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4

A common design in my area is a heat exchange tank upstream of a traditional gas or electric water heater. They use ethylene glycol (antifreeze) that circulates by thermosiphon action from a solar panel to the tank. The illustration below shows a more complicated (with pump and controller) version. So, you heat a tank of water with a coil full of antifreeze ...


3

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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I don't think a plain resistor is what you want, I think a resistive load is what you want. Incandescent bulbs as mentioned would work and they're easy to find and work with. Of course you won't want an inverter in this setup, and 12V bulbs are readily available for automotive applications. But it isn't necessary to reinvent the heater, there are tons ...


1

The short answer is that electricity is not a particularly cost-effective way of generating heat, and solar panels are not a particularly cost-effective way of generating electricity, so this is not really a smart financial decision. If you are trying to generate heat from the sun you are much better off getting solar thermal panels. A PV panel only gets ...


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Works (while the sun is shining), but is a very expensive option and not overly efficient. Solar PV panels of a remotely affordable price are about 10% efficient in terms of converting sunlight to electricity. Most of the rest of the sun's energy that hits them is converted to heat. So, from a sun conversion point of view, direct solar thermal collection ...


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Gosh - a buck a therm is "expensive gas rates" - if I could get it (I can't and never expect to) it's more like a buck and a half...year round. So, you're using 1 million to 1.3 million BTUs/day - if you could manage storage swing of 50 degrees F (not unreasonable with radiant floor, a low-temperature emitter) that might be 3250 gallons of water (at a round ...


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It would almost undoubtedly be a better use of your available money, time, and space to add insulation, not a complicated solar heat storage system, which after all, will do nothing for you half the year. Start with your basement and insulate the walls and the rim joists. Then move to your attic and air seal the floor and add about 12-16 inches of cellulose ...


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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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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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