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Old 10-14-16, 02:04 AM   #7
Geo NR Gee
Journeyman EcoRenovator
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 326
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I wanted to test three of the solar collectors. I connected them to my old natural gas water heater. I ran the cold line out the bottom of the water heater through a grundfos pump and into the bottom of the first panel. The heated return line at the top goes down to the top of the water heater.

The water at the beginning of the test was 54F (12C) and then 20 minutes later was over 120F (49C). Another 30 minutes it was too hot and I had to shut it down. It got to over 240F (116C). The sun was pretty bright though. Just amazed how much heat the sun produces and that some of us are not utilizing!

The next day I installed a small Dayton Hydronic heater that I found on Craigslist and learned that the air being blown across the coils was pretty warm. It's not hot like a electric heater, but for sure usable heat.

Now that I know it works, its time to take them apart and clean the cobwebs off of the selective material and backside of the glass. I spoke to a couple of solar flat plate mfg. today and they said to be careful on the cleaning, but that the black chrome is pretty durable. Not sure exactly what selective material is on there, but I will be careful.
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