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SOLAR HOT WATER ONE STEP AT A TIME Options
mikeg
#1 Posted : Monday, October 27, 2003 2:06:08 AM
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Check out Andy''s post on this below.

I have been thinking about using a used chiller coil painted black in a reflective box, but only as a preheater and not when freezing.
skruzich
#2 Posted : Monday, October 27, 2003 2:39:52 AM
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You know, I used "solar" power water heater years ago to heat my shower water when i lived out in colorado. What it was is a black tub that held about 10 gallons of water that i placed up on my roof. The sun hit it and warmed the water up somewhat. I never got it really hot enough for a shower, but it was better than the alternative of 35 degree water cascading down ones body in the middle of winter where the temp was around 17 degrees.
I guess 35 degree water would have felt relatively warm at that time.
The thing is that the air temp negated the suns attempt at heating the water in that black tub. I would think the same would happen with a collector.
Not sure though.
steve
Bellla
#3 Posted : Saturday, November 15, 2003 8:57:59 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by skruzich

You know, I used "solar" power water heater years ago to heat my shower water when i lived out in colorado. What it was is a black tub that held about 10 gallons of water that i placed up on my roof. The sun hit it and warmed the water up somewhat. I never got it really hot enough for a shower, but it was better than the alternative of 35 degree water cascading down ones body in the middle of winter where the temp was around 17 degrees.


Steve, was the water fully enclosed or was it exposed to the air?

Bellla
Sheila
#4 Posted : Sunday, November 16, 2003 5:45:57 PM
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When I lived in the tropics and we had no indoor plumbing (and forget about hot water) we used to set water out in black buckets. In that climate it would get too hot to use without mixing it with some cold.
skruzich
#5 Posted : Sunday, November 16, 2003 5:53:14 PM
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It was enclosed, i had a lid on it with a inlet pipe that i would use a hand pump and pump it up there out of my water tank. Then i had another outlet fitting at the base where i hooked the shower hose up to.

quote:
Originally posted by Bellla

[quote]Originally posted by skruzich

You know, I used "solar" power water heater years ago to heat my shower water when i lived out in colorado. What it was is a black tub that held about 10 gallons of water that i placed up on my roof. The sun hit it and warmed the water up somewhat. I never got it really hot enough for a shower, but it was better than the alternative of 35 degree water cascading down ones body in the middle of winter where the temp was around 17 degrees.


Steve, was the water fully enclosed or was it exposed to the air?

Bellla

practicalman45
#6 Posted : Friday, December 05, 2003 12:17:36 PM
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Posts: 134,494
I picked up 2 commercial units at the metal scrapyard for $50/ea. They each have a collector and a well insulated tank made to mount at top of the collector. So far I''ve fixed one of the units by dissasembling and welding the copper tubes that had split from freezing damage. The tank is about 30 gals, glass lined, super insulated w/ 2-1/2" of foam, and mounted above the collector w/pipe unions. It had rusted through right at the cleanout neck which I welded and then coated inside with epoxy. I made a stand for the tank from a galvanized pipe gate salvaged at our dump. The collector sits at about 45 degrees angle resting on cinder blocks. Plumbed it up to a garden hose supply line and a hose outlet (for filling the washing machine or my pressure washer) the space between the fittings got plumbed to a center shower head w/ball valves controlling hot and cold. A pallet on the ground with an aluminum road sign made a great place to stand while showering. A ring of conduit holds curtains which are cheap plastic tarps. Here in So. Oregon, the water gets up around 180 degrees F. in the summer afternoons. I turn off our electric water heater in the house for about 6 or 7 months of the year, preferring the outside shower with its non-flow-restricted shower head! I have to time my use to avoid the windy times, but even at night or cool mornings is fine. There''s enough for 2 or 3 showers. It stays hot for a day or two when its cloudy and I havent used it. In winter theres not much sun here, and I''ll drain it for freeze protection maybe 2 or 3 months. Have been using the same setup for almost 3 years now. Before finding the Amcor units I was planning to make my own by soldering copper flashing pieces onto 3/4" copper tubes. The 1/2" copper tubing in the Amcor is in grid formation, and has steel tin crimped 1/2 around the copper tubes. Those got a new coat of flat black rustoleum, and I put a fresh layer of aluminum foil on top of the old foam using dabs of silicone caulk to hold it before replacing the coil grid and the cover glass. If you are setting up a system, dont forget to plumb drains at the bottom and air inlet at top for draining to prevent freeze damage. I know other folks who have picked up junked units with freeze damage cheap also. I guess lots of do-it yourselfers forget the freeze damage thing. Mine gets an insulated cover on the collector on those light frost nights and the valves and piping are insulated with foam and foil wraps over heat tapes too.
Lowell Bernhardt
#7 Posted : Friday, December 05, 2003 12:17:36 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Hello again all. Well, I have been obsessing about this whole solar heated water since the last issue of Mother, and I'm going to give it a whirl. However I'm going to approach this project a little differently then some projects that I've tried in the past. I'm going to draw up a specific design and then install it according to the design. Now comes the part where I'll shamelessly pry information from your heads. I would like any info or input you all would have.

1. COLLECTORS: What type collectors have you had the best results with? Flat plate or batch
2. INSIDE THE COLLECTOR: Would you build using a system of fins similar to mothers (fin machine) in your collector or would you just go with direct contact to the metal collector plate?
2a. Would you build using a serpentine piping layout or with a grid type layout? ( it seems top me that the serpentine method would alot you more heat transfer than the gris type system)

Well that will end this section of the quiz. [:D] Oncec I'm able to get this much on paper then I'll start with my next battery of questions.

Thanks in advance,
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