Saturday, June 12, 2010

Knick's "$1K" Solar Water Heating System

Knick has sent in a detailed description of his very nice, solar water heating system project.

The system loosly follows the $1K design, but includes a number of unique features as well as some very nice workmanship:
  •  A very aesthetically pleasing collector -- the nicest I have seen.
  • Large area, double glazed collectors oriented vertically should provide good performance through the winter without summer overheating.
  •  Some unique wrinkles in the collector internal design.
Detailed construction with lots of construction pictures are provided...

The Collector
The collector is three bays of the copper grid with aluminum fins that has been used in many of the $1K collectors.  Knick used twinwall polycarbonate for the glazing, which improves winter performance and has a very nice look.

Collector Installation
Knick mounted the large collector vertically on the wall.  This philosophy of using a somewhat oversized and vertically mounted collector gives good performance in the winter (when the sun is low) but does not tend to overheat in the summer when the sun is high. The result is a higher year round solar water heating fraction.

The wood frame collector is trimmed with aluminum, which gives good weather protection and also looks very nice.

Heat Storage Tank
The non-pressurized 300 gallon heat storage tank is built using the "tried and true" plywood box over a 2 by lumber frame with an EPDM rubber sheet liner.  The tank is insulated with rigid foam board insulation between the liner and the plywood box.  This design has a 30+ year track record of being durable and trouble free.  Knick used the large coil of PEX heat exchanger design.

Great job --thanks to Knick for sending it in!

All the details Knick's system here....

Details on the $1K Solar Water Heating System ...

More examples of the $1K Solar Water Heating System...

More on DIY Solar Water Heating Systems of all types...

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