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For me with a solar system in New Zealand, we've found the following quite effective: we've got a solar tank with 2 electrical elements in it, one at the bottom of the tank, plus another one about a third of the way down from the top. We run the bottom element overnight intermittently during the winter months when the whole tank is cool, the forecast is ...


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Are the PEX hoses black and is the sun side of the re-purposed aluminum plates black? If not you may want to consider changing this so as to increase the efficiency solar energy absorption.


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Yes, of course. There are a huge number of well-tested DIY projects you can find here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm I would heavily recommend browsing that site and learning from the experience of others who have already done what you're interested in doing so you don't burn even more money.



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