Pratical use of solar energy – How to build a simple solar panel using empty soda cans

Interesting solution shown on the site served as inspiration to build “home-made” efficient solar collector.
Basically, it is incredibly simple and cheap solar panel for supplemental home heating, which heats the air directly.
The most interesting is the fact that collector is almost entirely constructed out of empty aluminum cans!

Housing for solar collector is made of wood (plywood 15mm), while its front is 3 mm (0.12 inches) Plexiglas/polycarbonate (you can use tempered glass as well). The back of the case set is made of 20mm rock wool (or styrodur) as insulation.

Solar absorber is made out of beer and soda cans, painted in matte-black paint resistant to high temperature. The upper part (cover) of cans is specifically designed to provide greater efficiency in heat exchange between the cans and the passing air.

When it is sunny, regardless of outside temperature, cans and inside air heat up very quickly. The fan drives heated air back into the room.

To begin with we have collected empty cans from which we will assemble solar panels. We have marked three holes on each can with nail, then drilled the bottom and finally carefully cut the top of the cans in the form of star, and then distort free parts using pliers. Glue all cans using any adhesive silicone resistant to high temperatures. It is necessary to form rows of glued cans and form the solar absorber. At the end, the solar absorber is painted in black and placed in the case. The casing is covered with plexiglass that we attach to the frame and thoroughly complained silicone.

After completing installation of collector, the outside temperature was -3 ° C, and from the solar collector is coming out 3 m3/min (3 cubic meters per minute) of heated air. In the home version we used more powerful fan than for the test. Heated air temperature went up to +72 ° C. Temperature was measured by digital thermometer. Small anemometer measured the speed of the air circulated through the solar collector. To calculate the heating power collectors, we took the air flow, and average air temperature at the exit from the unit. Calculated power that the solar panel produced, was approximately 1950 W (watts) which is almost 3 HP (3 horsepower)!!!

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Milan Solar is an inventor, experimentalist in renewable energy field.Detailed DIY instructions on how to build a 2KW pop-can solar panel heater for your home on

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