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My first panels

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Posted by ghostwriter on August 16, 2006, 7:45 pm

I am starting plans to purchase my first flat plate panels.  I plan to
start with space heating so that I can get my feet wet without actually
getting me feet wet. Also there are two spaces in my home that really
are too far away from the central heat and therefore get fairly cold
during an Ohio winter.

I was planning on going though hotbox solar since that would allow me
to later add solar water etc. and stay with a single supplier. I'm not
quite comfortable enough with the idea of making DIY panels at least
until I get a better idea of the nuts and bolts of these systems.

The interior space in my home, counting mostly finished attic and
unfinished 3/4 basement, is 3500 ft^2.  I have several south facing
slopes, with both of the colder spaces having good southern slopes
immediately near. Walls have blown insulation and the crawlspace and
attic have standard fiberglass.  New premium windows were installed
last spring.  The house is 100 year old, with oversized studs and
plaster and lathe on all walls, which seem to give it considerable
thermal mass.

My major question is that while reading the hotbox web sight they list
their 4*7 panel as heating 1200 ft^2.  Whats the saleman to reality
conversion number on these panels? How do I calculate the likley output
vs sunlight to get a appoximation of day to day performance?

I would also like to be able to thermosphion air out of those same
spaces during the summertime, I picture just moving a piece of flexable
ducting from the heating to the cooling pipe, although some sort of
valve may be available.  Ideally I would take the excess heat and move
it to a true thermal mass(there is an old coal bin directly under one
of the problem spaces that could hold about 12 55gallon drums) but
thats an ideal for a later project.

Thoughts? Flames?


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