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Solar water panel ideas advice sought...

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Posted by John on November 24, 2005, 11:49 pm
 
I have acquired four 4' x 10' solar panels that I intend to use to heat
water.  (They are older and used, but free so I can't beat the price.)  
I live in north Texas, USA near Dallas.  In this part of Texas we have
relatively mild winters with a night or two in the 'teens about once a
winter or so and dreadfully hot summers.  I'm probably going to have to
use some sort of antifreeze and a heat exchanger.

My first thought is domestic hot water, but if I could generate enough
heat, I would like to augment the heat pump in the winter.  I have been
reading some of the back posts and there is a wealth of talent and
information here in this group.  If anyone has any ideas and/or
suggestions please speak up.  Also if any of you know any on line
sources of good design information please let me know.

Some questions to get me started:

1)  Should I arrange the panels series, parallel, or both?
2)  Should I flow water through the panels continuously or discretely,
regulated by temperature?
3)  Heated water storage?
4)  Is there anything to gain by "tracking" the sun?  (Mount on "rocking
chair" type rockers and move with a stepper motor.)  I have a section of
A roof in the back of the house that faces South where I intend to mount
these, but I also have a good East and West exposure location if
needed.  (Could probably intentionally track less that optimal in the
summer to slow down over heating...)

FYI, I am a fairly competent DIYer, so fire away with the suggestions.

Thanks
John

jw cross at airmail dot net




Posted by Solar Flare on November 25, 2005, 1:41 am
 
I believe the series/parallel thing would amount to the
same temperature rise /BTU gain if the flow rate is
matched for the configuration. If the panels are in
seriea and the flow rate is such that the first panel
heats the fluid to the max the second panel is wasted.

I figure there has to be a method (haven't done the
math yet) to track the sun using a 1D tracker with the
correct plane, possibly adjusted seasonally. There has
to be a lesson learned from the tracking astronomical
telescope mechanisms.


intend to use to heat

beat the price.)

of Texas we have

'teens about once a

probably going to have to

could generate enough

winter.  I have been

of talent and

ideas and/or

any on line

continuously or discretely,

(Mount on "rocking

I have a section of

where I intend to mount

location if

that optimal in the

the suggestions.


Posted by SJC on November 25, 2005, 2:38 am
 : 7bit

I don't think tracking four 4' x 10' solar thermal panels would be that easy.
The last time I looked, they weighed over 100 pounds each. You could use
reflecting mirrors to track, but that might be more cost than it is worth.
You would probably need more collectors to heat your home and 4 is a lot
just for the average domestic hot water needs.

I have acquired four 4' x 10' solar panels that I intend to use to heat
water.  (They are older and used, but free so I can't beat the price.)
I live in north Texas, USA near Dallas.  In this part of Texas we have
relatively mild winters with a night or two in the 'teens about once a
winter or so and dreadfully hot summers.  I'm probably going to have to
use some sort of antifreeze and a heat exchanger.

My first thought is domestic hot water, but if I could generate enough
heat, I would like to augment the heat pump in the winter.  I have been
reading some of the back posts and there is a wealth of talent and
information here in this group.  If anyone has any ideas and/or
suggestions please speak up.  Also if any of you know any on line
sources of good design information please let me know.

Some questions to get me started:

1)  Should I arrange the panels series, parallel, or both?
2)  Should I flow water through the panels continuously or discretely,
regulated by temperature?
3)  Heated water storage?
4)  Is there anything to gain by "tracking" the sun?  (Mount on "rocking
chair" type rockers and move with a stepper motor.)  I have a section of
A roof in the back of the house that faces South where I intend to mount
these, but I also have a good East and West exposure location if
needed.  (Could probably intentionally track less that optimal in the
summer to slow down over heating...)

FYI, I am a fairly competent DIYer, so fire away with the suggestions.

