Solar Heating

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by Matt30, Apr 13, 2014.

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  1. Apr 13, 2014 #1

    Matt30

    Matt30

    Matt30

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    Fellow plumbers,

    Like many of us here wouldnt like to admit it, but, i dont know everything. Havent saw it all yet either.

    Id like to think that heating is one of my specialties, and its my favorite thing to do in the trade. So, to continue my education i recently took a course on the basics on solar heat. Its not overly popular where i live, but because of power rates and oil costs sky rocketing here, its starting to come up in conversation and i want to be prepared.

    Its also got me curious, since building my first home is soon coming. I was thinking of just having it do my domestic hot water, but since infloor heat is a must, it wouldnt be a bad idea there either.

    So i was wonderin who here has experience in solar heating, and thoughts on the best type of system for a cold climate?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Apr 13, 2014 #2

    phishfood

    phishfood

    phishfood

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    Solar water heating is semi popular around here. I have never done any installs, the most I have done is study a manual on it preparing for a test.

    Most of the systems that I have seen/heard of around my area are direct, as in the sunlight heats the water that is then used. From my reading, I am thinking that you almost certainly will have to use an indirect system, in which the sunlight heats a freeze resistant fluid, such as glycol, which is then pumped through a heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to the water. If for domestic, this heat exchanger has to be double walled, so that a leak on one side of the exchanger will not allow the glycol to contaminate the potable system.

    Solar heating is used very extensively for heating swimming pools here, but since freezing is not a huge concern, these are all direct systems.
     
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  3. Apr 14, 2014 #3

    alefromitaly

    alefromitaly

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    The solar system who does only sanitary warm water, for my experience, has not utility.. Is better make a system for heating, or better for both.. Here in italy the new houses must produce the 30% of sanitary warm water with green energies.. For this rule, we install many solar panels.. So.. I'm not a fan of this system.. Have you thought about the system composed by electric panels on roof, and heat pump for make warm water and heating?Anyhow, for turn back to the solar panels, the forced system with glycol and pump for run is better than natural system without glycol and pump.. This is only my opinion.. Sorry if I did errors.. I hope you understand.. Have a nice day..,
     
  4. Apr 14, 2014 #4

    alefromitaly

    alefromitaly

    alefromitaly

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    Phish has right.. There are two ways for make solar panels.. With pump and glycol and without these.. For the first you can use heat exchanger, or a tank with "serpentine" inside or an water tank called tank in tank.. This latest does warm water and heating.. The not forced system(without glycol and pump) has a tank on the roof..
     
  5. Apr 17, 2014 #5

    Matt30

    Matt30

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    I know the type of system i would be installing. My main concern is will solar really give me 140 degree water?

    Just to try it out, i stuck a tube in the sun for about 15 minutes and it heated up to about 200 degrees. Put 20 of them on the roof and i would think i would have no problem heating a storage tank. But im more or less looking for the pros and cons of living with the system.
     
  6. Apr 22, 2014 #6

    alefromitaly

    alefromitaly

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    I think who your 140 degree are in f.. (about 30 c) I don't know.. Certainly one solar system gives an help to economise.. Maybe with these low degrees, you can't produce the warm wather without boiler or tank.. But certainly, the temperature of cold water who come from solar system, enter into the tank with more warm temperature than cold water line.. The boiler will use less gas.. Depends.. Anyhow, some our clients say that solar system is good, some clients say that is bad.. There are too many ways of think.. Is subjective.. One tip who I can give you, call an expert in this field,he will can give you a good support (for the number of panels, for the sun exposition, for the size of pipes, for the type of glycol, for the maintenance, for when charge the panels(you can't load glycol when you want, there are specific temperature to charge) and ask he to make a scheme..sorry for my English
     

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