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Tori

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi guys,   pretty new around here as i just found the site but wanted to share my project and get some input from some more experienced folks.

Last year i built myself (on a budget ) a solar hot water heater system with the expectations of supplementing the heating of our hot tub.    Living on the California coast, we don't get very hot days, and the sunshine is random (not everyday)  

Built from 5/8" spiral wound irrigation tubing mounted on a 4x8 sheet of galvanized corrugated metal, and covered with a matching piece of lexan to hold the heat.   I've got approx 185' of tubing and this was working fairly well throughout last summer.   It could be a bit larger so that i'd get more performance from it, but that'll be version 3.0    I started small and am building it bigger as needed. Trying to keep from having to regulate the temperature and make this overly complex.    At this point, i've proven to myself that it works, and it works well enough to pursue further.

Last year i was using a Watkins circulation pump that was a left over from an old hot tub.   That worked great, until it failed.  It looks like the Watkins pictured here on this site.   Not sure why that failed, but it did. 

So, that leaves me shopping for a new pump and what led me here.   

Currently the solar heater set up is make-shift built onto the patio table  (ole'lady is getting tired of that   [wink] )   but eventually i want to move it the sounthernly angled rooftop.   I realize then i'll need a pump that'll handle a 20' lift.

Here are a couple pics of the set up as it sits now,....    The solar panel is another project i've been toying with and what i've been using to power the circ. pump via a timer that runs from about 10am-4pm or so.

I'm open to your thoughts on this set up and any recommendations for a pump.

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SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #2 
Welcome Tori. If you haven't already, you should check out the pool heaters on the BuildItSolar site
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PoolHeating/pool_heating.htm

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

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the link.  This was the first site i stumbled across.   I've just been winging it this far.... as i'm sure you can tell.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Tori welcome to the forum!

A pump that can handle a 20'lift is going to be hard to find and when you do, probably expensive. You could look at an rv/marine diaphragm pump, they can handle the height but they're not intended for continuous operation and I have no idea how long one would last.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RV-Marine-Boat-12V-DC-1GPM-35PSI-Pressure-Water-Diaphragm-Self-Priming-Pump-/262770119545?hash=item3d2e51d379:g:fbcAAOSw5cNYWJ2u

There are a few "high lift" brushless pumps on ebay such as this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Pressure-Lift-DC50K-24160S-Micro-Brushless-DC-Pump-Eco-friendly-Safety-16m-/152256292376?hash=item23732ea618:g:tI0AAOSwaB5XlgZI


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Willie, Tampa Bay
Tori

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Reply with quote  #5 
That high lift unit looks interesting,  but 40 DB sound !  WOW !   I've heard the DC pumps were loud, but had no idea.   I have an inverter on the battery bank that the solar panel charges, so i have options as far as that goes.  

Maybe i'm calculating the height wrong,  I was considering the highest point of the tubing.  Maybe it would only be about 15'


Are there better ways to build the collector ?  I've seen several other styles.  Should i abandon the coil type and go for something else ?
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #6 
Why the roof?   Is there space and view to install at ground level ?

At ground level the pump and energy requirements would be much less.


Rick H Parker

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Rick H Parker
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #7 
Agree, Rick, BUT...

It seems that women have different priorities than we do. In my experience they don't care how well something works, if it's not PRETTY they don't like it. Putting it on the roof gets it out of sight (and out of her mind).

Then there's shrubbery. Shrubbery may shade the collector but it's "pretty" and in her mind of higher priority than some homemade contraption. When push comes to shove, you can guess which one will go. Sometimes the roof is the only option.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #8 

I was toying with the idea that maybe you should bury the pipe under the sand in your yard and collect the heat from the sand. Where it would be out of sight and out of her mind, then I realized you probably running that hot tub at about 100F. With no glazing I don't think you would get the temperatures you need.

Here is a modification of that idea that just might work. Set your collector in the sand where it won't get stepped on. You could fill it with sand to match the yard and provide support in case somebody does step on it, possibly black sand for better performance.


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Rick H Parker
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #9 
Do you need an awning over that patio?

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Willie, Tampa Bay
SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tori
... Maybe i'm calculating the height wrong,  I was considering the highest point of the tubing.  Maybe it would only be about 15'
Siphoning is going to help somewhat as long as your piping is  continuous loop with no venting.

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