A common problem, an idea to solve it and a little skill. That, coupled with a few recycled materials, is all that it took the Canadian Randy Buchanan to become an internet personality in his country. His merit was simply to solve a common problem cheaply and easily.Buchanan lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick province in eastern Canada. A place where winters are bitterly cold, with temperatures that can vary between 15 and 35 degrees below zero. Quite a problem for this Canadian. Buchanan is scientific, and directs a company of aquatic toxicology for more than twenty years. Part of his work is done in a laboratory installed in a small store at home. There has several pools with fish, which serve for testing. With these temperatures, keep these pools ideal conditions has always been a headache for this scientist. Energy consumption for heating is triggered, and the electricity bill.
“It was for this reason he decided to seek a renewable alternative to stop using so much electricity and lower monthly bills”
Solar, abundant and free energy
He found the perfect source of energy in the sun. “Since in Federicton almost always sunny during the winter, decided to build a solar radiator using nothing but the source of free energy,” Martens explains. Many of the developments already online, but claims to have incorporated some ideas.
Prototype used for recycled materials and relatively simple DIY techniques. In total, he says he did not spend more than 300 Canadian dollars (slightly less than 200 euros). “The price will depend on where to find the material, and if they are used or not,” says Martens.
The construction and structure of the invention will be better understood by observing it, but try to make an understandable description.
Buchanan built with wooden planks recycled a rectangular box surface but very low, with two circular holes, one at each end, to input and output the air. The insulating covered high density foam and completely painted black to optimize the absorption of solar energy.
Inside the box guttering he placed several of which are used to channel rain and inserted inside the soda cans that had cut the upper and lower ends. So, he got air circulate better slow down and warm along the way. After painting those black tubes also closed the case with a thick sheet of glass (which bought second-hand), and sealed with silicone.
“You may be used glass windows, but the double are much more effective and generate more heat. This is the most expensive component. However, every day many windows are recycled, and can be found in places where construction materials are processed, “says Martens.
Each of the holes he coupled an aluminum tube, also sealed to the housing to prevent leakage. Both tubes were connected to the inside of your garage. Using a fan, the air coming through one of them in the oven, it was heated in the oven, and left to re-enter the garage.
The beginning of a possible business
“The results of their prototypes are amazing,” says Martens. “With the help of a ventilator, the air introduced store at 4 degrees in the radiator and in the first 15 minutes returned it to 52. After 30 minutes, and during the day should receive direct light as the sun, air heated to between 33 and 38 degrees, with a constant air output of 150 cubic feet per minute (about 4.25 liters per minute). “the temperatures are high, but going into the room down a little, making a milder effect.
Enthused with the results, Buchanan published them in his Facebook, along with a photo of your prototype. and social media did the rest. Its publication began to be shared, received hundreds of requests for friendship and more people became interested in design. “Now I have a million friends,” jokes Buchanan in an interview with CBC, “It’s amazing. Since I posted on Facebook he has raced around the world. ” Interest in its prototype has spread like wildfire: how does it work ?, can be built larger or smaller ?, How much is saving exactly?
In the latter, Buchanan replied that he does not know in detail, but notes that, in any case, the energy of the sun is rising you free. The other questions have made him consider creating a new business based on your device.
“Anyone who has the ability to do it yourself you will not need me, and anyone who really need it for your home because you can not afford heating, will my help. But there are many people who can not build itself, who can not do or do not have a suitable work area. We hope to fill that niche. “
An adaptive model for each location
For the moment, while exploring the possibilities, Buchanan has already built a full second prototype, larger, to heat a gym near his home.
Martens says the design devised by his father would be perfectly applicable as a heating system in any city that has many days of sunlight, such as Madrid. “Right now, you are designing a smaller furnaces, which will be better for flats and apartments,” he says. In principle, you can be attached to any window should be facing south and be inclined at an angle of 22 degrees to collect the rays of winter sun.
“The hours of direct sunlight produce much more heat. However, we have noticed that the unit produces heat even in the early morning very successful, reaching 20 or 30 degrees. “