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victordaniels

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #11 
How deep would it need to be for a zero pass? I was hoping to use 2x4 stud track.

victordaniels

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Reply with quote  #12 
For a zero pass like this, what gap between screens would you suggest?
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #13 
Victor-

Testing has shown that the optimal screen gap is 1⅜". 

Using metal stud track for a ZP collector will be quite cramped. Add ½" of plywood, 1" of polyiso, ¾"space behind the back screen layer, 1⅜" screen gap, 1" space between the front-most screen and the underside of the glazing. Add these spacings and you have 4.625". 2x4 stud track is only 3⅝", so you really can't make it fit without serious compromises. 

My original ZP was made using 2x4 stud track. But last spring when I found the optimal 1⅜" screen gap via testing, I can't make it fit in the old stud track frame. I will have to wait for the next build.

I still think your current build around the windows is overly complicated. As you see above, the sections will have to be deeper, thus weigh more. The thought of seasonally mounting and storing heavy sections might not be a problem now. But from experience, the stored sections do take a lot more abuse than permanently mounted collectors. I would suggest that you should easily lift and mount the sections by yourself, but such lightweight sections might not be as durable as a sturdier build.

Another possible suggestion would be to build 2 or three smaller units instead if the sectional unit encircling the windows. You would still get great heat, but the build and seasonal storage would be greatly simplified. Below are a few places where you might consider smaller, rectangular units.

idea.jpg 

Greg in MN

victordaniels

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Reply with quote  #14 
Greg,

That would sure simplify things. On the other hand it would entail more holes in the house. I want to get the heat in the basement, and it runs from the left to the input and output holes in the diagram. The issue would be getting the heat from the units you suggest on the right to the basement on the left.
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #15 
Victor-

Would you be able to post a photograph or a better drawing of the complete back side of your house?
And could indicate the approximate distances between the windows, ground, etc.
Is the current marked entry/exit point a basement window?
And is that the only access point on the South side of the house to the basement?
And lastly, would you indicate the location of the basement walls?

I'm sure we can figure out a viable solution, but I'd like a bit more clarity of what you are up against. 

Greg in MN
victordaniels

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #16 
Greg,

Here are pictures of the house.

house back.jpg  house back2.jpg 
The bottom of the solar box on the drawing is about 3' from the ground.
The entry and exit points rest on top of the cement foundation.
Where the basement and garage are is marked.
house numbers.jpg 


gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #17 
Victor-

I guess I need to be more specific. I'd like to see the ENTIRE back of the house, or at least the half that has the basement. I'd also very much like to know where the basement walls are and the width of the basement. And is your indicated entry/exit point something that could be moved?

Is the room above the basement with the window in daily use? I'm asking only because if is a spare bedroom or other little used room it might open up some mounting options. 

Assuming you are located in northern Colorado, deep snow will be an issue, but should not a problem. You said there is 5' from the ground to the bottom of the windows. A 4' tall collector, mounted 2-3' off the ground, tilted back at an angle to best capture the winter sun, should fit nicely beneath the windows. Mounted on wheels, the entire unit could be rolled away for storage seasonally. We do get a bit of snow here in Minnesota, and my collector gets rolled in position, tilted back, and secured so as to be ready for another heating season. Even a blizzard this past weekend with 20" of snow, plus drifts more than twice that height were not a problem. Most of the snow slid of the face of the collector. Simply walking in front of the collector created a path, allowed any remaining snow to slide off the collector face. 

IMG_1199.jpg   

Greg in MN



victordaniels

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #18 
I think I'm going to give up the large surround design for now and try one panel between the windows as you suggested. What gap between the upper screen and the glazing do you suggest?
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #19 
Victor-

The gap between the upper screen and the glazing will depend on the size of the materials yours when building your collector box. If you still plan on a ZP absorber, with a return at the top, I think 1x6 boards would be pretty close to the right depth. 1x4's would be too shallow once you add up everything. I don't think you want less than 1" for sure. Keep in mind, more depth also means more weight when it has to be moved seasonally. But with the wood siding, you should be able to rig up some sort of pulley or other system to help lower the unit easily and safely. Because of the size of available building materials, a 4'x? collector might be the most practical since most sheet goods are this size. You have a lot of vertical height up to the roof, so use it as much as you can. It looks like you could fit 13-14' vertically, which will give you lots of heat. Or make it 16' tall for less material waste. Nothing says you can't have the corner sticking up above the roof a couple of feet. This unit may not gather quite as much heat as your wrap around design, but it's a single unit, with a fraction of the construction/storage issues. But you can always expand your setup in the future, including your wrap around design. 

The most popular glazing the twinwall polycarbonate, often used in greenhouses. It's lightweight, easy to work with and seal, and low in cost. I'm not sure how close you are to Cheyanne, Wyoming, but they carry it at Menards, along with the correct polyiso insulation. It's worth a trip compared to having panels shipped. Here is a link to the Cheyanne Menards:

https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/roofing/specialty-roofing/tuftex-reg-4-x-8-polycarbonate-clear-twinwall-panel-6-mm/1594351/p-1496848120528-c-5819.htm?tid=456790005709903288&ipos=2

Greg in MN
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