Solar hot water.

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coldandwindy

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Solar hot water.
« on: January 11, 2022, 13:09 »
Has anyone got solar water heating? I don't mean from solar electricity, I mean where you circulate cold water through a black panel that absorbs heat.
I'm just at the looking into it stage. I'd want to put it on a vertical wall in a very hot south-facing porch. Can I do that - do they work vertically or is the roof angle essential to the flow?
Do I circulate antifreeze in a closed system that then heats my water or is it cheaper to just circulate my water? Sounds preferable but am I missing something? Why do some people prefer the other way?
Is it worth buying an off the peg system or is it just as effective to use radiators painted black?
How do I combine using it with my existing system , do I need two separate hot water storage tanks in the loft or is there a way of switching which supply we use ?
That's all the questions I have swirling round my head just now but if you can think of any unknown unknowns... :D

thanks, Windy.
 

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John

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Re: Solar hot water.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2022, 13:35 »
What are you proposing to do with the hot water?
Radiators painted black in a box with insulation behind and glass over will work well. They will work on the vertical but there are optimum angles for absorbing light.
Preheating water in a tank further heated by whatever makes sense - but it is a broad subject
The financials of buying a system don't make much sense - too expensive with too low a return.
This book is pretty good: https://store.cat.org.uk/collections/books/products/solar-hot-water-choosing-fitting-using-a-system

Check out our books - ideal presents

John and Val Harrison's Books
 

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coldandwindy

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Re: Solar hot water.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2022, 09:08 »
Thank you. I was looking at that book - I'll buy it!
The hot water will be to use in the house. We come in needing a shower and then wash up etc. Most of our hot water use is in the evening. The plan (very vague just now :unsure:) is that solar does its best & then the back-up is timed to turn on half an hour or so before we come in.
I was wondering if the porch itself could act as the insulation and glass.
What's the hottest it could get & what happens about the water boiling in the pipes on a hot day? As kids we had a fire with a back boiler & when it started banging someone had to volunteer to have a bath!

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John

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Re: Solar hot water.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2022, 09:22 »
What's the hottest it could get & what happens about the water boiling in the pipes on a hot day?
Over-heat protection will depend on the type of system I suppose. Hopefully the book will cover it although I don't expect it's a common problem in the UK!

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comfreykid

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Re: Solar hot water.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2022, 22:02 »
We had solar water panels on the south facing slope of our roof in our first house  nearly forty years ago .
It was a fitted system ( Sunray   I seem to remember) and it was basically black painted radiators in aluminium framed glass fronted boxes. The water was lovely and hot on sunny and not so sunny days but never got scalding hot or boiled on hot days .  :)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 22:02 by comfreykid »

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Swing Swang

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Re: Solar hot water.
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2022, 07:47 »
If this topic is still 'live'
The OP also asked how solar thermal would integrate with their existing system. If the OP means that they already have photovoltaics then if they are overproducing during the day then energy divert, whereby energy that wiuld be otherwise sent to the grid is 'dumped' into a hot water tank, might be a simpler/cheaper option. It's what we do and we reduced our heating oil consumption by about 800-1000l per annum.



 

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