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re: best starting method
1 oct 2005
n.l.junkie  wrote:

>your original question was asking what is the simplest and least expensive
>way to to get in to solar.  since the responses seemed geared towards
>conservation of your existing power my assumption is...there must not be a
>simple and cheap method...

au contraire. you might make an air heater with an inexpensive sunspace or
polycarbonate "solar shingles" over a south house wall for space heating
with a 1-2 year payback.

or supply close to 100% of the hot water needs for a family of 4 all year
with a simple solar pond water heater like this, with a 4'x8' polyethylene-
lined tank under a greenhouse with 6'x8' of 6 mil pe or 4'x12' of 0.020"
flat polycarbonate film for the south wall and 6 mil pe for the north, with
whitewash or reflective mylar under the north. the south wall might have
a 6' slant height. the north might be roughly parabolic, like this:

      .           -
     .   .
  6'.      .
   .  |      .    h
  .           .
 .    |        .
.................. -
|  d            |
|               | 3'
|               |
-------------------
        4'
 ---------------
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |  8'
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
|               |
 ---------------

10 data 60,1020,1160,100,2410,440
15 w=4'box width (feet)
20 d=30.45001#/12'south wall to ridge distance (feet)
30 h=sqr(6^2-d^2)'ridge height above water level (feet)
40 print d,h
50 for case = 1 to 2'january and july in phoenix
60 read td,hsun,ssun'daytime temp (f), horiz and south sun (btu/ft^2-day)
70 ein=.9^3*d*hsun'direct sun from above (btu/wft^2-day)
80 ein=ein+.9^4*h*ssun'add reflected sun (btu/wft^2-day)
90 sunhours=6*case'solar collection hours
100 eout=sunhours*(140-td)*w/2'daily heat loss from top (btu/wft^2-day)
110 dhwheat=8*(ein-eout)'daily hot water production (btu)
120 db=3'depth of box (feet)
140 qb=db*w*8*62.33*(140-110)'heat stored on average day (btu)
150 rb=20'r-value of db'xw'x8' box
160 ab=2*(w+8)*db+2*w*8'box area (ft^2)
170 gb=ab/rb'box thermal conductance (btu/h-f)
180 lb=24*(125-td)*gb'box heat loss on cloudy day (btu)
190 dhwl=30000'dhw load (btu/day)
200 nd=qb/(lb+dhwl)'cloudy day storage (days)
210 print case,dhwheat,lb,nd
220 next

d             h

2.537501      5.437011 feet

	      daily         daily         numbe of
month         output        loss          cloudy days

january       40518.5 btu   10608 btu     4.420568
july          40541.5       4080          5.267324

during the day, a $5 10 watt fountain pump would move tank water over
a 4'x8' layer of epdm rubber over a 2" horizontal polyiso board cover,
and the water would drain back at night. cold pressurized house water
would enter a $60 1"x300' coil of pe pipe under the cover and emerge to
enter the cold input of a conventional water heater inside the house,
which would do nothing most of the year. the materials cost would likely
be less than $300. see more details at http://builditsolar.com.

nick




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