Water pipe heat tape

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On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 4:53:34 AM UTC-4, mike wrote:

It's certainly gotten better in recent years, as the costs of the panels have come down. But last time I looked, what you say is true. Without subsidies, it's not cost effective as a replacement for grid power. But for a dedicated app, like just running the pumps, it would be worth looking at the actual numbers. I've only looked at whole house type, not scaled down, dedicated type. I know at least one company makes solar powered pool pumps.

Agree. That's a whole different ball game. Classic example is solar heat for a pool. Again, from the sketchy info here, I don't know what exactly it is she's doing. But the solar panels used to heat water for a swimming pool are cost effective. Problem there is they are not freeze proof and also won't be effective in winter. You'd need the way more expensive evacuated type to generate heat in winter.
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On 10/9/2015 4:44 PM, Muggles wrote:

Pretty much all electric heaters are the same efficiency. 5,200 BTU per hour with 1500 watt consumption.
From what I can see here, the big problem is heat loss over night. Consider focuss your efforts there. Vapor barrier to slow evaporation?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 10/10/2015 7:40 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

OK I'll add that to my list of ideas/solutions. Thanks!
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Maggie

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On 10/10/2015 5:40 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

It takes 1 BTU to heat a pound of water 1 degree. Let that pound of water *evaporate* and you've LOST ~1000BTU's!
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On 10/10/2015 12:48 PM, Don Y wrote:

I'd have to look it up, but I think the latent heat of fusion is 86 BTU per pound, and the heat of vaporization is about 550. But, it's been a long time since I needed that.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 10/10/2015 10:28 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

To within a few (10?) percent, 1kJ = 1BTU. So, 1KJ/kg ~= 1BTU/2.2lb
Enthalpy of vaporization (water) is 2257 kJ/kg so ~1000BTU/lb
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On 10/10/2015 11:48 AM, Don Y wrote:

As it evaporates, does it not warm the surrounding air?
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On 10/10/2015 9:48 AM, Don Y wrote:

I don't know anything about farming fish, but don't you need some water/air exchange to keep the oxygen level tolerable to the fish. If you just block the surface, what keeps the fish alive?

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On 10/10/2015 7:07 PM, mike wrote:

We have air bubblers in the tanks. They work even if the tanks are covered.
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On 10/10/2015 8:55 PM, Muggles wrote:

So, where do the bubbles go? Wherever that is is where the evaporation goes. The bubbles assist evaporation. The air flow also carries away the heat you're trying to contain. Best way is to use thick insulation and seal the area between the water and the insulation. But you can't have bubbles if you do that. You have to do the thermodynamics math for the whole system. It's very easy to spend a lot of money optimizing one thing, then ruin that optimization by some other optimization decision.
The bottom line is that you have losses from the system to the environment. You keep the temperature stable by adding heat equal to those losses. If you do that, what goes on inside the system is largely irrelevant when it comes to operating costs.
Anything solar only works during the day. But your greatest need is at night. Managing that requires the same amount of heat, but you need to store it at a higher temperature during the day and release it at night. That means you can't use the huge amount of water in the fish tank as the thermal mass...unless you like your fish well done.
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On 10/10/2015 11:30 PM, mike wrote:

Do you think the water would hold temps better if the pumps were turned off at night? The bubblers have to stay on to oxygenate the water, though.
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The water heater idea sounds like something worth pursuing. Would there be an easy way to cover the tanks during the night? Truckers use tarps to cover loads. Some are more or less automatic. Some folks here have pools. Would a pool cover help?
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On 10/9/2015 5:58 PM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

We can use tarps to cover the tanks, but we also have to keep the plants healthy, too, and the ambient air temps can't drop too low.
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Maggie

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On 10/9/2015 12:26 PM, Muggles wrote:

Doubt it. The common heat tapes are designed to keep water (barely) over the freezing temp. I'd expect them to work well below the 60F you want.
With this much water, I'd check with pet stores and see what they think. Propane is usually cheaper than electric as a fuel source.
Perhaps a propane residential water heater, and tempering valve?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 10/10/2015 11:42 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Would a water heater like that end up costing more in powering it?
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On 10/10/2015 2:12 PM, Muggles wrote:

My experience with heat, is that propane is cheaper than electric. In any, or, whatever form.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 10/10/2015 3:43 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

ok thanks for the info.
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On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 2:12:42 PM UTC-4, Muggles wrote:

Round in circles we go, with no definition of the actual problem. Cost more in power than what?
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On 10/11/2015 7:36 AM, trader_4 wrote:

But, dear, you NEVER tell me ANYTHING!
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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Muggles posted for all of us...

I don't think the pvc pipe would be a good conductor of the heat given off by the tape. Perhaps heater in the fish tank would be best.
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Tekkie

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