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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #31 
Jim-

If you do build an air heater, even in the interim, here are a couple of possibilities based on the layout of your home:

Jim drawing #1.jpg 
As you can see, the warm air enters the house via bedroom #3 and moves into the living room and dining room before exiting via bedroom #2. With 400CFM or more air flowing, A lot of the warmed air will undoubtedly spill into the kitchen as well. But this option leaves bedroom one and the south bathroom with little or no heat gain. So, you go take a look at option #2:

Jim drawing #2.jpg 
This option brings the air inside, through the kitchen and into the dining and living room via the south bathroom. This means a longer duct run outside, but I have successfully run 30' of ducting with no problems. 


Or...you could build a second unit with either of these options to help warm the areas with less warm air flowing. As I mentioned, 400 or more CFM is a LOT of air movement, especially when you are adding warm air as well as drawing out the cold air! You might start by building one heater unit to see the results. As you may find that in your temperate climate, and mass, that you have more than enough heat to be comfortable.

Greg in MN

stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #32 
Rick I can see where that would work, though you'd need a whole lot of storage. I can see now why folks build such big tanks. But then tempering valves aren't cheap either.

If you were to run your storage at 115F, after a few hours heating the house in the evening it's going to be less than that. Your morning shower is going to be really short unless the whole SDHW thing is just intended as "preheat" for gas or electric. My space heater storage (55gal) goes from 150F to about 100F in a couple hours, after which it's pretty much useless. If I were to start at 115F I'd need three times the storage.  And I'm only trying to heat one room till the sun comes up.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #33 
"My space heater storage (55gal) goes from 150F to about 100F in a couple hours"

Is that room 250 sq ft?

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #34 
Jim what I've found works pretty well for moving air around a house are the little square 9" fans you can buy at Walmart or any place for about $15.  I set them in the doorway blowing from the cold room to the warm room.  The cold air displaces the warm air which flows back through the doorway into the room I'm trying to heat.  It actually works pretty well, and the little fans are small enough that they don't block the doorway.

Rick roughly yes. 

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

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Reply with quote  #35 
"Rick roughly yes."

Works out to 40 BTU/hour per sq ft, just about right

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Rick H Parker
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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #36 
Brainwave that occurred to me just now - would it be possible to drop the collectors to the vertical position in the summer, remove the glazing and the air heating "cartridge", and put in an evaporative cooling "cartridge"? The blower looks like the most expensive part of the project, so you could get year-round use out of it that way. 

Jim-

I wouldn't think converting a solar heater into a functional "swamp" cooler would be practical. Assuming the vertical height could be as much as 16'-20' tall. That would mean the ducts have to be brought down to a height low enough to enter the home. 

But the bigger issue is that the collector would need to be completely waterproof, both inside and out. Might be an interesting experiment to try and make a small version, say 4'-8', where the collector stays in the horizontal position. The screen layers may not work very well. I doubt they would stay saturated as air is passing through. Batting or some other mesh may work better. Dan made a collector that had removable insert. This allowed the collector insides to be removed, if needed. I have always advocated(from experience) that the glazing needs to have a way to be quickly and easily removable. This isn't hard to do, but it does need to be planned for. Krautman's ZP has a 4'x16' one piece glazing/trim frame that is held in place with a few bolts. 

But it is an interesting idea to play around with. 

Greg in MN
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #37 
"an evaporative cooling "cartridge"? "

Heat pipes, there is plenty of open source information to roll your own.  With a little extra plumbing they can used for heating and cooling.

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Rick H Parker
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Bruce

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Reply with quote  #38 
Interesting project....I agree with those who recommend that you go with the water system first since you have some components already.  I would do the DWH system ( year around use for hot water) and see if you have a little excess to try a radiant floor system in a room that you have converted the floors. I am betting that you use up your winter solar BTU's rather quickly and will eventually add an air system to supplement the heat.  One word of caution for you to consider, based on my experience, is that of the head capacity of the TACO pump.  It may not be able to lift the water to the peak of the roof mounted collectors.  If not, I like my 3 speed pump and separate controller for better differential control.  You will likely be able to use the TACO for the radiant system in that event ;-)  Good luck and keep us informed!
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