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Author Topic: Thermal Solar Panel DIY Project for domestic hot water under 100  (Read 38292 times)

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Next move is to encorperate a 50m x 20 - 27mm coil of black mdp on flat roof, sandwiched between mat black corrugated steel sheets, lagged on back with polycarbonated tri ply sheets on solar side. This is in effect the same set up as the solar panel so should work well and will be insulated instead fo the exposed black pipe.

Using the larger bore pipe will give us lots more pre heated water. Also considering tilting the corrugated sheets slightly to pick up more energy from the sun.

This system is highly efficient as it is, our water is piping hot and we are noticing savings already.


PS   inventing a new device, Need patent in place before I can tell you more, nothing to do with solar panels btw :)

Stay tuned for more

Andrew K Fletcher P.G.P. (proud grand parent) 
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Been running for over a year now producing water at around 78 degrees, sufficient for showering and filling up the washing machine to save money on electricity. It did freeze in the winter a couple of times but did not burst and quickly defrosted when the sun came out :)

All in all not a bad investment that will run for many years to come.
 

Offline norcalclimber

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I live in Sacramento, CA and the apartment complex I've been living in for the past 3 years actually uses a very similar thing to provide most of the heat for their spas.  The pool area has a large rectangle gazebo structure, and the top of it is covered with black PVC pipe running back and forth for the length of it.  The water is then run to the heater, and then to the spa.  This seems to save them considerable money on heating the spas, and has been in place for several years now at least. 

Your approach seems to be an excellent one, and I think I may have to put it in place for my mother, who is lucky enough to own her home.  She also has a 5kw solar system, which helps...but the 2 water heaters she has suck up a lot of that power, even being on timers.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Andrew

Absolutely brilliant - I knew it would work in Mediterranean climate (done by many in Greece), but in the UK this is fantastic proof of principle

Congrats - enjoy your savings!
Matthew
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Thank you for your encouraging words.

Update 2011  After a prolonged hard frost the system froze. I had closed it down but forgot to drain it over the winter Doh :)

Every joint on the copper tubing required re-soldering and took ages to clean the top joints. Then I remembered that vinegar stripes off the oxidisation so threw the rest of the joints in an old pickled onion jar and topped up with some fresh vinegar. Worked a treat and saved hours of work cleaning the joints.

Got some evaflux and some lead solder which works well and lasts far longer than the lead free solder which was used initially.

Also purchased a thin sheet of polycarb to replace the perspex, more to make it aesthetically pleasing but should prove to be more functional after the guy selling it pointed out that the air pockets between the polycarb would reflect the energy from the son onto the corrugated steel sheet more effectively which sounds plausible.

Will update some more shortly.   
 

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