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Old 12-28-20, 06:41 PM   #16
Helper EcoRenovator
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warwick, Rhode Island
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Originally Posted by WillyP View Post
Ironically oil was my way of keeping it simple. It wont freeze, it lasts much longer than Glycol, and it is cheaper. Unfortunately I now know it also doesn't hold heat as long and would be very inefficient.
In ref to your idea about using air to create hot water..
I have 2 hot air collectors I built that have been in use now for over 7 years doing a great job.

They push 98 to 130 degree temps back into my house (when the sun is out)

I once thought about putting copper tubing inside those 2 units to create hot water which would be pumped into my basement to a holding tank for distribution to radiant floor type heating however after thinking it over I decided the 2 collectors really only cranked good heat about 4 hours a day when the sun was out.

I don't think the tiny bit of water contained inside the piping would be worth the venture so pulled the plug on the idea.

The piping probably would have only held like 2 gallons of water tops.
By the time you figure in the cost of the additional piping, supplies, pump, controller, holding tank, radiant floor installation.. I said forget it. My return on investment just wasn't there.

So I use the 2 hot air collectors for what they are on the days it's sunny.
They do a fantastic job / turn on / off automatically / and snow drops right off them if covered from over night snow within 5 minutes after the sun hits them in the am... so I can't complain.

If I had all those evacuated tube collectors you have I would be setting up a drain back system immediately.

If your collectors were setup on an angle for easy flow thru the headers they would drain back quickly into a small drain back tank which would drain down to a heat exchanger located in the bottom of a 80 gallon insulated storage tank.

Of course the larger the storage tank the more water you would have to distribute after the sun goes down.

You have 2 big insulated tanks now that I saw..
You could fill those babies up to about 6 inches from the top...
Pump water up to your collectors using one of the bottom fittings... then have the return water from collectors return to the top fitting on the same tank.

2 other fittings on that same tank could be used to pump water out and back from a radiant floor system or even a radiator located in your glass house.

Doing it this way allows you to use your storage tank as your drain back tank and distribution tank at the same time.

The only thing you would need to do is put a pressure relief valve on the top and setup your solar controller to shut down your pump at a desired temp that you felt was safe.

Those are nice tanks you have there, I would definetly put them to use for sure. Just some ideas

If those tanks could be situated in a place that never freezes you wouldn't even need glycol...

water heats quicker then glycol
Pat from Warwick, RI

Please Note:
Comments and/or suggestions I make here at the forums on 'your' projects as well as my own have all been carefully and scientifically calculated by 'the seat of my pants'
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