CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®


Workbench Creations Blog

Workbench Creations

Workbench Creations is the place for conversation and discussion about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This DIY blog will feature projects completed by its owner as well as projects completed by other do-it-yourselfers. Workbench Creations is the place where DIYers can discuss ideas, learn about what others have done, and share their expertise.

Previous in Blog: First Annual Tech Valley FIRST Robotics Exhibition   Next in Blog: Fixing a Broken Laptop
Close
Close
Close
42 comments

DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

Posted February 20, 2008 8:25 AM by Steve Melito
Pathfinder Tags: DIY blog solar panels solar power
User-tagged by 1 user

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Del the Cat for writing this story and sharing photographs of his DIY solar hot water panels. Cheers, Del!

Thinking of building your own solar panels? My main advice is simple: go for it! For this DIY project, the most expensive items were the copper pipe, glass, and aluminum sheets. If you can find any of these for free (or at a good price) and in vaguely the right size, then get them. But don't make the panels too big, for they will be heavy. (Mind you, it would be interesting to try polycarbonate sheet instead of glass.)

With regard to performance and setup, I moved the thermostat for the gas hot water slightly higher on the tank. In the summer, I turn it down a tad so that on dull or wet days (like all of June and July last year), the gas boiler kicks in to provide hot water. On a sunny day, the water gets up above 60-degrees Celsius by about 10:30 and stays hot enough for showers the next morning.

Here are three pictures, each with some commentary.

My solar panels are installed on a flat roof. The U of pipe between the two panels dips below the middle window. The push-fit connectors are inverted to drain the system in winter. You can see the insulation on the poly pipe and the steel straps retaining it to the wall. The panels are held to the wall by two straps at the top. The bottom edges rest on wooden blocks which sit on two layers of EPDM sheet. This allows for expansion and wind movement, and prevents chafing.

The panels were built largely from scrap material, and according to information from this web site. If I was to build them again, I'd hand-paint the panels because spray paint is both wasteful and expensive. I used 25-m of 10-mm copper pipe, but this was a bit of a mistake as there are 9 zigzags of tube in 1 panel and 13 in the other. Whoops! Masochists may wish to check out the Solar Hot Water Panels: Newsletter Challenge (95/22/07).

This may look odd to European or U.S. standards, but the indirect cylinder is typical of older properties in the U.K. The water in the central heating system also goes through the panels. Ideally, I'd like a separate coil and header tank for the solar panels so that they could run all year with antifreeze; however, this would add a lot of cost (new twin-coil cylinder, etc.). Filling the whole system with antifreeze would also be expensive. The compromise is to shut-off and drain down the panel from November to March or April.

The hot water circulates through the coil from bottom to top – an unconventional method. There are several reasons for this, with convenience of pipe runs being one. Originally, the pump for the solar panels was positioned to "pull" the water through the panels. This didn't work, however, and the water wouldn't circulate. Changing it to "push" the water through the panels solved the problem. The pump is controlled by a microcontroller-based sensor circuit which uses two temperature sensors: one on the output end1 of the solar panels, and one on the hot water tank. A difference of about 10 degrees will turn the pump on.

1When I reversed the flow to make the system pump, the output end became the input end. This led to unnecessary pump-hunting, as the input to the panels was cooled by the return water. Moving the sensor back to the output cured this.

This picture shows the rather messy pipe work and a hole in the garage ceiling. It also shows a repro' crossbow and bending level. The annotations were made with my new graphics tablet.

It is so nice on a summer's morning to stroll into the garage and see if the friendly red LED is glowing brightly to show the pump is on and I'm getting free hot water. It feels so much nicer than the stuff you pay for.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
Hobbies - HAM Radio - New Member Hobbies - Model Rocketry - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 677
Good Answers: 37
#1

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 10:09 AM

Nice setup, looks much cleaner than my attempt. Its a project that I need to revisit someday.

Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#2
In reply to #1

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 11:34 AM

Cheers, yes it's always that sort of project that could be done better if you had to do it again... but once it's working one is loathe to mess with it.

I must patch that ceiling sometime .

Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#3

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 12:39 PM

Nice job Del, didn't know cats could be so handy. All mine ever did was keep down the elephants.

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#4
In reply to #3

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 3:44 PM

Ah cheers, all those old 'keeps down the elephants' jokes ..

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#6
In reply to #4

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 4:45 PM

Well, I never had an elephant problem, so it just seemed obvious...SOMETHING was keepin' 'em down!

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#5

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 3:53 PM

I've been salivating over this concept ever since you first detailed it in the Challenge Question. If I ever get done with other projects, I'd like to do something similar. Plenty of copper piping and a nice big copper tank are stashed. Does a copper pipe panel have advantages over some of those nifty coke-can jobs that are on the internet ? The orientation of my house is such that I can't fully tap any available sun, but my guess is that's it's still viable (especially if I minimize cost by a bit of recycling). Have you been able to estimate the value of heat recovered ? CR4 has some great DIY stuff, but for my 2 cents this is one of the best. I'll be visiting here again for further reference.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#7
In reply to #5

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/21/2008 5:13 PM

I'm lucky my flat roof is South facing, I think you can get away with a fair angular error. There is tons of stuff on the web where people have made of old rads' and such like. A mate of mine made one to heat one of those big kids paddling pools in the sunmmer. Ideal for us 'big kids' .

Maybe you could simplify the design by simply painting a bath black and mounting it on the roof ?

The hot air coke can thingy looked interesting... The room under the flat roof has HUGE double patio door (thats two fixed pannels & two sliders), so the whole room acts as a solar collector...brilliant in Spring and Autumn...In summer it need Voile curtains to keep the heat down (Mrs Cat made them).

I made the frames from the old window frames salvaged when we had new windows fitted. But I reckon exterior grade ply would be really quick and easy as long as it had loads of varnish/fence treatment or somesuch on it. The glass was from an old greenhouse ( I should have asked I s'pose? )

And of course if I did it again I'd plumb the panels in parallel, although it proably doesn't make too much difference with just two....Oh no I'm going to get suched into the veartex that was the 'Challenge Question'

Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#8
In reply to #7

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 2:04 AM

If only I'd thought before killing my bath. The neighbours would have delighted in seeing me + loofah on a sunny day.

Does your flat-roofed room get that nice pitter-patter sound when it rains ? No, not leaks, the soothing sound of rain and hypnotic trickle of water down the fenestration ( I read my dictionary when I sit by the window).

I have a bit of south-facing wall, most of which catches the sun from about 11 am onwards. Reflected heat can help it to get pretty hot. It's from ground level up to about 10' or so high. Anything I designed would have to look good, since it's going to be a bit 'in yer face' so to speak. Maybe I could build some Bond-style shutter to hide a panel when not in use. Failing that, I wonder what area of white coloured collector would be equal to x m2 of black collector ?

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#9
In reply to #8

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 3:41 AM

No pitter patter in rain...but a loud DUMPA-DUMPA-DUMPA as Squirrels bound along it ! They use it as an aerial short cut.

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#11
In reply to #9

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 4:10 AM

It's a short cut to the clothes line !

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#10
In reply to #8

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 3:47 AM

A big naturally coloured/weathered copper collector would look nice and be moderately efficient?..verdigris is a nice colour.
Ccould make a sculptural 'installation' with a few Heath Robinson add ons. (Isn't there an illustrator Emmett or somesuch who drew stuff like that...can't find him on t'web....too many emmetts?)

Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#12
In reply to #10

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 4:18 AM

Verdigris would look nice, but I might miss out on heat. It would match the copper duck I purchased on impulse (don't ask, strange things happen to me when I'm sent shopping. It was supposed to be a loaf of bread and some milk).

I couldn't find any ants, but how about this fixed to the wall;

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#13
In reply to #12

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 4:20 AM

That's funky....

