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Old 11-16-09, 06:45 AM   #1
Harpo
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Default DIY Batch H2O Heater

I'm collecting parts for one of these.

Solar Hot Water Batch Collector - DIY Solar Shower - Homemade Hot Water Heater - Tankless Water Heaters ? ByExample.com

Some extra storage included!

My initial October tests yielded 50 gallons from 70degrees to 125degrees in 4.5 hours (0930-1400). I'm thinking about a small flat plate copper (4x4') with recirc to supplement heat from 1400-1600 since I can mount it remote.

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Old 11-16-09, 07:15 AM   #2
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Hello Harpo, and welcome to ER.

Interesting, a batch heater setup. What climate are you in? Do you have any pictures of your test setup?
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Old 11-23-09, 06:05 AM   #3
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Default It was illuminating

North Florida, which makes Batch Heaters pretty efficient! My big dilemma is that I have to strategically place the batch heater to accommodate two different seasonal shade patterns from some big oak trees. It appears I have 4.5 hours at Winter Solstice, about 5 hours at Summer Solstice, and 5.5 Hours at both Equinox periods which is good. Winter periods could be bolstered with a small flat plat collector with solar recirc pump adjacent to the batch heater to catch another 1.5 hours.

Unfortunately, no photos on prototype due to a malfunction on my iPhone. I hadn't synced it, when I lost some photos, some of which were the few I had taken.

Essentially, I took an old double door file cabinet, some reflecting attic insulation, the core of a 50 gallon H2O heater painted black, and plumbed it with a direct hose feed from my 70 degree well. I made a PVC stand inside the cabinet to hold the tank. I plumbed a cPVC outlet with valve for drawing hot water of the top of the tank, left the steam valve intact, and assembled it at 45 degrees tilt and 170 degrees orientation. For glazing, I used a 10% tinted piece of greenhouse TuffPanel secured to the file cabinet.

Every 30 minutes, I drew about 32ozs. from top of the tank for temp measurement with digital meat thermometer. I didn't prepare much, but wish I had logged more now. My goal was to see if I could get a 40-50 degree gain with 4.5 hours of sunlight close to equinox periods (10/2009). Outside air temps were moderate (80 degree average). The tank was at 100 degrees at 2200 that night.

Things I learned:

1. Simple is good
2. Florida should invest in solar energy because is abundant
3. Summer Delta T's will be well over 50 degrees. I have about a 40' run to the hot water heater inside the house. So, I'll need to calculate how much heat I'll need to lose, then setup a valve to control inlet temps into the house system. Another option is to double the storage so I have more 125 degree water, and less over 125 degree during peak days.
4. I can make it more efficient with box insulation and double glazing for winter periods. I'd bet I can have 100 degree water for that 0500 shower which will reduce my recovery electrical load. Inside electric heater will be retained for off peak period use.
5. Our peak family use period is 1500-1900 (laundry, baths, dishes, etc.). This system should easily cover that ~80 minute recovery period. Lot's of watts saved.
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Old 11-23-09, 07:42 AM   #4
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Very cool Harpo! I was going to ask you how you planned on dealing with freezing, but I can see that won't be an issue.

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