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Passive Solar Heating with Pop Cans

This solar pop can heater could be used for free heat in an ice fishing hut, greenhouse, a chicken coop, your shop, a hunt cabin, your house, etc. We first made a pop/soda/beer can window heater while living in Connecticut. It was our first attempt at ‘free’ solar heat & energy production. This is a pumped up version of an indoor pop can heater. 100% 12 volt – solar powered heat. A small computer fan forces the heated air out of the heater and into the room.

Battery, Fan & Solar Panel Recommendations for this build


When there are below freezing temperatures for half of the year where you live, you try to find as many options as possible for free (or low cost) heat. We are often not around in the middle of the day to keep the wood stove going, so there was a big gap needed to be filled with free heat. We do have south facing windows so we thought we’d make use of that sun exposure with passive solar heating.

Passive solar heating uses solar energy to heat water or air and distribute that heat. We have tried pop can heaters before, so we thought we’d start by making a pap can heater that would fit the window that has the most sun. Aluminum conducts heat well, and when painted black, is able to capture even more heat from the sun.  Pop can heaters take a bit of time and resources to make, but after that they run with little to no maintenance or inputs, so they are a great way to produce heat in a cold, but sunny, place like Canada.

Items Needed

pop or beer cans window pane BBQ paint (black) wood computer fan solar panel and/or battery switch caulking drill screws

Battery, Fan & Solar Panel Recommendations for this build

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Video Instructions:

Update of a Solar Popcan Heater in use:


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