DIY Solar Pop Can Wall Heater

Harness the Power of the Sun with Recycled Materials

Welcome to the project page for my DIY Solar Pop Can Wall Heater, a testament to renewable energy and innovative recycling. This environmentally friendly heater captures the sun’s rays to warm your space, using materials you might already have at home.

Frame Assembly and Insulation

Construct a sturdy rectangular frame that will house the entire heater. This frame appears to be made of metal, which is durable and conducts heat well.

Line the back of the frame with insulation material, like the rigid foam board shown, to minimize heat loss. Depending on your choice of venting size, drill holes for venting.

We added handles on the side to make moving it easy.

Can Preparation

Collect and clean a large number of aluminum cans. These cans will act as the heat absorption medium.

Remove the tops of the cans, and drill a hole in the bottom of each one for air to pass through.

Column Construction

Stack the cans in vertical columns, securing them to each other. This can be done using a strong, heat-resistant adhesive. Each column acts as a conduit for air to flow and be heated.

I used caulking and paint that would handle high heat.

Putting It Together


Ensure everything is securely attached and sealed.

Paint the cans black (if not already colored) to maximize heat absorption.

Air Intake and Outlet

Install an air intake at the bottom and an air outlet at the top of the heater. These can be ducts or pipes that allow cold air to enter, get heated as it rises through the can columns, and then exit as warm air.

Glazing Cover

Cover the front of the frame with a clear glazing material, like Plexiglas or glass. This creates a greenhouse effect, trapping solar energy inside to heat the cans.

Seal any gaps or edges with weather-resistant seals to prevent heat loss.

Optionally, add additional insulation around the sides of the frame to further reduce heat loss.

Solar Pop Can Wall Heater In Use

I had planned on using the Solar Pop Can Wall Heater in multiple places. In the long run we only used it with a Solar Dehydrator. We added handles to the sides to make it easy to move. The Solar Panel is in this image and used to power multiple fans throughout the dehydrator. It was built in 2015.