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Green Energy Living

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, my name is Brian and I live just north of Santa Fe New Mexico, I've been playing around with a lot of ideas and I'm just not sure which one to go with and I need help figuring it out. First : Information: I have a 2000 sq. foot manufactured home with 2 x 6 walls. R 19 Insulation.

My first idea: run solar hot water through several 4 x 8 solar hot water panels with a drain back system to a storage tank and run PEX pipe on top of the subfloor, cover it with concrete or a lighter concrete product for solar radiant floor heat.

The problem: many people said that the structure would not take the weight of the concrete product because it's a mobile home. It has concrete runners with concrete blocks and a permanent foundation around it. Another problem is is we would require several pump to distribute the water to each his own or each room. it would also cost a lot if I have to beef up the floor of the whole house to support the weight of the concrete.

Idea #2: use the existing forced air propane furnace and put a coil in the bottom of it and run solar hot water first to a storage heat tank and then have a second pump pump the hot water through the coil and when the fan turns on it would blow the heated coil air through the existing ductwork.

Problem: heat lost through many feet of duct work.

Idea #3. Have five separate solar panels and five separate 55 gallon insulated drums on the outside of the house. A total of 10 solar hot water topsflo pumps. One pump would circulate the hot water from the panel into the storage tank open loop drain back system. The second pump can circulate the hot water from the tank in through a automotive radiator that has a fan in front of it just to the inside of the wall of the house in each room. The hot water storage tank with circulate the hot water through the radiator and heat up the radiator and the fan would pull the warm air into the house.

Problem or question: how long would the heat storage tank last if it was a 55 gallon drum?

Idea #4: use the same type of system but instead of an automotive radiator run it through a hydronic baseboard in each room.

Same problem and question: how long would the heat be retained in 55 gallon drum on a 30-degree night if it's well-insulated?.

I thought the simplest system would just be to circulate warm air through solar warm air screen absorber solar panels but as soon as the sun goes down your house gets cold. Any comments on this?

Whats the best solar house heating system that has enough heat storage to last the whole night? Does it exist?

Your comments and thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you, Brian

stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hello Brian

I'd avoid the concrete, not only might there be a structural problem but also it will be expensive to implement.   I'd go with the radiator concept or the baseboard heaters.

Your radiator design is very similar to my solar space heater,
https://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/willies-solar-hot-water-space-heater-7257880?highlight=solar+space+heater&trail=10

To be honest though I'd consider the baseboard heaters, without the fan they'll be quieter and require less electricity.  You'd want a separate heater for each room with either a valve to control it or a separate pump.

You can't store that much heat in a single 55 gal drum, even insulated.  I use a single drum but I only get about 2 hours heat in the morning, for a 200 sq ft room, after that the sun comes up and I don't need it.   You will need several, or I think an IBC "tote" might work, they hold about 275 gal.  You'd want to build a "solar shed" for it with lots of insulation.  You could run all 5 rooms (each with its own pump) from the one tote or bank of drums.

Being a mobile home on a foundation do you have access to the crawlspace?  There have been several plans to insulate and heat the crawlspace, and let the heat rise up through the floor.  How well they work I don't know.  

If your furnace ductwork is located under the home in the crawlspace , option #2 might actually work pretty well.  

As you're going to need several collectors, you might look into the ARETHA. Compared to an ordinary water-tube collector, it's MUCH easier to build. 

https://www.facebook.com/Aretha-Project-307885346030194/

https://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/search?keywords=aretha&searchin=message&member=&do=findposts&id=&replies=atleast&numreplies=0&daterange=0&custdatefrom=&custdateto=&sort=&order=desc&radio_showas=threads&btnSearch=Search&action=doSearch

Others with more experience with cold climates will probably advise.


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Willie, Tampa Bay
dadesantis

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
Questions... Would Hardie Boad and tile or wood floors work to transfer heat?

Engineered wood is light.

I installed my pex under hardwood floors in basement between joists and insulated it heavily.

Ceiling fans circulate air.

Baseboard heaters should work theoretically but take up space and furniture blocks convection.

Good luck!
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
To be honest I would think most retrofits are done that way, but I don't really know.  Others do.

You might pull down the insulation under your existing floor, install the pex, and replace the insulation.  Probably easier (and cheaper) than doing it inside.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #5 
a automotive radiator that has a fan in front of it just to the inside of the wall of the house in each room.

End wall of closets for a mounting space. You lose a little closet space but the HEX is out of the way.


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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #6 
If in the closet you don't really need much space, maybe 2' height.  You DO need free air circulation though.  Or you could build something like this: 
IMG_0626.JPG 
There's a fan, heat exchanger, and water pump in there.  The top and front come off for access.  The back is open for ventilation, and the hot water lines come in through the wall behind the unit.  The whole thing is just sitting there and can be moved.


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Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #7 
If in the closet you don't really need much space, maybe 2' height.

Build a platform for the bed and mount the hex horizontally in the platform. Draw cold air in through the bottom half of the platform. Push hot air out through the top half.

Same concept in the living room under the couch.

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #8 
A hydronic kick space heater like this could go almost anywhere:

Capture2.JPG 
https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-One-Hydronic-Kickspace-Heater-Electric/dp/B00KZQ7BMY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502231423&sr=8-1&keywords=kickspace+heater+hydronic  (only the FAN is electric.)  


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Willie, Tampa Bay
dadesantis

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #9 
I have done BTU calculations and a well insulated house is the best investment. My system sustains 70 degrees F unless it is below 25 and windy outside.

Electric costs for pumps is low but adding fans unless high efficiency can increase costs.

Ceiling fans are year round help.

Just my opinions. Good luck.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #10 
Agree.  baseboard heaters or underfloor PEX would save energy as they don't need a fan (quieter too).  Heat rises, but a ceiling fan on low will push it back down.  And the new mobile homes are probably better insulated than most houses.
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Willie, Tampa Bay
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