DIY Metal Can Solar Heater

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This simple solar heater can be easily constructed at home. It can produce strong and consistent airflow with temperatures upwards of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the perfect device for adding heat to your home or garage during the winter, and the best part is it costs nothing to operate. Even the fan can be setup to run off solar energy. Harness the power of the sun to save money each month on your heating bills. This solar heater can be made using either steel or aluminum metal cans. The video provides full instructions on how to build it.

This setup moves a LOT of hot air. Fresh air enters through vents at the bottom of collector and is heated as it’s pulled up through all seven columns of cans. The fan draws heated air from the airspace surrounding the cans. All cans are either common soup or vegetable cans. The frame is created from 9-feet of 1×4 inch wood. Remember, they call it a 1×4 but it’s actually 3/4″ thick by 3 1/2″ wide. The insulation used is cardboard (store-bought insulation board can be used as well). The glass is a 20″ by 32″ inch piece of plexi-glass. The fan is a computer case cooling fan, and the aluminum duct is 3″ diameter. Use a 5 watt solar panel (or larger) to power the fan. A slightly smaller panel will work, but the fan may not run at full speed with a smaller solar panel.

Other details:
Use a 2.5″ hole saw to cut hole in back of collector
Use 1/4″ drill bit to drill holes in the cans
Put the cans in upside down (bottoms up)
Use standard flat black spray paint
Remember to seal it up for permanent outdoor installation

Parts can be purchased from Amazon:


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