Beer Cans for Passive Heating

They aren’t just for transporting a yummy beverage, beer cans can be used to create passive heating too. A simple contraption that you can make in your spare time can save you heating costs and help reduce your carbon footprint. A beer can heating system, like the one in the video above, is just a series of cans in a row painted black out in the sun under a casing. The dark cans heat up from the sun and move air through them using basic convection.

A DIY beer can heating system is perfect for a shed, garage, or even using it augment your home’s existing heating system.

The concept is relatively simple. The aluminum cans have both of their ends cut off and are fashioned into a series of long metal tubes, painted black. With a fan at one end, and some fins cut into the tubes slowing down the airflow, the metal is positioned in a way to get heated by the sun as the warm air is pulled into the building.

Thirteen years later, the same old beer cans are still chugging along, helping keep the space warm and heating bills low – about $300 annually, McLauchlin estimates.

“It’s -22 C right now and my furnace didn’t come on today,” he said over the phone in early December.

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Thanks to Mike!

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