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solar water heater problem - distance from solar collector to storage thank.


medic5678's Avatar
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08-20-13, 08:44 PM   #1  
solar water heater problem - distance from solar collector to storage thank.

i want to build a solar water heater using glass, wood, and tubing. i would like to have a very small pump pushing water from the collector back to my 40 gallon tank, which is about 45 feet away. i was planning on using a very small pump with a photocell to push water through the system when it's light outside. the tank is insulated heavily, so whatever heat is captured during the day would last at night.

the problem would be heat loss in the lines. how can i insulate the water lines to make this not much of an issue? you would figure that the water would be leaving the tank outlet to go to the collector and then return back, a total of 90 feet.


i'm only looking to keep the water in my tank 100 degrees or so. i have a small
tankless hot water heater that will finish heating as needed. any suggestions welcome .

 
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08-21-13, 01:34 AM   #2  
Do a Google search for Armaflex. You want the thickest wall that you can afford and the proper inside diameter to fit the pipe/tubing you use to interconnect the solar collector and the storage tank. Seal all the seams with plastic tape.

You also need to have a controller to stop the pump when the tank comes to temperature or the tank may overheat or else the collector could act as a radiator. Lastly, forty gallons isn't much when it comes to storage.

 
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08-21-13, 03:08 AM   #3  
okay, so i could pick up a 2nd tank (using a 40 gallon used water heater). on the armaflex, i am going to have to bury the line in the ground. is there a way to do that? and where could i get a controller? thanks.

 
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08-21-13, 04:19 AM   #4  
Yes, you can bury Armaflex. You could perhaps use the bottom thermostat in an electric water heater to control the circulating pump. Otherwise look at solar power websites.

 
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08-21-13, 08:37 PM   #5  
well, they do sell solar pumps that are for circulating water in a solar heating system. so i am going to try one of those, they circulate approx 3 gals per min... i figure to put the armaflex around cpvc and slide it into a larger pvc pipe.

with the solar pump, it works off a solar panel, and only pumps when the sun is shining strongly enough. this eliminates the need for any sort of controller. i really don't think i have to worry about it overheating the system, but i'll test and see if i need to adjust for that. i am really just shooting for warm enough tanks that the small demand hot water heater can finish off.

 
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10-02-13, 03:11 PM   #6  
solar water heater

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