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Old 09-25-21, 12:01 PM   #1
Daox
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Default Solar hot water pump controller

Hey guys. I'm getting close to putting up my solar hot water panels. However, I still need a controller for the setup. Can anyone recommend anything? Is it simply a differential temperature controller? Is there any new tech or features I should be looking for in this area? Variable speed pump control?

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Old 09-27-21, 06:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Is it simply a differential temperature controller? Is there any new tech or features I should be looking for in this area? Variable speed pump control?
Have built a few of these controllers over the years, you need a min. of 2 sensors for differential control, plus a setting for the min. pump on differential, usually about 3-4 degrees Celsius, as there is no point in running the pump when the difference is only a few degrees or less.

For water flow through the panel array: needs to be fast enough for turbulent flow in the pipes to get best heat transfer. Pump size depends a lot on length of your pipes to the array and array size; you want enough flow to get approx a 10 degree Celsius temperature rise out of the array; any higher (less water flow) will loose efficiency through heat radiation.

Last controller I built used a Picaxe 8 pin CPU (program in basic) and a couple of 1-wire temperature sensors DS18B20.

Also have one using a couple of Op Amps, will have a look for the schematic.

Edit: found it, I published this in Silicon Chip many years ago https://www.eeweb.com/solar-hot-wate...mp-controller/

Cheers
Mike

Last edited by Solar Mike; 09-27-21 at 06:49 AM..
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Old 09-28-21, 09:22 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike. A DIY controller sounds fun, but I simply don't have the time to put one together at this point.
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Old 09-29-21, 01:09 AM   #4
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I use a Resol Deltsol BS Pro. The plus points are that it is easy to use, it has setups to suit a number of equipment configurations, and it has proven reliable. I have been happy with it. The possible downsides are that I have had it some years now so it is an older design and newer controllers may have new/improved features. Also I don't know if it is still made, but if not I am sure Resol make an alternative.
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Old 10-12-21, 06:33 PM   #5
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Well, I am running out of time on this. I ended up going with a Steca 0301 U. I basically went with this due to limited availability of other name brand controllers, and my need to have one soon. I was hoping to find something with data logging so I could evaluate how the system is working. Perhaps that'll be something to upgrade to in the future.

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