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Posted by Gary on July 18, 2006, 10:00 pm
 
Hi Harry,


I was wondering how effective using water that has gone through the water
softener would be?  This would be my easiest source of water for the
system/tank.  My (very rough) understanding is that the water softener exchanges
scale forming minerals for Sodium, which stays in solution, and does not form
scale.  This certainly works to prevent mineral deposits in the house plumbing
fixtures, but I am wondering if it would also work in the solar heating system?

Gary






--


Gary

www.BuildItSolar.com
gary@BuildItSolar.com
"Build It Yourself" Solar Projects










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Posted by Jeff on July 18, 2006, 11:32 pm
 
Gary wrote:

   The addition of salt will increase the risk of corrosion. There's a
thread on this which I started in sci.physics on 7/1. The gist of this
is that deoxygenation is key for corrosion prevention. I think corrosion
is the greater risk for what are essentially closed loops as there is
limited amounts of scale forming elements in the fixed amount of water.

   Nobody had mentioned the alkaline shift, which I find very
interesting. Also, no one had mentioned anything like Nick's ideas on
deoxygenation which is normally a complex and expensive proceedure.

   I've considered galvanized conduit for the risers with everything
else plumbed in cpvc. Don't exactly know where I'm going as copper has
fallen somewhat recently, but so has my available cash!

   Jeff


   This certainly works to prevent mineral deposits in the house


Posted by Gary on July 19, 2006, 12:26 am
 Jeff wrote:

Hi Jeff,
That sounds like a good point.  Maybe just use straight well water with some
additives.  Our well water is not all that hard, so probably OK.  The rain water
might be a better alternative with some treatment for the acid, but it would be
a chore to collect hundreds of gallons.

I ordered my absorber plates yesterday from SolarEnergy.com -- they were more
than I really wanted to pay, but better than most places by a fair bit.  They
are all copper with a selective coating on the fins.
At some point I would still like to try one bay as  a PEX collector -- I'm
planning to have a passive cooling channel on the back side of the absorber
plate similar to the one in this paper:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/44-31-%20Harrison1Stagnation-temp-control.pdf
I think that this, coupled with a vertical or near vertical orientation, and the
PEX tubing installed in grooves in the metal fins with metal side facing the sun
  would take the temperatures and perform pretty well at a very low price per
sqft.  I think that the delta temperature across the PEX wall would be about
10F, which seems not so awful.

Gary





www.BuildItSolar.com
gary@BuildItSolar.com
"Build It Yourself" Solar Projects









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Posted by Solar Flare on July 19, 2006, 1:21 am
 Yeah, what happenned to the $.10 per foot 3/8" copper tubing. It is
darn expensive now as everybody seems to have gone plastic for most
usages. The A/C people still use it but the dehydrated stuff is about
$ per foot.



http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/44-31-%20Harrison1Stagnation-temp-control.pdf


Posted by Harry on July 19, 2006, 6:25 pm
 More about corrosion.
Another way of getting round the problem is by means of a "sacrificial
anode". Basicallly a lump of magnesium bolted to the "wet" side of the
system, usually in the water tank (especially if its copper).  This
corrodes away and stops corrosion elsewhere.  Where to get magnesium?
Maybe from a car breakers yard (wheels or engine block of some cars, at
least here in the UK)  Some copper water tanks have them pre-fitted,
maybe you could buy a commercial anode but I've never seen small ones
for sale. This is more to prevent corrosion/electrolytic action, ie
caused by dissimilar metals in the system. eg zinc and copper.
*****************

Gary wrote:


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