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Old 03-10-21, 12:29 AM   #1
jeff5may
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: elizabethtown, ky, USA
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Default Cheapest most effective solar thermal system ever

Due to a few armchair conversations with the masses, I've decided to build a few of the cheapest, most effective solar thermal collector panels ever. Here's the plan:

I did some research online and with a few (real) people that have been operating thermal collector panels for a few years. I've decided not to mess with antifreeze or highly pressurized rigs. This leads me towards a drain back system.

Low wallet dent/ high eco recycle factors also apply here. Something like a higher performance version of a flat plate plastic pool heater is the object here. I've got an endless supply of 3 foot wide storm windows and corrugated metal roofing also.

I have a fence about 100 feet long at the north side of the property that runs really close to due East - West that would be a good place to put the array. The spot would get total solar exposure until about 3pm, then the shadow of the house creeps down the fence row. Decreasing exposure until about 6pm when the shadow reaches the back corner of the fence.

The corner of the house nearest the fence is where the heat pump is located, so there's an ample chase to run plumbing above the basement drop ceiling that's somewhat isolated/insulated but accessible as well. That corner of the house is where the master bath (ground floor) and the basement bathroom are located. Behind the basement bath, there's a little equipment closet with a sump pump on it's own 20 amp breaker. Probably room enough for a 50 gallon water heater and more plumbing.

As of now, I'm open to suggestions. Main purpose of the system is to decimate my electric bill. Heat domestic bath and shower water, and keep the basement warm. Not trying to build a massive insulated aquarium in the basement. If I need a big heat store, it'll be an ibc container sitting next to the heat pump.


Last edited by jeff5may; 03-10-21 at 12:41 AM.. Reason: Information
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