MTD Solar Collector Kit
The shipping expense alone for solar collectors discourages most people. Cross country shipping for a 90 pound glass covered, copper plated solar collector can easily exceed $300. Add $700 per collector and another $2000 for the pump, storage tank, and plumbing plus $3000 for the plumber and you'll have a 3 collector solar hot water system for $6000. Tax credits on a professionally installed system could lower the expense a little if you take the time to fill out the paperwork BUT $6000 for a three collector system that only saves $500/yr is not something you want to brag to Mom about. Going Green is one thing, but saving money by investing in sunshine is another. A small 2'x5' MTD solar collector kit will not solve the Energy Crisis or even put a dent in your solar hot water bill but it will give you the hands on experience needed to build large, safe solar heating and solar hot water systems at a fraction of the cost of a conventional systems. If you feel squeamish about putting a home made collector on your roof you could build an entire 16' x 50' MTD Solar_Heated_Workshop for only $5,000 more than the same workshop without the solar heating advantage. The extra heat and hot water could be used for domestic hot water or home heating.
Modified Trickle Down collectors can be built from commonly available construction materials for only $5/sq. ft. This 2'x8' collector above is made from a steel stud slots available from Home Depot. The gutter and mounting supports are made from a 1"x6"x8' plank. MTD collectors are light, easy to build and easy to install and the modular design facilitates the addition of future collectors so you can start small and add more collectors as time and money permit. The MTD starter kit is designed to facilitate the construction of a 2'x5' collector. After building your first one you'll have the hands on experience needed to build larger collectors that may be joined together to form arrays. The kit by itself sells for $99, but because we are in a recession I've decided to throw in the construction guide for no additional cost. The guide will not only take you through the step by step process of building the MTD collector, but it also contains some heat storage ideas as well as some array mounting tips.
Heated water from the TDM is transferred directly into heat storage containers without expensive copper-heat-exchange-coils, antifreeze, expansion-tanks, degassers, pressure relief valves, fill and purge plumbing, metallic absorber plates, copper flow tubes and copper carrier pipes.
Since the trickle down pressure is low an inexpensive, flexible, easy to install heater hose, that has minimal heat loss is used. This heater hose carries water from the coldest tank to the top of the MTD collectors. Notice how a multi-drum system is used to stratify the heat collection process and increase collector efficiency. Energy from sunlight is a simple concept. Let's keep it that way. Remember the surface area used to harvest the sun's energy is a major factor in collecting energy. The manner of storing heat is another consideration.
The MTD Collector Kit contains:
an MTD construction guide
a collection of videos for a computer to clarify the construction process
a PVC gutter 2" x30"
a Mylar underlayment film... 5 mil x 29"x58"
a Mylar inner film................ 5 mil x 29"x58"
a heat resistant black polyester sheet 25" x 58"
a Trickle Down Distributor... .75" x 28"
four 55 mil EDPN bibs
four cross support ends
three cross support bumpers
a gutter retention support
a gutter end cap
You'll need a table saw and a miter saw to build this collector. In addition you'll need a steel stud slot, solid insulation, a sheet of Suntuf glazing, a pump, a Solar Controller , heat storage drums, a heater hose and PVC pipes to drain water into your storage system, I supply the materials necessary to get you started and you supply the energy needed to put the system together. I could do all the work for you but just think of all the fun you'll have with this do-it-yourself solar heating project and think of the money you will save. A typical MTD system can pay for itself in 2 years. REMEMBER "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (Lao-tzu)
The graph below illustrates the heat collection abilities of an MTD sun shed with a 200 gallon heat storage system on November 19, 2008. Notice the ambient temp hovers around freezing, but the collector temp exceeds 110*F
Trickle Down Solar Heating
MTD Solar Heating
MTD Solar Home
Oil Alternative Articles
Carry Barrel Solar Hot Water
Green Collar Work
Solar Heating in December
Solar Heating in January
Multi Tank Heat Storage
DIY Solar Heating Panels
Sustainable Living Homesteads
Gallery of Solar Homes
Solar Heated Workshop Plans
Sustainable Solar Heated Workshop
Sun Money from a Solar Workshop
Solar Thermal Roof
Solar Heated Roof
How to Solar Heat
DIY Solar Heat Storage
Solar Thermostatic Controller
Making Temperature Probes
Solar Heat Controller
Low Cost Solar Hardware
Enclosed Differential Controller
MTD Affiliate Program