The absorber can be the existing wall of the building or a
back sheathing can be used instead. The air enters through the
holes in the glazing, goes to the absorber where it is heated,
and then on into the building (except when using a heat pump.)
Since the air flow is always away from the glazing, heat loss to
the outside air through the glazing is eliminated. This gives it
a very high performance factor (see table at top) and efficiency.
The MatrixAir Backpass Collector has an unglazed
absorber but unlike most wall/facade type of collectors, there are no
holes in the absorber panels. Instead, as the absorber heats up, air
behind it is sucked up and heated as it contacts the back of the absorber.
In addition, air on the outside also comes in contact with the absorber
and is heated and sucked in at the top to be mixed with the air that was
heated from behind.
The MatrixAir Transpired Collector, like most
other wall/facade collectors, consists of an unglazed absorber which is
perforated by many holes. The absorber heats up and this heat is passed
on to the outside air as it is sucked in through the holes. One
interesting difference with this collector system is that the air is not
sucked upward but is rather sucked downward to a location below the
mid-point of the wall and into the building.
The SolarWall is made by Conserval Engineering Inc.
Primarily it is a dark colored wall with many holes in it that preheats outside
air before bringing it into the building. There is no glazing. The following
videos illustrate how it works.
SolarDuctTM - Conserval's SolarDuct is basically the
SolarWall integrated with a ducting system behind it and is suited for
putting on flat roofs rather than mounting on walls.
SolarWall PV/TTM and SolarDuct PV/TTM -
Conserval also has another product which is the SolarWall or SolarDuct
combined with solar electricity generation (photovoltaics or PV.) Solar
cells for generating electricity become less efficient as they get hotter.
By placing a SolarWall directly behind the PV panels, the heat is sucked
away from the panel through the SolarWall and into the building making
the panel more efficient than it would otherwise be if it remained hot.
The gains are therefore increased efficiency in electricity generation and
a hot air supply to the building.
The Unitair Wall is from
Enerconcept Technologies Inc.
It's primary use is in large scale coverage of building walls.
It takes outside air at the bottom of the collector, heats it in a chamber behind
the unglazed absorber, and sends it inside.