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Old 06-27-12, 02:57 PM   #1
DirtFlinger
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Default Freezeproof batch preheater from old gas water heater?

We had to get a new water heater awhile back and even though we have natural gas instead of electric, I didn't want to waste the old tank. So, I stripped it down and it wasn't as hard as people make it out to be, not if you have a pipe wrench and saber saw.

So, there I had it all bare and noticed something strange... it has a 4" hole running right through it from top to bottom! Learn something new every day, I say. So, I start with the new, working, water heater and figure out how it works exactly and it's amazingly simple.

The air is heated by the gas jets in the base and it rizes through a spiraling baffel as it rizes up out of the center hole in the take and up through the HVAC tubes running outside through the roof.

But... what about all that wasted hot air? This is why I don't trust architects all that much.

So, with the realization that the initial design is elegantly simple but wastefully flawed, I came up with this:



Introducing the freezeproof solar batch preheater. Here's an angle with the back open and the reflector hidden.



The HVAC tubes aren't connected in this "sketchup" but the spot where the old vent used to sit will now run up and through the preheater, before exiting the new vent on top of the preheater.

Now, I don't expect the hot air to actually heat the water in the second tank, the preheater, but the idea is that it prevents it from freezing during the winter months or on cold nights because the water heater is always running and usually hot.

So, it would function as a simple preheater (the designs for this box with reflectors I got somewhere online, pm if you want a copy) when being heated by the sun, heating water before it enters the main tank, cutting down on the cost, perhaps significantly, of running the main water heater.

Any HVAC guys out there that can tell me what they think of this idea?

Thanks

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