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Old 11-07-11, 09:48 AM   #51
Daox
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Nice work Ben. Looks like you are going to get yours all setup before winter. I don't think I'm going to be able to get mine done in time unfortunately.

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Old 11-07-11, 05:22 PM   #52
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Grrrrr - The EcoRenovator "make a new post" feature is frustrating me.

I spend 20 minutes making a nice blog entry, and when I try to post, it tells me, I'm not logged in (even though I am) after I log in, my post is GONE. There goes all my hard work.

So, once again, I will simply give you photos, and you can guess that I would have said about them!













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Old 11-07-11, 05:26 PM   #53
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PS - The caption to one of the images should be "Plumb, Square, and Level; Pick Two."

Guess which two I got.
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Old 11-07-11, 06:02 PM   #54
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Nice work! looks real solid and you even shifted the Flower box..

In the last picture, the panel seems to be bolted down, in the summer position!
UO SRML: Sun chart program


Plus, judging by the all the shadows, you might need some chainsaw oil..
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Old 11-07-11, 06:21 PM   #55
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It doesn't look like it is, but the panel actually is just a little steeper than 45 degrees.

I'm at 43 degrees north latitude. The rear supports on the panel aren't drilled for seasonal adjusting, but it wouldn't be hard to do. Those supports are just 1" aluminum tube, and would be easy to replace with a different length.

I've always heard that angle of your panel equaling your latitude is a good rule of thumb, so I wasn't planning on adjusting the angle.

Thanks for noticing the flower box!

There are several maple trees to the south and south-west of this end of my house. Only the one of them is on my property, and I'm not chopping down a 100 year old tree. One advantage of solar THERMAL over Photovoltaic, it that it's less affected by partial shading.

It's the time of the year that the sun has dropped low enough in the sky that the tree would start to block it. However, it's a deciduous tree, so it just lost all its leaves in the last wind storm. Prevention of heat from the sun's rays because of a few bare branches is pretty minimal.

In the summer, when there are leaves on the tree, the sun is too high in the sky, and isn't blocked by the tree at all.

I'm also going to be using an amorphous PV panel to run the 12V DC pump. I little bit of partial shading will only drop the voltage a tad, unlike the crystal modules, which almost completely cut out.

I do wish that I had a bit better solar access on my property. The yard is long and skinny, running north and south (as is the house) so it's pretty limiting where I can put solar.
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Old 11-07-11, 06:42 PM   #56
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43 degs looks pretty good. But, having a wintertime setting of 30 degs would really help
during the colder months. (and shorter days)!

Years ago, I had three large Novan hotwater panels on the roof. Which I think is around 45 degs.
During Jan & Dec, when the noon time sun is under 20degs, I noticed mediocre performance,
but the panels were plumbed in solid and could not be tilted. Plus, they were HEAVY!

This month, I've got my PV panels standing up at attention, and the winter has hardly begun!!
I'll make one or two more tweaks before the snow flys..
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Old 11-08-11, 01:42 PM   #57
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Anyone care to weigh in on the location of the pump?

I already have an El-CID 12V DC pump that's designed to be able to run off a single PV panel.

Usually, the pump is located either right next to, or even on the solar exchanger tank.

I was wondering about other locations for the pump. Right now, I am shaking my head trying to figure out how I will EVER fit a 24" diameter tank into my tiny laundry/utility room, let alone the pump, fill valves, and everything else.

Would it make sense to put the pump OUTSIDE, under the solar collector? That would minimize the cable run for the 12V DC from the solar panel. The pump is stainless steel, and I wouldn't think weather should be an issue under the panel.
Your thoughts on that?
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Old 11-08-11, 02:34 PM   #58
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How tightly sealed is the electrical side of the pump? If it's super tight, then your ok.

One thing that might be a factor, is heat losses from the pump, during very cold weather.
You can't insulate the motor body, since it might need to dissipate heat.

Is there space for the pump, on top of the tank?
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Old 11-08-11, 03:49 PM   #59
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I'd probably keep it inside just to extend the life. If you can't fit it in the laundry room, the crawl space wouldn't be a horrible spot I don't think. I don't think its a noisy pump, but you definitely wouldn't hear it down there. You also shouldn't have to service it much so its not going to be a problem having it a little out of the way.
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Old 11-08-11, 04:01 PM   #60
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I'm going with square and level 'cause you haven't plumbed it yet.
Sorry, couldn't resist.

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