Solar water heating system..

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Robert Gammon wrote:

I agree. If it were hot water, it would be a waste of effort to heat it.
- Logan
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They're hardly ever good value where mains power is available.

Very over priced basically.

They do work, lousy value tho.

Really depends on how long you go without sun.

No, not if its sized properly to the use of hot water.

Nope.
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Rod Speed wrote:

I suspect that virtue over value is in effect here.
Graham
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Then that would be completely stupid.
The frogs generate a lot of their mains power from nukes, so it makes no sense to be minimising the use of that.
It is in fact the most sensible way to generate power today and any solar system will waste more resources in the construction of the solar system. In spades with a relatively high tech approach to solar like the one being discussed.
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Rod Speed wrote:

Yes it would indeeed, since the same amount of money spent on more effective means of energy efficiency would reduce energy requirements by a greater amount ( with better attendant benefits on carbon load )
I should have said 'perceived virue' really.

Yup. Concentrate on insulation first. I'll bet there's some room for improvement.
Graham
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I've seen consistent proclamations that a solar DWH system is the best buy for the money that can be made after pure conservation.
And those comaprisons are verses natural gas. I would expect solar verses electric to be a very good proposition.
Why would you think that isn't true? http://www.builditsolar.com
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Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
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snipped-for-privacy@XReXXSolar.usenet.us.com wrote

Only by one eyed fools who havent got a clue about the basics.

It isnt. Largely because the MUCH higher capital cost cant be justified economically. In spades in France where the bulk of electrical power comes from nukes which dont even consume natural resources in the generation of the power.
And then there's the resouces wasted with the relatively high tech approach to solar hot water in the system being discussed.

Its mostly basic economics. The MUCH higher capital cost with the system being discussed wont even pay for the electricity that would otherwise be used if you have to borrow that money, or even if you just forego the interest on the extra cash etc.

Just another rabid one eyed pack of lies on the economics.
Solar does make good economic sense with SOME situations, most obviously with solar pool heating where the capital cost is minimal, and the losses very high.
Solar can also make sense with air heating, particularly when its designed into the house before construction, but its hardly ever good value for water heating when offpeak mains power is available.
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I neglected to question the cost of energy in France. What is it?
In California, it's all about trimming the tiered usage. The DWH sellers quote the price comparisons at "tier 5" rates. The baseline rates don't rise, but the high tiers do. Those KWh are currently $0.51. My DWH is propane, currently at $1.69 per gallon, up from $1.07 in 2002.

That is the difference between Nick's coil of hose and the $6000 I was quoted for an installed system. ;-)

I am considering both, and neglected to keep an eye on the cost differential, since they both seem like a good idea in my area. The solar pool heater will cost less than any other style of heater... but it is entirely optional, so the "savings" is harder to justify. The solar blanket could be considered sufficient. The solar heater also fits the usage pattern. The heat is there when the usage is desired.

Offpeak mains power. Another caveat. I think showers would tend to be offpeak for most people. Some mental agility is required to do the laundry offpeak, or maybe not, depending on the lifestyle. Offpeak KWh is still $0.30 at the high tier usage.
Retrofitting some solar air heating is on my list. I have a few months to think about that one. I like the Solar Sponge, and it would fit neatly into my current home design. http://solarsponge.com
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snipped-for-privacy@XReXXSolar.usenet.us.com wrote

Nothing special, because they have a lot of nuke generators now.

What anyone with a clue uses is the offpeak rate for hot water.

Nope, the one being discussed is a lot more high tech than Nick's.

Yeah, they're very simple, often just black plastic tubing on a flat roof. The pump etc is already there to.

It isnt hard to justify it on the longer season of viable water temps.

Maybe, but its rather more irritating to use.

Its really the only sensible way to do hot water.

The water tank is heated in off peak times and used any time you like.

Plenty pay nothing like that. I only pay 5c myself.

Its much better to do it at the house design stage.

MUCH too small for my taste. I've got 7 8'x8' myself.
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It isn't fair to denigrate the construction costs of solar, and ignore the construction and infrasturcture costs of a nuclear power plant. They do require some natural resources to build and run.

That's what I meant. Nick's system is closer to a viable price point, but if you ask for a professionally installed system, it's the high tech variety.

I have a Feherguard cover reel. No problem at all to take off, minimal to put back if you remember while you're still in the pool.

So your economic comparisons are far out of line from mine. I have a 6x better payback than you.

Next time ;-) I have a new neighbor building a home on an empty lot. I will be trying to give as many helpful hints as I can, as a precursor to my own construction in the future.

Pics? Design? I have a convenient spot to put some, and I will let aesthetics limit the total size. Did you use a Solar Sponge style?
I also haven't decided whether to plumb the hot air into the prime living area, or into the central heat air intake, which is conveniently nearby.
Separate plumbing seems more straightforward. I wouldn't have to coordinate the heated air flow with the central heating run time.
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snipped-for-privacy@XReXXSolar.usenet.us.com wrote

What matters is the cost TO THE INDIVIDUAL.
The individual considering which way to go with hot water gets no say on what the state chooses to do with nukes.