Thanks
John

jw cross at airmail dot net



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<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I don't think tracking four 4' x 10' solar thermal
panels would be that easy.</FONT></DIV>

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>The last time I looked, they weighed over 100
pounds each. You could use</FONT></DIV>

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>reflecting mirrors to track, but that might be more
cost than it is worth.</FONT></DIV>

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>You would probably need more collectors to heat
your home and 4 is a lot</FONT></DIV>

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>just for the average domestic hot water
needs.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>

<DIV>"John" &lt;<A
et</A>&gt;
wrote in message <A
p.supernews.com</A>...</DIV>I
have acquired four 4' x 10' solar panels that I intend to use to heat
<BR>water.&nbsp; (They are older and used, but free so I can't beat the
price.)&nbsp; <BR>I live in north Texas, USA near Dallas.&nbsp; In this =
part of
Texas we have <BR>relatively mild winters with a night or two in the =
'teens
about once a <BR>winter or so and dreadfully hot summers.&nbsp; I'm =
probably
going to have to <BR>use some sort of antifreeze and a heat =
exchanger.<BR><BR>My
first thought is domestic hot water, but if I could generate enough =
<BR>heat, I
would like to augment the heat pump in the winter.&nbsp; I have been =
<BR>reading
some of the back posts and there is a wealth of talent and =
<BR>information here
in this group.&nbsp; If anyone has any ideas and/or <BR>suggestions =
please speak
up.&nbsp; Also if any of you know any on line <BR>sources of good design =

information please let me know. <BR><BR>Some questions to get me
started:<BR><BR>1)&nbsp; Should I arrange the panels series, parallel, or both?
<BR>2)&nbsp; Should I flow water through the panels continuously or discretely,
<BR>regulated by temperature?<BR>3)&nbsp; Heated water =
storage?<BR>4)&nbsp; Is
there anything to gain by "tracking" the sun?&nbsp; (Mount on "rocking
<BR>chair" type rockers and move with a stepper motor.)&nbsp; I have a section
of <BR>A roof in the back of the house that faces South where I intend =
to mount

<BR>these, but I also have a good East and West exposure location if
<BR>needed.&nbsp; (Could probably intentionally track less that optimal in the
<BR>summer to slow down over heating...)<BR><BR>FYI, I am a fairly competent
DIYer, so fire away with the =

suggestions.<BR><BR>Thanks<BR>John<BR><BR>jw cross
at airmail dot net<BR><BR><BR></BODY></HTML>

------=
Posted by Ecnerwal on November 26, 2005, 2:44 am
 
Most efficient will be parallel - why? lowest temperature of collector,
meaning less heat lost out front of collector. You get more water heated
each pass. Ultimately, the entire system gets hotter. If that all sounds
mumbo-jumo-ish, think and or read until you make sense of it - because
it's a commonly misunderstood concept. Heating 10 gallons by 50 degrees
is the same heat as 20 gallons by 25 degrees. With the same sun and
collectors, including heat loss effects, the "more water less
temperature rise" system will get storage hotter than the "less water
more temperature rise" system. If you want numbers and equations, go
look at Nick's past posts, or wait for his next one.

Only flow water when you get net heat collected - otherwise you're
wasting heat.

What about it? Insulated tank or tanks. Ask a question that can be
answered on this subject, and answers will come. This question is a bit
vague.

Anything, yes. Anything worth the (LARGE) plumbing hassles tracking
would involve - I think not. You can look at NREL data to get a better
idea of the exact difference. Put them on the south roof and be done
with it.

--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

Posted by Gary on November 26, 2005, 3:42 am
 John wrote:

Hi John,

I think that the best place to start would be to read the Home Power
Magazine articles on solar water heating "Basics".  These are very
well done, and will get you up to speed on how to use the panels, and
what is involved in the various types of solar water heating systems.
  The articles are spread out over several issue, but they are all
listed here:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm
They are all available fromt the Home Power archieves on their
website, and the ones on "Basics" are free downloads.

There are a lot of other DIY solar water heating plans further down
the page at the same link listed above.


Gary

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









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