Monday, February 21, 2011

Energy: Truly Amazing Soda Can Wall Heaters

The following videos really spun my head around about solar heating possibilities for Valhalla. Naturally it would be necessary to suppliment these kinds of heating devices with alternative systems at night (i.e., when the sun is down), yet the energy savings could save Valhalla thousands of dollars each year so it's worth serious consideration.

This video by a man named Rich Allen (only one of hundreds of people who have written about or posted videos on this subject) shows one of his early heater models back when he thought it necessary to cut up his cans:

Achieving a temperature of 210 degrees in one hour blew me away! But then, Rich got even better at building heaters when he discovered it isn't even necessary to cut up the tops of the cans:

Finally he figured out that he didn't even need to use a glass panel to cover his heater, that an ordinary (and much lighter) black garbage bag worked just fine:

If we ever use pop can heaters around Valhalla I'd prefer to avoid using garbage bags since they'd look too sloppy.

But then I found what I think is the ultimate solution: a big black "cardboard" front panel that would further boost heating capacity. Take a look at this 17 minute video showing how one couple used cardboard to superheat air (if you get aggrevated with their presentation style then just hang in there, the information they provide is potentially very valuable for us):

Incidently, the plastic version of cardboard that he was referring to is called "Coroplast" and it can be ordered in black, thereby eliminating the need to paint anything black. It's easy to find, for example at

Can we really make functional and efficient wall heaters at Valhalla using beer cans, plastic cardboard, and downspouts? We won't know until we try, and we probably won't get things perfectly right the first time, but I believe it will be worth the effort!

1 comment:

  1. Certain models may be hung from the ceiling or overhead supports when used in places such as garages or warehouses, and variations exist specifically to maintain adequate temperatures in pump houses to prevent damage to pumps, pipes and other equipment.