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Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #31 

UPDATE, 19 November 2014
=======================

Progress at last ??

see enclosed photos !
=============

Been struggling to understand the internal layout of the facade for MONTHS...
The breakthrough came by deciding to inspect it at NIGHT, using a lamp...
This immediately showed up presence of NAILS, projecting into the airspace !

This explained a lot....

Like, why my duct manikin would not fit in some cases...

In effect, last weekend,  borrowing one of my own ideas (cf. http://www.simplysolar.supporttopics.com/post/lowestcost-collector-air-duct-7166638?pid=1285043693&highlight=shelf+unit#post1285043693) I built a trial duct assembly (white metal).

This fitted into some of the slots in the facade, while others refused...

Now I know it is because of NAILS !
So I then built a kinetic energy Nail Defeater ( = the piece of wood screwed into the manikin), and it seems to have sorted the problem out [smile] [image] 
==========
So my next job is to make  three proper DUCT sections, and fit them in the left side of the facade, for extracting AIR...

Then I intend to make five more, and fit them into the rest of the facade, for water.

Tonight I tested the possibility of adding PEX tubes into the ducts, and it seems to work, so I now want to test the idea full-scale.
The ducts then become heat-sinks, heating the PEX to a better level...

This will be a serpentine arrangement.  I would appreciate all comments on how to DRAIN the siphon "U" tube parts of the PEX - I am looking at an open-circuit multidrum storage set-up, and I want to drain it down at night... But the water will hang around in the loops...

If using copper, I would solder a drain tube into the trough of the loop, but with PEX this will not work.
Anyhow, it is just a test (for the time being...)

 Thanks fr comments etc.

G_H DUCT for PEX.JPG  DUCT for PEX_neat.JPG  facade bottom-access slot.JPG  SHELF-STEEL AIR DUCT.JPG 



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mattie

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Reply with quote  #32 
Hello G-H,
Would something like these work for the trough of the loops?
https://www.google.ie/search?q=PEX+BARBED&client=firefox-a&hs=vHZ&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=0wptVN-eO5Hiav3KgYgP&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=1042

Regards Mattie
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #33 
Many thanks, Mattie !

Must admit, I have never had the courage to put my finger into the complex pot of worms that is PEX connectors [redface]
HOWEVER, this one looks like it might do the trick... A reducing tee...
or rather *TWO* of them...

The big side (3/4 inch) would represent the feed line, and the small side (1/2 inch) would be the inlet from the serpentine loop...

[e847da26-52e4-419c-b87c-c185e308922c_400]
As I see it, all PEX would be 3/4 inch (that is, supply line, loops, and return line...).

So the trough of the serpentine loop has to be CUT, and the reducing tee is inserted, with the reduction facing downward...

A 3/4 inch PEX sleeve (as short as possible, conditional on getting a good seal...), is fitted onto the reduction, and a second reducing tee is then fitted into the other side of the sleeve.

The feed pipe is then jointed to the lower tee.

When the pressure is put on the line, the water will flow up the big bore rather than up the reduction, so the serpentine will fill , then overflow and fill the return line and so the circuit will  pump.

When the pump is turned off, the weight of water in the collector runs back down the feed line, to the tank (hopefully) - the tank is open to air, so the line ought to drain ??? (conditional on gradient).

Once the feed line has emptied, the weight of water in the troughs will then run down through the reductions, into the feed line, and drain back also...

Or something like that !

Thanks a bunch for the idea and getting me thinking !

With copper, it would be "relatively easy" just to solder a reduced-diameter bleed pipe, which would replace the pair of PEX reducing tees...

This in fact might be a good reason for staying with COPPER - no expense for these PEX fittings, which I believe are NOT cheap...
Will now price this all up and see how it comes out...

==============

Another idea that came to mind while awaiting feedback [redface], was simply using compressed air to blow the line through: this would require a compressor (or a bottle), and a non-return valve and a connection block, on the hot-water return at the tank, so send pressure back down the line and force the water out, back all the way to the pump - sounds a bit Apollo 13, though [rolleyes].

Another thing I just thought of, was, I could fit a manual VALVE onto each trough (there will be quite a few - say 10 troughs, or rather five pairs...): this would mean going out every evening and opening 10 valves and draining the troughs to air...

(No doubt on the coldest day of the year, I would be away (or ? drunk [frown]) and therefore FORGET, and thus wreck the installation [mad] )

When all is considered, it might just be easier to go for an antifreeze system, but this reduces efficiency I believe, and we don't actually get that many sub-zero nights (perhaps 4 or 5 over a winter...) (sorry, DAN..., did not say that on purpose, thinking of U all, up there in MN tonight...).

G_H

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mattie

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Reply with quote  #34 
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #35 
Yeah, cheers, Mattie,

Seen that before, I think SolarDan posted it, it is a great video !

Well, *Dr Ben's* collector would simply drain back to the tank, but mine would NOT, because my serpentines are VERTICAL !
But I'm slowly getting there !
=======
At the moment I am fighting with flowrate info...

G_H


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(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
(2) It's wrote, "voilà" unless talking musical instruments...
mattie

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Reply with quote  #36 
Would it be possible use a small pump under troughs to send water back to tank?
Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #37 
well, it would need to have the dimensions of a bike pump [frown]

Please excuse my drafting talents, I think an explanation is necessary !

Otherwise, the more I think about it, the more I am going for COPPER...

Otherwise, the "small pump" could be replaced by a LARGE pump, located offboard...
Which means in the house...  And, re bicycles ([redface]) it could in fact be an AIR pump --  something like this:

( so thanks for a cool idea !)

Product Details PLUS  [image]


When the pump stops at the end of the collection period, it would have to sound an alarm demanding physical presence, to blow down the lines.

Perhaps at a later stage this could be automated (a timer-controlled regulator, that puts on the air for half a second, then cuts the air...)
I guess the air pressure needs to be very low for one-inch copper - mebbe 3 or 4 psi only ? any ideas on this ?
The paintball tank costs about 40 USD (or 34 Euros in "real" money...)

Maybe with blowdown, I could forget about the trough bleed tubes, and just have the drainback down the feed pipe...?

G_H Harvest Copper Drainback for VSF.jpg


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(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
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Garage_Hermit

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Reply with quote  #38 
Proposed layout of my hydraulic heat-collection set-up.

Can anybody think of a better set-up,to avoid need for 2 pumps ???

G_H

Attached Images
jpeg VSF_BLOWDOWN_COLLECTOR.jpg (157.25 KB, 63 views)


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(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
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paulstef

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Reply with quote  #39 
I may not be understanding correctly your proposed system but if you get only 5 freezing nights per winter will you need to drain the loop?
This is inside the facade, will temperature drop below freezing there as well? Won't it be partly warmed due to losses from inside the house?

I think I would put frost protection in it , probably only a little bit will be needed if you dont get those cold winters.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #40 
G_H instead of a serpentine collector how about a folded riser collector, so that both manifolds are at the bottom? I believe then it would drain back like any other collector.

I think if you located your drain back tank at the lowest point in the system (next to the heat tank) you could get away with just one pump. Drain back should be improved too.

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