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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hello Brian,

The water coil in the forced air furnace is not a bad idea.  You get a water/air heat exchanger http://www.ebay.com/itm/22X22-Water-to-Air-Heat-Exchanger-1-Copper-Ports-w-EZ-Install-Front-Flange-/301508152523?epid=1956658818&hash=item4633494ccb:g:E7oAAOSwWBJXBAjQ and put in in the ductwork, hook up your pump and hot water storage (whatever that is) and go from there.  Just run your furnace fan on "circulate" to move the air through the system.  You have the option of running the furnace AND the solar, as well.  You can always add insulation to your duct work.

Another thought is to insulate your crawlspace and put your heat storage in there.  Heat radiated from the drums will be trapped in the crawlspace and not as much lost as it would be if your storage were out in the weather.  It would also be out of sight, but maintenance could be a PIA.

http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php  will help you determine how to mount your panels but it seems that due south is best.  While it's mainly intended for PV, certain parts are helpful for thermal.  It can tell you how much energy to expect per square meter at a given orientation, and by plugging in the size of your collectors and an efficiency, you can estimate your output.  

I just realized you DID say propane heat, and after looking at your altitude and summer temps I'll guess you don't have AC.  So PV is not near as attractive. It goes well with a heat pump or AC but not so much with a fuel furnace. A smaller system to handle your electrical needs might be worth investigation, though.

Back to Thermal.  Do you need heat at night in the summer?  If you need heat year-round and can install it yourself I think it might be a good investment, and the system wouldn't have to be near as big.  If you only need the heat 3 months of the year like I do it's not worth it.  

However anything you can install will help.  A small system can reduce your bill and you can expand it over time, or tear it out if you decide it's too much trouble.  Try to determine which option has the least impact on the existing structure and go with it.

It's all about the money.

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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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Reply with quote  #22 
Thank you again for your information, it's excellent, it makes me excited thinking about these things, and just now I thought of an idea that I never thought of before, let me know what you think. I HAVE A HOT TUB! The hot tub is about 500 gallons and it's located in the back of the house pretty close to the center. What if I were to beef up the installation on that and go back to the radiant baseboard heat idea and use the hot tub as my heat storage tank and on cloudy days the heating element would still keep it Hot. I can hook up 3 solar panels in series on the roof just above the hot tub, one pump circulate the hot water through those panels, a drain back system, and one pump to circulate the water to any Zone that's calling for heat. Hmmmm... what do you think of that one? Some things I think about is the max temperature setting on the hot tub is 104, I think, but I'm not positive, maybe it's 110) I were to get it hotter than that maybe I couldn't use it as a hot tub in the winter. that would be a bummer. My other thought is I wonder if the spa chemicals might mess up the copper inside the baseboard heaters?

PS. what's your name?

Thanks, Brian
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #23 
I go by willie.

Yes, spa chemicals will react with copper over time, and they'll really wreck aluminum such as a radiator. I'd consider it "temporary" until I had a proper storage tank.

For a spa heater you're probably best with a plastic tube collector like Tori uses. Quick, cheap, and easy.

What are your night time temperatures this time of year? If you had a drum or tote on the shady side of the house and let it cool down overnight, you could pump that cool water through your heat exchanger or baseboard heater to cool your house during the day. This will of course heat the water, so at night you could pump the water through again for heating, and so on. Some of the greenhouse guys do it to maintain a constant temperature, http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Sunspace/GreenhouseHX/GreenhouseHX.htm

GOM isn't that far from you I think, and he has used his air collectors to cool his house in the evening. So you have lots of options.



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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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Reply with quote  #24 
Thanks again Willie, I'm in the mountains north love Santa Fe and the cooling is not really an issue, I'm gone most of the day then at night I use my swamp cooler for a couple hours and it doesn't cost very much to operate. I like it cool at night there's never a need for me to heat my home during the summer months, however I do really like your idea and it makes a lot of sense. Thank you very much. I think I will go with the baseboard heater idea now I just have to see if I can find some used ones somewhere any suggestions? Thanks.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #25 
Sorry, we don't have much use for baseboard heaters here in Paradise! Maybe someone closer can help.


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

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Reply with quote  #26 
Where is Paradise? I want to go! Starting to feel like I would like a two-month vacation every 6 months. ha ha, or are you just being sarcastic? lol
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #27 
It's in my signature. At the moment though it's a bit on the warm side.

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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  #28 
I like it cool at night there's never a need for me to heat my home during the summer months

Do you get a good mountain breeze every night? If so it might be possible to use the nightly mountain breeze to cool a tank of water over night then use the cooled water as a heat sink for day time AC.  Do the inverse during the winter. That would get you two functions out of the same water tank, heating in the winter, AC in the summer.

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Rick H Parker
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Reply with quote  #29 
Sounds like a great idea I might consider that.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #30 
That would be the start of your solar heating system, "just add collectors".

More info on cooling:
https://simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/downspout-heater-also-a-great-cooler-7553348?pid=1288364771

If you can make your system do double duty...

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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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