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Gordy

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #61 
Archdemon,

To add to what Willie said about a straight water heater, check out the link below. More details are at Gary's site builditsolar.com , the link below has a number of links to get you directly to the parts you are interested in without having to search his site.

https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/home/solar-water-heater-zm0z12fmzphe

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Gordy,
Minnesota

Archdemon

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Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #62 
What ive been thinking about is to make a popcan air heater for the guesthouse but i was thinking "cant i just drop some cpvc pipes in the "vally" where the cans meet" airflow wont get restricted, pipes will get warmth from the cans as well as from above and the stolen space is minimal.
Gordy

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #63 
Just about anything is better than nothing. But how well it works compared to another design could be worlds apart. The best advise I can give is to look at what others have built, and compare them for the most efficient one and copy it. No need to reinvent some thing and hope it works as well as you hope, unless you have the time and money to play with.

Those pop can collectors do work well but are very labor intensive to build, just in can prepping alone. Sounds like you still want hot air and water at the same time. I agree with an earlier comment that the water would be held to about the same temp as the heated air. I also think that by heating the mass of the water you will be lowering the heated air temp at the same time.

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Gordy,
Minnesota
Rick H Parker

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Posts: 589
Reply with quote  #64 
With solar hot air, one can do Space heating. With solar hydronics one can do Space heating, Domestic hot water and Slow cooking. If one wants to do more then just supplementary space heating, solar hydronics is the way to go.
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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
stmbtwle

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Posts: 2,369
Reply with quote  #65 
My solar collector attains 160F water temperature without much effort. It's set to shut off at that temperature to avoid damaging the plastic drum and the pump. The drum isn't as well insulated as it should be but I still have 140F when I turn on the space heater at about 6am (try to get heat from an air collector at 6am!). The space heater has a 3-speed fan so output air temp depends on the fan and the input air. Slow gets the highest temperature. Usually by 9-10am the drum is depleted and I shut the system off, so it can start storing heat for the next morning. By then the sun is streaming in the windows anyway.

It would be easy enough to put a copper or pex coil in the drum to heat domestic water, but you'd need a lot more storage and a bigger collector.

I keep telling myself I'm going to build a 'solar shed' with an IBC tote and an 8x8 ARETHA, but so far that hasn't happened.

One of the nice things about hydronics is it's a lot easier to drill 3/4 inch holes through a concrete wall than to make 8" holes for ducts. Easier to plug them up, too!

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Willie, Tampa Bay
gbwillson

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Posts: 2,025
Reply with quote  #66 
Archdemon-

I suggest you build something, or any heater at this point. It is very easy to overthink things right now. Once you have a collector up and running you will have a better idea of the output and future needs. And with your new experience, any subsequent builds will be much, MUCH easier.

Greg in MN
stmbtwle

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Posts: 2,369
Reply with quote  #67 
Agree with Greg, build SOMETHING. A small "experimental" collector is cheap, educational, and will help you sort out a lot of the build questions that are difficult to explain online. Two or more of different types will allow you to compare them and decide what is best for you.

If you wait till you're "ready" to build that first collector, you never will.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Posts: 589
Reply with quote  #68 
If your looking for an easy beginners project, it does not get easier than the classic Mother Earth Heat grabber. One could improve on this 40 year old classic by adding some pass through screens.
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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
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