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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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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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