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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #271 
Bruce,

Instead of the hydro grid it would be easier to install an auto heater core in your output duct and pump water through it. This would take out a lot of the heat and move it to storage.

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

Bruce

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Reply with quote  #272 
I already have a bunch of copper pipe left over from other projects, including 3 foot long 1/2 inch, short pieces of 3/4 inch and tees to make the grid, so the cost of doing so is very low...and may not even be necessary. I think the grid would be behind the screens and will only be useful for excess heat removal and use.  My plan now is to do nothing but plan the collector to allow installation of the grid if it is needed.  I think the automotive heater core would restrict the airflow to much and to often? I have always wanted to try radiant heat and this is the perfect place to do it when I remodel the room, including replacing the flooring.
stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #273 
The heater core would would of course restrict airflow some but everything's a tradeoff.  CWWilson used them and was happy with them.  However if you already have the materials for the tube grid, that is probably the way to go.
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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #274 
If you used a heater core, you could also use a 12V fan, like a transmission fan to help boost the flow through the core. 

Greg in MN
Irishvoyageur

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Reply with quote  #275 
Don - I wonder if you are getting odors from your fiberglass screen, especially at the high temperatures your are seeing inside your collector. I mounted a double layer of the fiberglass screen in the windows of my south facing porch just to collect some heat during the winter. It worked great, but I noticed a strong odor when the temperatures were near 90F. I can imagine it would be worse at higher temps. Also, did you seal the ends of your twin-wall polycarbonate glazing? Have you had any issues with moisture buidling up inside the glazing? Thanks for all the details you provided with your collector project.
dbc

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Reply with quote  #276 
Irish,

In my experience, a new, 'green' collector always emits some odors at first, but it soon dissipates.  It is important to keep air flowing through whenever it is being heated by the sun.  I found that out the hard way with this particular collector when it stagnated at too high a temperature.  Some of the paint inside turned 'gummy' and put out a chemical odor.  I had to take it apart and clean out the affected area with acetone and repaint.  I keep it covered now during the warm season, when I'm not using it.  All the collectors I've built are active, meaning that they have a fan activated by a thermal switch.  I guess a passive unit would need some sort of bypass vent, or you could use a cover when you don't want heat.

I didn't really do anything to seal the ends of the twin-wall, although I think that's generally recommended.  There are tapes made for that purpose (Palram is one source).  I live in a pretty dry climate and have never seen any condensation.  The ends are covered by the metal angle pieces that hold the glazing in place, but nothing else.  The angle pieces stop bulk water, dirt, and bugs from getting in there and probably most of the wind.  It may be more of a problem with vertically oriented (portrait) layouts; all of mine are horizontal to fit under windows.

Don C.

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