Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Simplest Solar Water Heater

Carl came up with this very simple and effective solar batch heater that heats up one bucket of water. You put the 5 gallon bucket into the glazed box, put it in the sun, wait a few hours, and then take the heated bucket of water to where you need it.

Perfect for a cabin, emergencies or just locations without running hot water.

Its mounted on a turntable, so its an and advanced tech, human powered tracking solar water heater!

A piece of foam cut to fit the bucket reduces heat loss from the water surface.

Very nice and very simple.

In one test, the bucket water heated from 53F to 122F over a 7 hour collection period.

More details on construction and performance here....

May 31, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Large DIY Solar Water Heating System in Virginia Using Commercial Collectors

Chris and Brenda are looking for ways to control energy expenses through retirement and built this very nice and very high quality solar water heating system.

While it is loosely based on the $1K design, it has a number of unique features that are aimed at achieving a long and maintenance free life.

The system uses two AET 40 sqft commercial collectors to provide plenty of hot water and the potential for some space heating later.  Using SRCC certified collectors has the advantage that the cost of the whole system will be eligible for the federal 30% tax credit.

Chris built the single pass heat exchanger form 3/4 inch copper pipe using soldered elbows to provide a hundred ft of effective length.
Making the heat exchanger

A MAXDTC controller was used to provide good control flexibility and to provide data logging for the system.

Chris worked out a ramp arrangement to get the 150 lb collectors up on the roof.  There is also a good description of the very nice mounting system.

Ramp and sleds being used to move collectors up to roof.
Chris put together a 13 page pdf that describes the system and performance in detail...

May 14, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bio-Home Open House in Lethbridge Alberta

Todd Hudson is having an open house on May the 23rd and 24th of his amazing Bio-Home in Lethbridge Alberta CA.

The house has a very impressive set of solar energy, renewable energy, and sustainable food raising/growing features -- read the brochure for the full story...

Highly recommended!

I've worked with Todd a little bit over the past couple years as he has worked through the designs for the dozens of unique features that the house has.  His ability to turn promising concepts into reality on the ground is very impressive.

The full flyer with all the house features listed and important parking and RSVP directions is here...

Joan and I will be there Friday afternoon -- please say hello if you come by then.

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