In the 1950’s, Harry E.
Thompson’s “Trickle Down”
dream became a reality but it was never fully realized until now with the invention of the “Modified Trickle Down” solar heating
system. TD and MTD are alike in that they are both open loop
systems that pump water to the tops of collectors but there are
significant differences between them.
Trickles water on
Trickle water through
Glazed in glass
Glazed in polycarbonate
Corrugated steel absorber
Polyester felt absorber
Has no inner film
Has inner film
My first MTD collector looked something like this, but the screen has been replaced with polyester felt along with numerous other modifications so that now MTD is more cost effective and more reliable than oil heating systems. I have experimented with dozens of collector designs over the last three years and have settled on a steel stud slots construction. The magic of MTD has a lot to do with the way they are pressed together to form arrays. The fundamental parts of the MTD collector include the Trickle Down Matt, the Gutter and the TDD or Trickle Down Distributor. To make the first TDD I used a 2" PVC pipe with .25" holes , next I decided to use a 1" copper pipe with .25" copper tubes soldered in place. Now I use a 3/4" Heater Hose with .25" drip irrigation spigots. Uniform distribution of water from the TDD is very important.
collectors have been designed for flush mounting on a house roof, but don't give
up if your roof is oriented in the wrong direction. Build an MTD sun shed. and
use a multi drum heat storage system right inside the shed.
The top and bottom 2”x2” mounting
supports provide an ideal platform for flush mounting MTD collectors. An
eight collector system would require four 2’x2’x9’ supports screwed into
the roofs rafters. Use a level to position the top supports so that the
collectors have a slight slope towards the center. This will help to
channel the gutter water into a central drain connected with a 2” rubber T
Water will never freeze inside a properly installed MTD collector, because it
drains back into the storage tank when the pump is off.
Water will never freeze inside a properly installed MTD collector, because it drains back into the storage tank when the pump is off.
Richard Heiliger and I both
believe that energy from sunlight can and should be a practical investment and
we both encourage the reader to gain hands on experience through experimentation
and discovery. There is only so much to be learned from reading. Dreams are
given wings not only by our thoughts and understanding but also by the actions
we take to turn them into reality. The MTD construction starter kit along with
the MTD construction guide and video CD will help clarify the construction
experience of this innovative solar thermal application.. Energy independence is possible but it will only
become a reality if we make it so.
Richard Heiliger's MTD solar heated home in Northern Utah
BobGering's MTD solar heated year round greenhouse in Canada
John Canivan's MTD sun shed used for manufacturing Differential Controllers
STARTER KIT...The starter kit is designed to give the reader some hands on experience with a Low cost 2'x4'MTD collector. The kit contains a construction guide book, TDM materials (24"x48" polyester felt, two 29"x48" sheets of 5 mill Mylar, EDPM Bibs, a Trickle Down Distributor, a gutter end cap, a gutter compression support, an MTD gutter, a 3/4" L connector, end caps. and rubber bumper supports. The kits comes with an instruction booklet for a steel stud slot MTD collectors and a CD with an MTD construction guide video. This video CD runs on standard PC computers. An MTD kit is the best way to gain the hands on experience needed to build MTD collectors. On line technical support is part of the MTD kit purchase experience.
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