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Homer

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
Anyone trying this, or any thoughts, instead of copper tubes with absorber plates that need to travel across a solder joint and then through copper tubes how about a thin copper box 2'x4'x3/4" thick with outlet tube on top and inlet tube on bottom edges. Where water travels through slowly and gets heated directly through the absorber plate, eliminating the tubes.

SolarInterested

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Spam Stomper
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Reply with quote  #2 
There's been some discussion about similar designs. IIRC it was a pillow made from material like tank liners. Your copper box sounds interesting but would be beyond the skills of most DIY builders here.
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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Could it be like a modified trickle down heater, except using copper or aluminum plates with a small space between the plates? You'd have to have a way to slow the flow of water inside the box with baffles, mesh or ? 

Greg in MN
Homer

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Reply with quote  #4 
I was considering having these systems manufactured for sale to diy or full on building to sell kits to anyone interested probably an expensive unit that will need to be tested beside current tube designs and would need to prove to be more efficient . The small sized 2'x4'size makes it easily installed and the simplicity of a thin pan will make production faster and simpler. Sorry crew, I came from a vary diverse background as an experimental model maker specializing in precision Sheetmetal fabrication. Flight and space technology. Currently operating a farm in York PA it costs me $6,000 a year to heat my 1200 sf house, to 50° crazy right. I just completed my 1200sf loft next door insulated it to R40 walls and R50 ceiling using a 9000 BTU mini split back up heat system last winter cost me $20 a month to 65° using interior thermal shutters managed to keep most of my heat indoors.
Homer

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Reply with quote  #5 
My plan is to push cold water from the bottom of the collector and let the heated water rise up through the outlet port, there may be rippled face to grab up Suns energy at varying angles of ascension. The bottom edge may be angled toward the center for improved drain back.
Gordy

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Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #6 
I recall seeing this design a long time ago (1980's), I think it was in a book by Rodale Press (spelling?) I have no idea if this would be more efficient than the tube type. But my gut say's the 3/4" water gap would be way to wide, like an air heater you want to minimize the mass in the collector so that you get heat out faster and not spend so much time getting the collector up to temp. I think the ones in the book only had 1/16" or 1/8" gap. They drilled holes in the sheet metal with rivets scattered in the center portion to hold the sheet's together (no bulging from heat warping), with washers on the rivets in between the sheet's to maintain the gap. Oh and they soldered the rivets to seal them.
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #7 
What is a similar absorber were extruded of aluminum with internal passages, such as in a plastic pool collector?
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Willie, Tampa Bay
sdsolar

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #8 
The design here is similar in principle to a flat plate heat exchanger with the sun providing the heat rather than a secobd fluid or a modified trickle down collector (MTDC) operating in the reverse direction.
I like the simplicity of the MTDC design and considered aluminium sheets rather than copper to reduce cost, but then worried about long term use of aluminum with water alone without concomitant use of an antifreeze to reduce corrosion.
Agree with Greg that it should have a narrow gap between plates rather than the one suggested. I also considered using a fabric between the plates to create turbulence and improve heat exchange.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #9 
You could take something like a downspout and flatten it, thus reducing the cross-section while increasing the surface area exposed to the sun. Manifolds might be difficult though.

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Willie, Tampa Bay
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