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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #11 

Really appreciate your website.  Looks like a really nice thermal storage setup.  I am in VA so I have similar weather.  Are you able to get 140 degrees in conditions like we have been having? Seems like several days with very little sunshine.  I am considering building a system and perhaps use a few 55 gallon drums I got for free (I think 160 degrees and they begin to get soft - is that something to be concerned about?) and insulate around them.

I think I could hook up to hot water like you did.  My bigger issue is heat.  I have an older house that has little to no insulation, except attic which I added to in last couple of years.  Still have very BIG bills for oil boiler system.  I burnt about 3 cords of wood as well, but still spending lots on oil.  I thought it would be wonderful if I could use hot water to put into the boiler/hydronic system and get the circulator to pump it around, but not sure how could turn on circulators without boiler, how hard it would be to configure, and if I am missing some other big problems that would prevent or be dangerous to hook into the boiler system.  This could very well be beyond my capabilities.

Other consider for me is that we expect to stay in our house less than 10 years and would like to leave around 5 if possible, but will have to wait and see.  My goal is to learn now, take advantage of savings where available, and perhaps transfer systems to the extent possible with me when we move.

Appreciate any thoughts you have on these ideas.


Posts: 720
Reply with quote  #12 
I don't think I would try to incorporate solar hot water into the existing oil boiler system. I'm not sure that could work.

You may want to consider it as a seperate system. Since you aren't planning to stay in the house, perhaps a hot-air, solar water-heat exchanger? You may be able to use old car radiators to ciruclate the hot water thru it. Add ductwork & blow the air thru the radiator into the house.

Insulate this summer.

A well insulated house will cost you less, regardless, but also raise the value of the home when you get ready to sell.

Central IL

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Posts: 199
Reply with quote  #13 
Insulate and go with solar airheaters to take with you when you leave.

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Posts: 2,240
Reply with quote  #14 
@netttech and @Ky-Jeeper,

fully agree with you, good advice as usual [smile]


(1)  "Heat goes from hot to cold, there is no directional bias"
(2) It's wrote, "voilĂ " unless talking musical instruments...

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #15 
sir , is it possible to give power to communication tower by using solar panels and by using solar thermal storage at night

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Posts: 3,028
Reply with quote  #16 
Possible, but getting electricity via thermoelectric generators from the low-grade heat most of us get from solar thermal collectors is not going to be easy, or cheap. I think you would do better using batteries and PV panels. The batteries run the system, the PV panels keep the batteries charged.
Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Posts: 809
Reply with quote  #17 
I have an older house that has little to no insulation, except attic which I added to in last couple of years.

Invest in insulating the walls and windows first. Conservation of energy always has a better ROI (Return On Investment) then producing or buying more energy. 

Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
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