Yes, but nukes last a hell of a lot longer than individual solar hot water systems do.

Not necessarily as high tech as the particular one being discussed tho.

Still even easier to have a completely automated system with no cover at all.

You sure you're paying 30c for offpeak ?

With a VERY atypical offpeak power rate.
And what matters is the OP's offpeak power rate, not yours or mine.

Mine is completely integrated into the house design, 7 8'x8' patio doors on the north side of the house which is 100' running East/West. I'm in the southern hemisphere.
There's another 6 on the south side, only the bathrooms and toilets have normal windows, all rooms have full outside access with those patio doors. The smallest bedrooms have one of them, the largest bedroom has two. The biggest main room has 5 and the smallest main room has 3.
That gives a very pleasant outside/inside effect when the outside isnt too hot in summer, and there is a full run of trees all along the south side. That environment is much cooler in summer when say I come home from shopping.
In winter I bask in the sun thru those big doors, in the biggest main room most of the daytime.
6' eaves all down the N side, calculated with the sun angles to let all the sun in in winter and none in the summer.

Nope, nothing like it. Completely integrated into the house design, like I said.

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Nor do I have any input as to whether various rebates and incentives are the right way for the community at large to go. I can only look at the impact that the programs have on my situation.

http://www.pge.com/rates/tariffs/ResTOUCurrent.xls The baseline rate is only $0.08. That rate is very stable, but also is not very much energy per month, varying by the season and location.

As always. The local conditions for that person are all that matters. Solar insolation, utility rates, Tax laws, appraisal patterns, cost of labor, cost of materials, construction codes, etc. It's hard enough to make comparisons across different utilities in the same state, much less the 50 states here, or to a different country.

I saw a house recently built that looks like all doors on the long side. I thought that was for the view. I hadn't pondered the orientation. A look at Google Earth makes me think all those doors are Southwest exposure, but that should be hot in the summertime, without deciduous tree cover.

That is sorely lacking at my house. Stubby eaves at a steep angle, so I can't even add additional cover in a pleasing fashion.
I might have a closer look at that house with no trees. Maybe it has long shallow eves.
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south side should not make the house hot.in the winter the sun is lower on the horizon so it shines in through the glass more.
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digitalmaster wrote:

This fact coupled with higher outside temps, WILL MAKE A HOUSE WITH SOUTH FACING WINDOWS WARMER IN THE SUMMERTIME THAN A HOUSE WITH NO SOUTH FACING WINDOWS!!!
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In theory, yes, just because the windows are poor insulation compared with a wall instead.
In practice its a minor effect when I have the doors open while the outside temp is acceptible, for a very pleasant outside/inside effect, and turn the swamp cooler on when the outside temp is higher than is pleasant. A swamp cooler costs fuck all to run so the theoretical worse insulation with the glass is purely academic and I save because I can have outside air blow right thru the house when the outside temp is acceptible. The house isnt that thick in a N/S direction, mostly only about 20'
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digitalmaster wrote:

This fact coupled with higher outside temps, WILL MAKE A HOUSE WITH SOUTH FACING WINDOWS WARMER IN THE SUMMERTIME THAN A HOUSE WITH NO SOUTH FACING WINDOWS!!!
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Robert Gammon wrote:

Please don't yell. It's completely unnecessary. It's not hard to make the south facing windows work. You need overhangs, as pointed out, but the angle of incidence, along with the right kind of glazing makes it entirely possible to restrict heat gain. In Northern latitudes, what may be much worse for causing overheating is large glass expanses in West windows. West windows get little to no heat gain in Winter, but can't be shaded by overhangs in Summer. I've got lots of south window, but it never gets hot in the living room until the sun starts to set.
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derek

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The problem with that is that it cuts down light too. I prefer to shade with curtains, which are movable.
Mary
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Mary Fisher wrote:

They are - but the heat is already _inside_ by the time the light hits your curtains, so you have potentially lost the battle already.
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No it isn't! If our south facing room is hot because the sun is shining in and I draw a curtain it cools perceptively and immediately :-)
I've done it lots of times. The curtain has to be lightproof of course, which can cut down the light but it only has to shade that sunlight which is shining directly into the room.
Thus, when Spouse and I are having breakfast in the bay window of our south facing dining room and the sun's rays are hot we close the curtain behind him in the morning to prevent the south eastern rays coming in and the one behind me in the afternoon to shield those from the south west. At lunch time, for a very short period, we have to close both. The answer would be to have a curtain which would just cover the immediate south facing pane but we can't be bothered :-)
I was once fascinated because on a very hot day the bees in a hive in full sun were flying in a cloud at the front of the hive. I leaned a large slab of stone against the side of the hive where the sun's rays were striking and the bees all went inside and behaved normally from then on. How they knew that the hive had cooled was another matter but my observation was that the effect was immediate.
Mary

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