Thursday, April 1, 2010

Solar Space & Water Heating -- With Folding Collectors

Kenneth has incorporated some very nice and new features in his innovative solar space and water heating system -- including:

  • Folding collectors that allow more collector area for winter and less for summer

  • Some unique new tools for collector making, including a homemade "Tee Puller', and new designs for forming and clamping the collector fins to the collector tubes.

  • Use of a surplus stainless steel bulk milk tank for heat storage.
The system is built using the Solar Shed concept, meaning its a separate building that acts as both a storage or garden shed, supports collectors and provides space for the heat storage tank.

A few hightlights below, and 5 pages of construction detail here...

Folding Collectors
The two pictures below show the folding collector feature. 

The top photo shows collectors folded out for winter -- 8 active collectors.
The bottom photo shows collectors folded in for summer -- 4 active collectors (along with Kenneth).

Homemade Tee Puller
Kenneth made a tool for drawing a Tee out of a copper collector manifold part -- this allows the collector risers to be connected to the manifold without using reducing Tee fittings or brazing.
Bulk Milk Tank for Heat Storage
Kenneth used a 750 gallon surplus stainless steel bulk milk tank for heat storage.
KennethTank.jpgThe tank is mostly buried (to allow drainback from collectors) and insulated with 4 inches of polyiso insulation.


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