Solar Hot Water collector plate question


Old 08-31-09, 07:33 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Solar Hot Water collector plate question

I have several glass panels that were removed from my uncle's sun room (replaced with dual pane). Can they be used to build a solar collector? I'm thinking of some sort of system that can provide hot water for the household as well as some pex lines running under the floor for radiant heating during the winter. Just started to do some research this morning when I remembered those glass panels... If they are UV treated, would it not absorb enough energy to heat the liquid?
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Old 09-03-09, 07:55 AM
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Generally you can use recycled glazing for collectors.
If the glazing has a lot of iron it as some does, it won't transmit solar as well. If the glass looks quite green when viewed from the edge, it probably has a high iron content.
Occasionally non-tempered glass will crack in a solar collector, but most people don't have that problem.
If you want a good and inexpensive plastic glazing, SunTuf polycarbonate glazing is good -- Home Depot sells it.

You can use a sharp utility knife to cut between the glass and the edge seal, and separate the dual panes into single planes to get twice the collector area.

There are lots of plans for solar space heating systems that various DIYers have contributed on my site -- ******
They might help in gelling your thinking.


Last edited by Shadeladie; 09-03-09 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Website removed
Old 09-03-09, 09:13 PM
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I just read an article in the July Consumer Reports mag about this. You might want to check it out. Of course it does not refer to homemade systems, but gives a little insight as to payback. The closer you live to the equator, the better it works.
I was in Florida last month and noticed a number of homes use solar heaters to keep their pools warm in the cooler months.

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