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Thread: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

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    billjoat's Avatar
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    Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    I built my solar heater 5 years ago. Works pretty good. I want to add a hot water line from my current heater to a double-barrel wood stove and back to the heater. The power for all this is the pump for the pool. My question is I'm not sure where to bring the line from.
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    Last edited by billjoat; 01-31-2016 at 08:45 AM. Reason: want to delete to attach smaller pics
    34x18, AG, deck surround, sand filter, Mainly chlorine floater, + 2 Border Collie's swim year round.

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    billjoat's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    Whole solar pool heating system. I apologize for the poor looks of it but it still works GREAT. Planning on some modifications to it this summer. Here's a pic:1 solar array.jpg
    34x18, AG, deck surround, sand filter, Mainly chlorine floater, + 2 Border Collie's swim year round.

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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    Panels are 40" square with 50' of poly in each coil. The whole system is pumped via the pool pump with a manual valve shown earlier. Plywood centers are beginning to show age and will probably be replaced this summer with 75% of materials placed upon the shed. Shed is 33' long and I'll probably have 6 larger coils to use the whole half top. I feel as though I'll increase the flow and have warmer water hopefully due to having reflective heat as I will have no center structure. Aldo from a take off on the bottom left, with manual valves also, I'll put an outake for directing water to the double barrel heater in my shop for some extra early year heat. Current water temp on 2/2/16 is 64 degrees. Went swimming yesterday after a 200 mile Harley ride on a 1/2 day off from work. Rather brisk but stayed in for 15 minutes.
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    maybe use stainless steel flex tube?
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    I would heat through solar first and wood stove second and then back to the pool. I am wood stove burner and there are people on wood stove forums who mount copper coils on their stoves to make hot water for domestic hot water and/or for radiant heat in floors, etc.
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I would heat through solar first and wood stove second and then back to the pool. I am wood stove burner and there are people on wood stove forums who mount copper coils on their stoves to make hot water for domestic hot water and/or for radiant heat in floors, etc.
    This was my first thought as well. On the move to the top of the shed. Do you think the 6 larger coils on the roof with the metal of it providing a hotter surface to reflect from with do better or worse than the current set-up?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wanting to do something along this line but with MUCH more copper.coils on barrel.jpg
    34x18, AG, deck surround, sand filter, Mainly chlorine floater, + 2 Border Collie's swim year round.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    That's a pretty good start with the copper line around the stove. If that roof is hot in the sun then it will be better.
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    That's a pretty good start with the copper line around the stove. If that roof is hot in the sun then it will be better.
    The roof faces almost due south. I'm really hoping that by having only six coils; at probably 100' per coil, on top of the roof will give me more heat that 16 coils at 50' each on the ground. Plus I'll make the plumbing 2" instead of 1-1/4". More stratigically placed valves to isolate and drain the set when it get below freezing for an extended period. Or I can use the pool as a heat source and run it to keep the solar panels warm. Plus I'll have a valved take-off for the barrel heater when I'm in the shop at nights and on the weekends.
    34x18, AG, deck surround, sand filter, Mainly chlorine floater, + 2 Border Collie's swim year round.

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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    It appears to me that the copper in the picture, which isn't mine btw, is 1/2" copper. Would this be better wrapped around more like 85% of the barrel or would 2 1/4" lines from a manifold set-up so as to keep the quantity of the flow the same as the 1/2".
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    Not sure on that. Although, that is how commercial solar panels are designed, lots of small tubes feeding to and from a larger manifold pipe/header.
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    Re: Homemade solar heating system..........upgrade??

    I don't want to make this too complicated but you'd need three 1/4" tubes to almost equal the flow of the 1/2" tube. It would heat better because there would be more surface area.
    If you go with 2" to the solar collector you might want to bypass some of that from the wood fired heater as that would be a lot of copper to keep the flow up. Think of all the 1/2 pipes you could get into a 2" pipe and then there is the space between the 1/2 pipes.
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