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#14
In reply to #13

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 4:33 AM

Not sure who created it, but it's some sort of sculpture. Maybe there is scope for a functional solar panel that also serves as decorative. People often carp on about how ugly solar/wind can be, but on a domestic scale there might be some inginious functional art-work that could be created. How about this ( It was sunny, but my photography is rubbish);

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#15
In reply to #14

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 11:00 AM

Yeah, Kris, go on and put that on yer wall facing the street - talk about 'in-yer-face' solar panels! I dares ya!!!

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#16
In reply to #15

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 12:55 PM

I'd be tempted, but it's attached to the Marlowe theatre in Canterbury !

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#17
In reply to #16

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/22/2008 4:49 PM

Your point, presuming you have one, being??? Yer not above nickin' it are you? Or at least copying it, fer cryin' out loud - that should be simple enough, in copper!

Oooops! Wrong copper...

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#18
In reply to #17

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 2:53 AM

I'm amazed it's still there. London has lost a fair number of statues in recent years. People go out at night armed with cutting gear, and bag a few Henry Moores for the foundary. It only came to my notice recently that many Bronze statues are hollow. There's a mass of buildings that have ugly frontages. Many would benefit from a nicely designed sculpture/solar collector. A well designed solar system could look good in it's own right, and it would help to send a message about energy saving. Big corporation seem to think carbon-offsetting makes it OK for them to waste as much power as they like. Maybe they should invest more in reducing power consumption and self-generation.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#19
In reply to #18

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 3:33 AM

I'd like to get my hands on the bastards that stole that Henry Moore from the Henry Moore Foundation (just up the road from me) They had a crane and an articulated lorry I believe and it's never been seen since.

I think I'll stick to wood...less intrinsically valuable.

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#20
In reply to #19

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 3:47 AM

I remember those very cool sculptures ! Hope they're well hidden from prying eyes. Even wood isn't safe these days ( didn't some git nick a load of Oaks down your way ?). Probably the same self serving sods who go around fly-tipping etc.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#21
In reply to #20

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 3:59 AM

Yeh, there's been a spate of cable thefts in East Anglia too.

I reckon the penalty for theft of public service infrastructure should be equated with treason or terrorism (wouldn't you be terrified if you had to live in East Anglia with no phone? )

There were two squirrels shagging on the Mrs Deer sculpture yesterday...it looked hilarious... as Mr Deer looked on aghast!

Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#22
In reply to #21

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 4:19 AM

Parts of East Anglia make Romney Marsh look like Disneyland. It's like a UK equivalent of that film Children of the Corn, only they do it with carrots and beet.

The garden sex scene would have made a brilliant photo for a caption competition, the pose/expression of the deer is perfect for it. Finding you'd created some sort of Squirrel bordello must have been an unexpected bonus. Maybe you'll get lucky and see a whole bunch of young squirrels at it soon ! They don't use prophylactics, so the lawn should remain tidy. Just leave a packet of cigarettes out so they linger for a while, else they'll fall asleep after and go 'thud' when they hit the ground.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#23
In reply to #22

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 5:25 AM

else they'll fall asleep after and go 'thud' when they hit the ground.

PMSL

Thats the funny thing...you don't see young squirrels... they stay in the drey until virtually full grown I believe.


they'll fall asleep, I have seen 'em taking little cat naps while sitting on a branch, they just hunker down, you can see their eyes getting heavy...you know just like in a HR meeting ...then a few mins later they perk up and off they go again.

One of the females is V cheeky, I think the woman next door feeds her....we have to be careful when we have the patio doors open else she'd just come in when we are sitting there, hoping that we have something for her (No not the woman next door! Do pay attention)

Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#24
In reply to #23

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 5:48 AM

Human Reszzzzzzzzz.. . .

The Squrrels in London parks are amazingly tame. I like to visit Green Park and feed Squirrels if I'm passing by via Charring Cross. The mutant hybrid ducks are also good for a laugh.

Talking of embarassing entrances - I was out with a bunch of mates years ago. Middle of the afternoon, and we all piled into a car at a taxi-rank. It was just some guy who'd pulled over and was minding his own business ! The look on his face was hilarious. All of a sudden 4 guys pull open the doors and pile in. The few seconds when we sat in open mouthed surprise seemed to last forever.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#28
In reply to #24

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 11:12 AM

Didn't Monty Python nick that for a skit? I seem to recall something similar, John Cleese the innocent driver, if memory serves. And you lot thought nobody was watching you!

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#27
In reply to #21

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 11:07 AM

You know who that was, don't you?!?

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#26
In reply to #19

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 11:06 AM

But no less autistic...er...I mean ARtistic!

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#25
In reply to #18

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/23/2008 11:04 AM

"Big corporation seem to think carbon-offsetting makes it OK for them to waste as much power as they like. Maybe they should invest more in reducing power consumption and self-generation."

Careful there, that's pretty radical talk! Besides, you know as well as I do that it's still too early to apply logic here. Barking mad, are we? Well, good for us, says I! You won't see the world spoilt by any of these guys...

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 26689
Good Answers: 700
#29

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/27/2008 9:50 AM

Nice one. <Applause>.

It does help if the house isn't shielded by trees in the summer and one has a flat roof available, features both confounding the prospect of a worthwhile installation here.

Does one need Planning Approval in the UK for solar panel installations? And what about in a designated Conservation Area? Would "on top of a pergola" count?

<subscribes to discussion>

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 26689
Good Answers: 700
#30
In reply to #29

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/27/2008 9:57 AM

Ah! Now, if the collector components were tubular, and followed the outline of the timbers that run East-West on top of the pergola to provide a minimal visual impact......

<scurries off into the workshop, muttering, looking for a large hammer>

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#31
In reply to #29

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/27/2008 12:42 PM

Does one need Planning Approval in the UK for solar panel installations?

I don't think so, but I subscribe to the philosophy.
'If you aren't willing to accept the possible answer...don't ask the question'

(It's at the back of the property so effectively invisible)

Same as when I moved the staircase back 2' and put in a sliding door to allow for a stair lift.... didn't ask for building reg approval. I mean am I going to build something that will collapse with my son coming down on it? (don't answer that)

Del (baaad kitty)

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#32
In reply to #31

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/28/2008 1:50 AM

I think planning regs for a lot of domestic stuff got 'simplified' recently. Things like satellite dishes and even extensions aren't as much hassle. Like Del, I think it's sometimes better not to ask the questions (leastways not with something you can easily rectify if some bureaucrat forces you to). Here you can see some poor soul removing his expensive PV cells

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 26689
Good Answers: 700
#33
In reply to #32

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/28/2008 11:56 AM

OK, OK! There's this tiny little complication called a designated Conservation Area to think about. It's telephone time. <unsubscribes, though watch this space...>

__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12127
Good Answers: 110
#34
In reply to #33

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

02/28/2008 12:39 PM

That'll teach you not to live in a posh area then ! A grade 2 listed bothy wouldn't look right with a cell-phone mast on top. It's too low and the roof isn't up to it.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Anonymous Poster
#35

Hot Water Lobster!!!

03/18/2008 1:50 PM

I recommend this easy and Inexpensive solution to saving water, time, and energy; install a Hot Water Lobster instant hot water valve under the sink farthest form your water heater and you will have instant hot water throughout your entire home. It saves a lot of water that's normally wasted down the drain while waiting for hot water. The savings in water and energy easily recoups the initial $179.95 purchase price! More impressive is the convenience of instant hot water!

The Hot Water Lobster uses no electricity and is pump free, so it creates no noise. It is made in the U.S.A., has a 10-year warranty, and can be easily installed in under 10 minutes.

