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Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #11 
 I will have to digest these numbers. It starts by getting different solar MJ/ft2/day all over the internet. As for the low hanging fruits, you are certainly right. I built an air collector which I will test this winter. And the basement can definitely use better insulation.



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Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #12 

This is what I need. Maybe in 20 years....

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #13 
My plan is to build a well insulated tank in my basement and have 5,000 gallons of water heated all summer hopefully reach 160° then heat my R40 /R50 1200 sf house as long as I can while replenishing heated water on sunny days. I'll let you know how that goes.

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Posts: 2,702
Reply with quote  #14 
You can do it but I'm not sure it would be cost-efficient. The larger your storage is, the greater the surface area and the greater the heat loss in total btu/hr, and the longer you try to hold that heat the more you lose. The loss also goes up with the temperature differential. You can reduce the loss with insulation of course, but my guess you'll need a couple FEET or more of insulation. You'll also need a certain amount of solar input just to balance the remaining loss, which means a bigger collector. You reach a point of diminishing returns.

Having this big hot mass in the basement would be great in the winter as the "lost" heat will naturally help heat your home, but in the summer it could mean you have to dump that heat somehow.

Just make sure you do the math first.

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