Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.07

Last year I built prototype solar panels and summarized the preliminary data gathered in some test runs (see this project’s archive here). Yesterday I provided the plans and schematics for this build. Today I’m going into some of the nitty gritty installation details. Burying the Supply and Return Lines The supply lines are buried 2 … More Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.07

Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 1 — Lab Note 1.06

Last year I built prototype solar panels and summarized the preliminary data gathered in some test runs (see this project’s archive here). Here I will outline the plans drawn up to get a building permit from our local municipality. Schematic Plans These show the basic operation of the system. It is a schematic and not … More Installing Solar Hot Water Panels, Part 1 — Lab Note 1.06

Panel Analyses, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.05

Monday I summarized the preliminary data gathered from the solar panel prototypes (see Part 1 here). In this note, I will look at each panel and discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and performance. Manifold Collector In the manifold collector, water enters the bottom and is distributed into risers connected to a sheet of metal. This collector … More Panel Analyses, Part 2 — Lab Note 1.05

Workshops: DIY Solar Water Heating, Jul. 29/Aug. 12, Free/$10

This year our major research project is a DIY solar water heating system that will provide both domestic hot water and space heating. As these two activities account for the majority of domestic energy use, they are low-hanging fruit for cutting our use of fossil fuels. We will be building and experimenting with approachable solar … More Workshops: DIY Solar Water Heating, Jul. 29/Aug. 12, Free/$10

Links Worth Following — Google’s Project Sunroof

Knowing your solar resources are one of the first steps to considering what you can do with all that great free energy. I’ve talked about this in relation to a solar water heater in a previous post on regional and local solar resources, but Google has used their extensive mapping data to estimate the solar … More Links Worth Following — Google’s Project Sunroof

Solar Collector Designs to be Tested

Since we are committed to creating human-scale, DIY solutions, we will be experimenting with three models of collectors that are straightforward enough to be built in one’s own home. Yesterday we introduced the five different types of conventional solar collectors. We also live in an area that experiences deep freezes and therefore we cannot test … More Solar Collector Designs to be Tested