- Mar 21, 2023
- Reaction score
That's a good idea. Also, as we all know, the cooler we keep those panels, the more efficient they are. Except for the tiny power draw from those little fans, that would be free heat. Even if it was not enough to do the job by itself, it's free so even a little free heat is still good. I have seen people experimenting with running cooling lines under the panels in a grid form and then pumping the heated water though a heat exchanger, like a transmission oil cooler. They do this in the summer to cool the panels, in the winter, they could stick that heat exchanger inside the van and add antifreeze to the water and get heat. I just realized I would have to "spoof" my thermostat on the window ac unit, or just move it inside in the winter otherwise the unit would never turn on when it got pretty cold outside. PS I just looked up a comment from an ac/heat/air guy on another forum and he said turning a window unit around backwards will work but only down to an outside air temp of about 40 degrees. Not sure if he knows what he is talking about but this might be the case. He also mentioned the thermostat and figuring a way to weather proof the electrics. I have a 10,000 btu kerosene heater and a 5,000 btu propane heater so I probably won't need to do this but, it still might be a good project.Another heat source I have wondered about is the bottom air space below large rigid solar panels. They get really hot and need ventilation to function well. Maybe close in the sides and circulate the air in that space into the van at floor level in winter with a couple of computer fans in a couple of PVC pipes during the sunny days?