09 June 2008

Getting into hot water

 Evacuated tubes on garage roofWhile I was away the solar hot water system was installed back at home. Here is the array of evacuated tubes, perfectly placed to get the most of the sun hitting the garage roof. The tubes' heat is transferred to pipes containing a glycol/water mixture (so they don't freeze in the winter), which is then transported to the basement.

Basement hot water setupDown in the basement there is a new hot-water tank which is warmed by the pipe containing the solar-heated glycol mixture. This then feeds the old electrically-heated tank with pre-warmed water. The old tank had two heating elements inside it and one of those has now been turned off. An LCD display on the new tank reports the temperature at three different places in the new system. We'll be monitoring our electricity usage to see how much we save by pre-heating the water.

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