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Terror-Free Shower! (solar HW at 100%!)

Post in 'The Green Room' started by cbrodsky, Mar 24, 2007.

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  1. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Big milestone today! Below is a copy of a note sent to some friends who are into wood/solar or just curious co-workers. They all subscribe to "The Patriot Report" - a periodic satirical newsletter monitoring our progress towards energy independence. Not for Bush fans - send a note to patriotreport@verizon.net if interested in the last issue.

    -Colin


    Fellow Alternative Energy Enthusiasts -

    The Patriot Report would like to announce that as of 4PM, March 24th 2007, the first Terror-Free shower was achieved at the Brodsky residence using 100% American-sourced solar energy for hot water production.

    Although the solar hot water system was stopped for about a week due to snow buildup following last week's two feet of snow, three days of mixed sunshine, a late March sun angle, and outside temperatures around 50 degrees resulted in the 120-gallon solar storage tank providing outlet water at 105 degrees. Water return temperatures from the roof as high as 118 degrees F were observed today.

    It is worth noting that this exceptionally refreshing shower came after manually splitting a 1/2 cord of hardwood over the previous hour, providing a double-strike in the War on Terror!

    A full 2007 issue of The Patriot Report will be coming in the near future with more details, including the construction of the Brodsky Department of Homeland Security (a.k.a. woodshed) - stay tuned...

    Please e-mail patriotreport@verizon.net to be removed from the mailing list or to request back issues of The Patriot Report.

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  2. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Hey, I'm all for cutting the cord with these countries to become independent!
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Too bad they live next door to the Bates Motel ;-)

    Sorry, couldn't resist. The only terror that could happen in my shower would be if I put a mirror in it.
  4. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    BeGreen -

    As a fellow freedom fighter (a.k.a. woodburner/alternative energy user) I'm sure you don't want the terrorists to win! ;-P

    By the way, the other day I actually saw a H2 with a yellow ribbon on it to support our troops. I wish I had a camera for that one.

    -Colin

    It's a different kind of war than we're used to in America. It's a war that requires patience and focus.
    G.W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Mar. 4, 2003
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I took those showers for 22 years with my old Solar DHW system - and I bet it is still working on my former house.....
    I'm thinking of installing a simple system here - something that I will drain during the winter months. The prices have been coming down due to mass production - and, yes, the Chinese are starting to build solar stuff in a big way!
  6. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    One of the positives to solar thermal is that the price doesn't have a whole lot of room to drop at this point - a quality copper tube panel coupled with the framing, glass, coatings, etc... is always going to cost a few hundred bucks no matter who makes it, and a 120 gallon water storage tank will always cost a few hundred bucks... TACO circulators are a commodity - essentially, not a lot of high-tech stuff to crash in price or fail.

    Not that I wouldn't go for PV if I had the right sun exposure... NY incentives are phenomenally good, but we're just not optimal enough to make the investment work out. Maybe if I get a few more trees cut down...

    -Colin
  7. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    House I've been in for 18 months has a big addition in back, flat rolled roof, faces due south, where can I start clicking around to see if some kind of solar option would work, my 50 gal NG hot water htr. has probably 2 years left in it, maybe with the right tax incentives I may consider . . . Thanks
  8. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    I agree however, until we put cities at risk in countries where the terrorists are coming from (Iran and Syria), we'll never win this war and they'll keep streaming into Iraq like cockroaches. The only way to kill bugs is to attack their nest.............this means putting these countries on notice that they'll lose their cities one at a time unless they clamp down on terrorists within their countries and seal their borders.....by Bush not doing this he's setting us up for the inevitable..... a dirty bomb or nuke weapon to be detonated on US soil.......
  9. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    OK...I have been intersted in this stuff for some time, and I've not been able to come up with a simple solar water heater. Anyone know of a solar HW system that can be used in conjunction with a propane on-demand water heater? Is it necessary to start from scratch, and replace with a tank? Maybe not the right forum, but reading this got me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside...looking for direction to make this happen.
  10. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I think an ideal configuration is to have an on-demand heater after a tank that heats up from solar - this way, you don't have to have a backup heater element in the solar storage tank. You'll only use the on demand heater when necessary, and your solar tank will not stay artificially warm with a backup element in shoulder seasons.

    Look up "solar wand" - this is a device that goes into an existing hot water heater tank, and could help build a simpler budget system. The website below explains how this is used in a somewhat lower cost setup and my read was that it was neat, but way below the output you get with a more conventional system. It's a great read, and you can learn a lot from his site. That being said, once doing that much work, I'd spend the extra money for a proper solar tank and get a better orientation on the panels. In August, his data is showing peak temperatures around 120. With our system, I've already seen 150 in the tank / 170 on the roof in March. Maine isn't THAT much colder than NY :) I think a minimum 80 gallon, and preferably 120 gallon storage tank is a good idea - when it's sunny, you want to bank as much heat as possible. The incremental tank cost is much less than the other money you spend.

    All that being said, I am sure I spent close to 2X what he did on the parts/hardware to get much higher output, so there is no free lunch - I would just argue that I am paying a lot less $ per BTU as a result of the economy of scale w/larger more optimized system. Depends on what your goals are.

    http://www.arttec.net/SolarDHW/9_Test_Results/index.htm

    -Colin
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