Sunday, October 28, 2012

Large DIY Solar Space and Water Heating System in Maine

Steve has designed and built a very nice solar space and water heating system in Maine.   The system has a number of interesting and unique features including,

  • A large "hizer" collector with full width "risers" running horizontally.
  •  Integration of the solar heating with the existing boiler.
  • A Steve made controller for the system.
  • A new technique for making the PEX heat exchangers.
  • Drain back of the collector to a tank 70 ft from the collector.
The 28 ft wide Hizer style collector
The collector is 28 ft wide and is built as a single "hizer" style collector rather than 7 or so side by side vertically oriented collectors that would normally be used.

Picture with glazing off showing the Hizer style "risers".
Building a wide collector like this as a single unit and with the horizontal "riser" layout simplifies the plumbing, reduces labor, reduces material needed, and reduces the cost of the collector.

In this system, the solar heat source and boiler heat source are integrated into a single heating system.   And, the system also provides domestic water heating.

System diagram showing integration with existing boiler system.

Steve worked out a way to recoil the PEX heat exchangers to improve heat transfer and make them more efficient.

The tool for recoiling the PEX to make more efficient heat exchangers.
The system uses a Steve designed and built controller.
Circuit diagram for the system controller.


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