Check it out at:

www.hotwaterlobster.com

Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Indeterminate Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain, and now disconnecting as Little England and Wales (not too sure about Wales bit, either). Kettle's on.
Posts: 26689
Good Answers: 700
#36
In reply to #35

Re: Hot Water Lobster!!!

03/19/2008 5:27 AM

Ah! Problem!

In the UK, the cold water service to most things other than showers comes off the rising main provided by the utility supplier, and is under higher pressure than the stored water in the home, which pressurises the hot water system. Connections between the incoming cold and the stored cold must not be made, as any contamination in the stored cold (a dead bird in the tank? - It does happen!) would otherwise contaminate the incoming cold, which the utility supplier doesn't want to happen. The two systems are separated by an air gap, usually provided by the ballcock/Portsmouth Valve on the cold water storage tank in the loft space.

So, this device cannot be installed in the UK as:

  • if it were, it would cause the stored water tank to overflow
  • to do so would contravene the water supply Regulations
__________________
"Did you get my e-mail?" - "The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw, 1856
Reply
Guru
United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gone to Alabama with my banjo on my knee...
Posts: 5604
Good Answers: 20
#37
In reply to #36

Re: Hot Water Lobster!!!

03/19/2008 7:01 AM

Kind of like trying to drive a U.S. made automobile (driver on left side) on your U.K. roads (vehicle on left side) isn't it? Works for a minute...fails abysmally thereafter.

__________________
Veni, vidi, video - I came, I saw, I got it on film.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Participant

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
#38

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

06/10/2009 7:32 AM

I recently had solar water heating a profesional install and the tiops of the tubes were getting to 170 celsius (I took one out and measured it) is ther anyway of comapring the performance to the diy solar water heating panels?

Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#39
In reply to #38

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

06/10/2009 7:46 AM

is ther anyway of comapring the performance to the diy solar water heating panels?

Not easilly.
A professionally designed installed glass tube system will doubtess be more efficient, especially in overcast conditions.
What I built was a maximum effect for minimum cost compromise, it needs full sun, but it cost very little and does save money. In an ideal world I'd be building from scratch and I could get more efficiency...a hot water cylinder with a separate coil for the solar panels would be a big improvement, I could use antifreeze and run 'em all year, they provide background heat to the water at the bottome of the tank even on dull days, with the central heating system heating the top 1/3 of the tank.
Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply
Associate

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 42
#40

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

10/01/2010 12:13 PM

Del, In your opinion, could I utilize a setup like this for my my radiant floor heat system? The nice thing about the antifreeze is that to keep my drive from freezing up, I don't need an excessive amount of heat in relation to heating water to take a shower. I don't like to run my boiler any more than I have to and this could be a good option for the daytime hours when I receive 90% of my traffic anyway.

__________________
...just another day at the car wash...
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 16274
Good Answers: 630
#41
In reply to #40

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

10/01/2010 1:23 PM

Dunno really, from what I read on the internet I think it's best for domestic hot water. The problem for using it for heating is that it's only effective on days which are sunny and therefore warm anyway.
Isn't Michigan rather Notherly with cold winters? I'd go for ground source heating (or lake source maybe?) but of course it's a higher capital outlay.
I was just having a play really, it works great with it's climate based limitations.
Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Reply
Associate

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 42
#42
In reply to #41

Re: DIY Solar Hot Water Panels

10/03/2010 11:31 PM

With constant circulation, I would think that I could probably keep my floors from icing up if I could at least maintain an antifreeze temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I don't believe that I would ever be able to get rid of my floor heat, but if I could mitigate its use during the daylight hours, that could be a real money saver.

__________________
...just another day at the car wash...
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 42 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); BGCW (2); Del the cat (12); EnviroMan (9); frankd20 (1); Kris (12); PWSlack (4); terryjones (1)

Previous in Blog: First Annual Tech Valley FIRST Robotics Exhibition   Next in Blog: Fixing a Broken Laptop
You might be interested in: Composite Panels, Control Panels

Advertisement