Ojo Caliente Solar Collector Workshop


Ojo Caliente Solar Collector Workshop


The residents of Ojo Caliente, the Owl Peak Farm, and the Heart Mind Alliance invite all those interested in how to build a low-cost do-it-yourself solar air collector for heating living spaces directly (“sensible” heating) or indirectly by heating either a crawlspace or floor itself (“radiant” heating).

This workshop is free and will be conducted by Bob Dunsmore, founder of the San Luis Valley Solar Energy Association, who has conducted over a hundred such workshops in the U.S. and abroad. The solar collector will heat the crawlspace of a double-wide trailer home, turning the entire floor into a radiant heating system.

Since radiant heat does not heat air directly, but, instead, persons, pets and furniture, etc., it is a very efficient way to heat hard-to-insulate trailers (over 400,000 in New Mexico alone).  The collector will cost under $700 including a radiant barrier insulation. We will use patio glass door insert glass for the glazing. A thermostatically-controlled fan will automatically deliver heat when available from the sun.

The same type of solar system has been built in public workshops in Hernandez at the home of Loretta Atencio, and in Española, at the home of Frutoso and Bernice Martinez, families willing to show off their systems.

Ms. Atencio walked barefoot in her single wide trailer all last winter. She used half of the amount of wood for heating as in previous years.

Hundreds of these collectors heat homes in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and some have been functioning for over 30 years without failure.

The workshop will be at the home of Nick and Bernice Sena in Ojo Caliente, just north of the Mesa Vista Café, on October 10, Saturday beginning at 9 AM.

The workshop is honoring the Sena family for years of service to the community as first responders, fire fighters and rescue crew members. The community raised most of the funds for the free workshop.  A free lunch will be provided by the Mesa Vista Café.

Do-it-yourself collector construction packets will be available. Donations will be accepted to cover printing costs.

Questions can be directed to Bob Dunsmore of the Heart Mind Alliance at 575.582.4224.