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Solar Hot Water Kits

Post in 'The Green Room' started by GaryGary, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    SW Montana
    Hi,
    I promised to put a note up once I got the list of Solar Water Heating "kits" done -- here is the first cut :)

    http://www.builditsolar.com/References/SHWKits/SHWKits.htm

    This is for people want to do their own install of a solar hot water system from a set of off the shelf parts rather than building collectors, tanks, etc. from scratch.

    If you have any ideas for others to add, please let me know.

    Gary

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  2. sesmith

    sesmith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    Central NY
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    I realize that your focus is typically drain back but just in case someone wants a flat plate closed loop glycol system, here is a link

    http://www.altestore.com/store/Pack...ems/Closed-Loop-Systems-for-1-4-People/c1115/

    They have kits with electric or PV powered circulating pumps.

    I have a 2 panel PV pumped kit. It came with all the basics. Things I didnt like were small ball valves (1/2")supplied for mainline isolation
    instead of 3/4" this was minor. What was less minor was an undersized PV panel. A 20 watt probably works well in Florida but not in NH.

    The mounting brackets were nice, they slide in the PV frame so its easy to line up with rafter spacing. I do wish they offered a deeper lower mounting bracket for northern climates.
    When I ran the supply pipe up through the roof and did a 90 degree elbow into the lower header, it was quite difficult to flash the pipe due to the low elevation of the header. A higher channel would get the header up off the roof a bit. I did get a water tigth seal on the roof but it required some inovation.


    I really like the heat exchanger integrated into the outside of the storage tank. Makes for easy piping and no chance of corss contamination. I do run PEG but really dont need to as there is no way anti fireeze can get into the DHW.
  4. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    SW Montana
    Hi,
    Thanks for those systems -- will try to add them today.

    Peakbagger -- do you mind if I include your feedback on your system? I won't put in name or contact info.

    I'm fine with closed loop systems -- I'd like to list anything that makes sense to do on a DIY basis. I'd also like to include some of the commercial passive (batch) systems.

    Gary
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Not a problem. Knock on wood, the panels have been on line for several years and no issues plus they are holding up to northern NH weather with no visible deterioration. They supplied a "march" brand mag drive seal less pump, I have a spare but this one just keeps running. It definitely isnt super quiet but I havent seen many DC pumps that are.

    I pulled the anode on the hot water tank last summer after 6 or 7 years, no real deterioration visible. The tank is just a relabeled Rheem.

    AET also used to sell and may still sell the collector ribbons which consist of the risers swedged to the absorber plates. The rest of the collector is just some basic metalworking and plumbing so it may be handy for someone who has frame materials and glass on hand

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