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lhtrees

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
I am hoping to tackle building the $1000 solar water heater found at 
https://builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXColDHW/Overview.htm

"The system is unique in that it combines drain back and storage tanks into a single, large, inexpensive, non-pressurized tank.  A unique heat exchanger that is inexpensive and very efficient is used."

I was wondering if anyone may have experimented with using a 55 gallon drum (with insulation built around it) for the tank.

Thanks, 
Larry

lhtrees

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Reply with quote  #2 
I just found this post: 
https://www.homesteadingtoday.com/threads/the-universal-water-preheater.461155/ where the author uses a 55 gallon drum. I can't tell what temperature he allows the water in the drum to get to but it looks like it is a working system for him. 

If you have more to share, I would love to hear it!
SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #3 
Welcome Larry. Several folks have used drums as tanks. Here's search of past threads for '55 gallon drum' 
(link)

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Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors
lhtrees

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Reply with quote  #4 
I did just find this post: 
https://sites.google.com/site/solarwaterpreheater/ and related: https://www.homesteadingtoday.com/threads/the-universal-water-preheater.461155/

I can't quite tell how hot the author allows the contents of the barrell to get to but it looks like it works well for him. 

If you have more to share, I am all ears!

Larry
lhtrees

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarInterested
Welcome Larry. Several folks have used drums as tanks. Here's search of past threads for '55 gallon drum' 
(link)


Perfect! Thank you!
SunFun

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Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #6 
Do you intend to use multiple drums or is one sufficient for your needs?
lhtrees

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #7 
I am not sure yet. I thought I would start with what I already have in my garage and see how well it works and build up from there. My primary goal is to preheat water going into the hot water heater, although may end up space heating through the floor eventually.

I have a large plastic barrel already but wasn't sure if it could take the higher temperatures of 140-150 F. Sounds like it can, although I am definitely going to start with the barrel outside the house. I don't trust my plumbing.

Someone else wrote and mentioned using a "tote". I presume this is one of those large 200+ gallon water containers?


stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #8 
A single drum may work for DHW but it isn't near enough for space heating. A tote may be. I routinely heated my drum to 160F. No problems with the drum, but the plastic pumps didn't like it.
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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #9 

Totes/IBC temperatures

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SimplySolar/message/29610?o=1&d=-1

Quote:

Hi,
Just for another data point.

I have a friend who uses these 275 gallon plastic totes for storing vegi oil as part of his biofuels business. I asked him how it was working out, and what was his feel for maximum temperature -- this is his response:

Hi Gary,
I have used tote tanks (275 gal pallet tanks) for vegetable oil, which are the same plastic that all the milky plastic tanks are made of, to 160F and they seem to last ok but I wouldn't recommend it either. I have had one fail but not sure why as I couldn't locate the leak point. I think they are rated to 140F is all, and with a solar application the temps could go to 180F as you know.

 


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Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #10 
The air gap created by the metal cage is probably beneficial. I wouldn't fill it.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
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