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Old 02-09-12, 02:16 PM   #51
Daox
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Yeah, I'm thinking of using something like that. Here is an image of the cross section I'm dealing with. I currently have the frame, glass and rubber gasket for the panels.




The fasteners and angle I have yet to completely figure out. I'm also thinking of adding some form of backing nut because threads will strip out that thin gauge aluminum like crazy. I'm thinking of something like this. I'll pop rivet them in place on the under side of the aluminum flange.


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Old 02-09-12, 10:57 PM   #52
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Are the panels salvaged, new or homemade? What type of glass is required? The reason I ask is I'm curious whether glass breakage is a factor here because the glass will be exposed away from the home, so presumably at higher risk for tree debris and because the panels aren't vertical, for hailstones.
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Old 02-10-12, 07:20 AM   #53
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They are salvaged panels. They have glass with them. I'm not sure what type it is. I'm not real concerned about breakage. You'd need some pretty large hail to break through this stuff.
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Old 09-19-12, 05:31 PM   #54
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Its been a while since an update here, but I've been trying to work on this so it can be done before winter rolls around. I'd really like to be able to get me some nearly free heat!

In parallel with getting the panels ready, me and the mrs have also been digging the trench for the solar hot water plumbing. The rack is roughly 80ft from the house, so its no small task. Last year when we put in the solar panel rack uprights, we also did use a ditch digger to run a line between the house and rack. It was bout 4" wide and maybe 16" deep or so. We've been hand digging it out to more like 16" wide and 24" deep. We still have a ways to go, and we also have to dig 12 of those 80 feet under my porch to get to the basement wall. Thankfully, progress is being made though.

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Old 09-19-12, 07:40 PM   #55
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You're making that poor woman dig? It's a good thing she loves you!

Invite me over sometime and I'll trade you digging labor for lunch!
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Old 09-20-12, 08:59 AM   #56
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Haha, yeah she is digging too. Goes much quicker when you can trade off and rest a few minutes.

It looks like my uncle is going to come out on Saturday to help out depending on the weather. If you're so inclined I won't pass on more help! There is more than enough trench for everyone.

The real fun will be digging under the porch. Anyone got any ideas on how to do that? I think there is roughly 18" above the ground, and the trench will be ~24" deep.
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Last edited by Daox; 09-20-12 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 09-20-12, 11:08 AM   #57
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How are you planning to use the hot water?? What is the square footage of flat panel area?? Do you have heated floors??

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Old 09-20-12, 11:13 AM   #58
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The water will be used to heat DHW as well as heat the house. Yes, I do have hydronic floors in part of the house (working on the rest). My panel area is right around 200 square feet.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:23 AM   #59
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Congrat's We have found with 240 sq ft we can heat for 24hrs however we do have the concrete storage. Maybe you can do the same with some large water storage. Looking forward to your results this winter

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Old 09-20-12, 11:50 AM   #60
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I wish that it would be enough, and it will during the hip months. However, worst case I'm looking at the solar replacing ~25% of my heat November through January. The rest of the months it is a fair amount higher.

The chart below is a quick spreadsheet I threw together to estimate what the solar panels will do for me. The third row from the bottom is the percentage of solar that will replace natural gas usage. I'm estimating a ~340 therms of gas or $400 per year savings based off of my historical usage.


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Last edited by Daox; 09-20-12 at 11:52 AM..
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