Posted by Robert Scott on November 17, 2008, 12:49 pm
Concentrating collectors are great for generating very high temperatures, but
are not very cost-effective for generating typical DHW temperatures, especially
in the midwest where diffuse light though some cloud cover is so common. In
that case a fixed flat-plate collector will give you much more heat per dollar
invested. If they are low-mass, they will also be generating heat in 2-3
Posted by gary on November 20, 2008, 3:47 am
You might have a look at this system by Alan R:
And a bit more on one of his more recent systems:
These are nice simple, cheap, long lived, non-pressurized tank systems
with simple heat exchangers.
The systems serve multiunit apartment buildings with large hot water
demands -- similar to your needs.
This should lend some credence and track record to your proposal for a
simpler system -- which I think is 100% on track.
You can also use large pipe coil heat exchangers of PEX, as I do: