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Old 07-13-11, 03:47 PM   #11
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Hi Dave,
I've not noticed a lot of expansion of the PEX coil, but I've not really tried to measure it.
I think that 2 inches will be plenty.

One thing I wonder about is how good the heat transfer to the PEX coil from the solar chamber will be, but I guess the easiest way to find out is to give it a try -- if it turns out to be not as good as you would like, you can think about it then.

Gary
Ill start a new thread once i have it installed and have accumulated some data on its operation.

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Old 07-13-11, 06:51 PM   #12
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Default BTUs?

What is it? 9 sq feet? How many BTUh will that be able to harvest?
How much water do you plan to heat?
How many degrees warmer, do you plan to increase your water temp?

IMHO, you need a much larger capture area.
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Old 07-24-11, 09:32 AM   #13
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What is it? 9 sq feet? How many BTUh will that be able to harvest?
How much water do you plan to heat?
How many degrees warmer, do you plan to increase your water temp?

IMHO, you need a much larger capture area.
I live alone so all i require is 6 gallons of hot water for a shower daily and occasional dishwasher. 300' of 3/4" Pex holds 6 gallons . I have it all constructed and filling the Pex with cold Well Water of 55 f. during a mostly sunny 90 f. day...the exiting water temp was at 158 F. after 5 hours By bypassing the water heater and having that collector water going directly into the hot water supply pipe anytime i open a hot water faucet, is more than enough for me ; in fact , Ill have to cool it down quite a bit to 100f. which means I wont even be using the full 6 gallons of collector water for showers . So yes, its plenty for this guy and is a success . Total cost was $350 and i never have to use the water heater again .
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Old 07-24-11, 09:44 AM   #14
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Nice work! Hope you post some diagrams and pictures of the project..
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Old 07-24-11, 09:57 AM   #15
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Nice work! Hope you post some diagrams and pictures of the project..
Thanks. I enjoyed putting it together. Not sure i would have had these kind of results using Pex Tubing if i didnt live in the sunbelt , but it proved to me that Pex has some good possibilities under certain circumstances ; it helps too if your hot water requirements are minimal . Ill make a short video and put it on Youtube with a URL to click onto .
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Old 07-24-11, 10:59 AM   #16
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Default Solar HW

I'm looking forward to adding your video to my Youtube favorites.

We aren't lucky enough to be in the sun belt, but being retired, we have lower HW needs these days.

My guess is a small solar HW system would allow us to keep the oil-burner turned off most of the year.
Right now, it's running about 1/2 hour each morning (1/2 gallon = $1.95)
$59.31 a month (most of the year) isn't too bad.
But, I worry about the day when it's $10 or $20 a gallon..

I will be looking at solar HW more seriously this winter.
I do not want to be spending my meager retirement check on stinkin oil!

Investing in any kind of durable solar hardware seems to be a good idea to me these days.
My thinking is: Buy it now, before purchasing power drops lower..
Or, before any extra heavy wealth redistribution sends me to the poor house.
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Old 07-24-11, 12:28 PM   #17
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Great to hear. Yes, we definitely need some pictures of this setup! A video would be great too.
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Old 07-25-11, 11:03 AM   #18
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You could install a circulating pump to get the tank temp up so that you would always have hot water. something like
Shop Watts Hot Water Recirculating Pump at Lowes.com

I read that you could just use the sensor valve to get the same results.

Costco - Premier Sensor Valve Kit For Hot Water Recirculation Pump
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Old 07-26-11, 03:26 PM   #19
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You could install a circulating pump to get the tank temp up so that you would always have hot water. something like
Shop Watts Hot Water Recirculating Pump at Lowes.com

I read that you could just use the sensor valve to get the same results.

Costco - Premier Sensor Valve Kit For Hot Water Recirculation Pump
I always do have hot water as the only time i use it is at 5 pm every day for 10 min. each time.
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Old 07-28-11, 04:21 PM   #20
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What I was thinking is if the water in your tank can be circulated through the pex during the day you could conceivable have the tank up to 120 or higher by the next day. Insulate the tank and the temp should remain within a reasonable range

Just thinking out loud for my own design ideas

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