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Old 12-22-20, 11:53 AM   #1
solarhotairpanels
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Thumbs up I'm back for questions pertaining to my 2 systems

Many moons ago I built 2 systems..
Hot air collectors and a Drainback hot water collector system tied into domestic hot water and space heating utilizing a used runtal radiator.

If anyone is still here at the forum that was here years ago and has any questions pertaining to operation or construction of my 2 systems feel free to contact me anytime.

I'll give everyone an honest update here now..

The drainback hot water collector system is still cranking flawlessly. Not one problem at all.. no leaks, no pump failures.
The storage tank that I was using to collect hot water to send to my big radiator is still there however I learned that I just wasn't developing hot enough water using 2 hot water collectors to accomplish the mission so that part of the hot water system has not been used.

I still do heat and store hot water that is used to preheat the water entering my tankless hot water heater.

My 2 hot air collectors are functioning fine. Not one issue. The weather is taking it's toll on the sheathing but I plan on installing NEW poly carbonate soon.

any questions / contact me anytime.

Take care

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Old 12-24-20, 03:17 PM   #2
skyking
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your original write-ups were pretty good, Pat.
What price did you pay for the fans? do you think you needed 250 CFM, or could a slower fan keep the panel cool/house warm?
My brother has a commercially made solar water system with glycol, and a big triangle tube tank. He's happy with it. It was far more $$$ however.
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Old 12-24-20, 06:40 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Skyking

The fans were approx $34.00 ea. (forgot to mention that sorry..

The 6 inch fans I installed in my hot air collectors were purchased at a place that sells all commercial HVAC plumbing equipment / boilers / that kind of place because the fans and fan wiring they offer can withstand higher heat temps. CFM? not positive what they are but you want to move as much air as possible when they kick in.

Another way to go with fans would be to use 12v fans powered by a battery recharged via ev solar panel. I've seen them around for sale. If you go that route you won't be using any electricity however you'd have to deal with changing out the battery now and then once it goes ca putt.
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Last edited by solarhotairpanels; 12-30-20 at 08:59 AM.. Reason: added price of fans
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Old 12-24-20, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
your original write-ups were pretty good, Pat.
What price did you pay for the fans? do you think you needed 250 CFM, or could a slower fan keep the panel cool/house warm?
My brother has a commercially made solar water system with glycol, and a big triangle tube tank. He's happy with it. It was far more $$$ however.
Posted more info below..
as far as your brother's hot water system with glycol.. tell him I said good luck with it. He's probably using flat panel hot water collectors thus the need for glycol. I'm sure it's a great system for sure.

Myself, I didn't have any issues getting my evacuated tube collector water to drain back into my basement so I went with a drainback system... no glycol / no standing water outside the house and no pressure in the system. I love it.
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Last edited by solarhotairpanels; 12-24-20 at 06:46 PM.. Reason: update
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Old 12-24-20, 06:47 PM   #5
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I'd go drainback myself too. He was sold a bunch of stuff. The glycol has a header tank for the stagnant pressures and temps, and the smallest possible fluid volume.
Even so, it had some teething pains to keep all the juice inside.
I prefer the KISS system you have.
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Old 12-24-20, 08:45 PM   #6
solarhotairpanels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
I'd go drainback myself too. He was sold a bunch of stuff. The glycol has a header tank for the stagnant pressures and temps, and the smallest possible fluid volume.
Even so, it had some teething pains to keep all the juice inside.
I prefer the KISS system you have.
Yes if you check out how my collectors are tilted with the pitch of the roof in the PDF file you can see that there can't be any issues whatsover with them draining properly. I made sure all 3/4 piping was tilted and TESTED for drain speed before soldering everything together.

1 suggestion...
Over time technology creeps up on us.
They now offer High Efficiency pumps made by Taco and a company called Aquamotion. These new style pumps use less watts then the older pumps and they offer many different models depending on what you are attempting to pump.

Some are even variable speed and temp sensitive..
They sense the return water temp from radiator and slow down automatically I was told..

I just had a new Navian Combi boiler installed NCB 240E model with 4 zones. This boiler is the best... it does the 4 zones in my house plus all of my domestic hot water needs. (this one runs on propane)
I installed the new high eff Aquamotion pumps and man are they beautiful.
Actually the boiler is beautiful too, which I do go give it a hug now and then when the wife isn't looking.

These new pumps only run like 35 to 45 watts. (The older versions run 65 watts continues...

You might want to check on these Navian Combi Boilers that hang on the wall and the new style High Eff pumps, you'll be amazed at what they do.
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Old 12-24-20, 09:00 PM   #7
skyking
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The pumps yes. I don't think we are good candidates for a boiler, as we have relatively cheap electricity here and I would be doing:
1) solar panels
2)passive air heat
3) passive heat and cooling design
4) split mini heat pumps
5) solar drainback for the hot water
6) Heat mass storage in that unfinished basement

I'd use those new pumps for recirc on the hot water, for the solar collection.
In the heating season I would heat mass store from the air panels in the basement.
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Old 12-24-20, 09:12 PM   #8
solarhotairpanels
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What do you mean by heat mass in the basement?
Are you talking about a massive insulated water tank heated with the drainback system?
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Pat from Warwick, RI

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Old 12-24-20, 09:24 PM   #9
skyking
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heat up the foundations, slab, and possibly some eutectic salts. Use that solar air to heat things up and deliver the heat via registers.
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Old 12-24-20, 09:35 PM   #10
solarhotairpanels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
heat up the foundations, slab, and possibly some eutectic salts. Use that solar air to heat things up and deliver the heat via registers.
Ok, I see what you mean.
Yes just pumping hot air into your basement is a plus even if that's all you do.
Hot air rises.. up thru the floors etc.

Well keep everyone posted on your progress and by all means contact me if you have any questions at all pertaining to the units I built.

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Pat from Warwick, RI

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