Solar for Domestic Heating in a House... Ouch!

Re: Solar for Heat... Ouch!

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:00 am

Josh H wrote:I think if they took the total pollution genereted in the panels, batteries,


That was one concern I read about gasoline vs battery lawnmower. The battery one had less pollution and they were considering the power source however the lead batteries in their estimate was of greater concern than the emissions.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite


Re: Solar for Heat... Ouch!

PostBy: Freddy On: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:15 pm

I sum it up this way: Solar power.... make hot air, OK idea. Make domestic hot water, pretty good idea. Make electricity, dumb idea.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Solar for Heat... Ouch!

PostBy: samhill On: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:29 pm

I think its pretty much the same rule of thumb as realestate, location-location-location.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Solar for Heat... Ouch!

PostBy: Cheetah On: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:23 pm

Freddy wrote:I sum it up this way: Solar power.... make hot air, OK idea. Make domestic hot water, pretty good idea. Make electricity, dumb idea.


If I was going to try to heat with solar I would go with evacuated tube collectors like they use for DHW. The vacume tubes allow them to produce 180* hot water even on a -20* day. Radiant floor heating works with 120* water as opposed to 180* for baseboard hot water. Put a 1500 gallon water tank down cellar and heat it to 180 degrees during the day. That's 12,000 lbs of water. It would give off 12,000 x 60 = 720,000 BTU when cooling from 180 to 120. That is equivelent to 5 gallons of oil which is enough to heat my house on an average winter day. A 20 tube collector is supposed to provide 40,000 BTU per day, so I would need 720/40=18 collectors to heat the water at $1000 per collector. By the time everything was installed I would be looking at around $30,000.

I would still need to keep my current heating system in place to cover cloudy days or extreamly cold weather. It would still cost something to run the circulator pumps. Assuming it saved 600 gallons of oil a year it would pay for itself in about 30 years if oil prices stay the same. Of course in the real world oil prices are going to go up, as will other energy costs, so the payback time will be less. But even with rising energy costs I don't see that system paying for itself in what's left of my life time.

For someone younger with a long future of rising energy costs to look forward to it would be worth considering, especially as the costs for building a system decline. Up till now the tubes have been pricey but that is changing. Might be worth it to go with a smaller system that could cover all heating till it got down to 30* and then just suplimented my coal heat below that temp. That would allow me to fully utilize my investment over a larger portion of the year.

I know there is no love lost between us folks that are just trying to get by and the save the world greentards, but there is nothing wrong with saving resources if it saves you money too. I drive a Prius, not because it's going to save the world, but because 50 mpg saves me money. It also does ok hauling coal :)

Bruce
Cheetah
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713

Re: Solar for Heat... Ouch!

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:24 pm

The vacuum tube collectors are nice. I've looked into them a bit. There's some controversy though. The flat panel people will tell you that at the end of the year a flat panel will produce just as many BTUs and do it much cheaper. They claim the heat loss of the flat panels keeps the snow off them. They say the tubes collect snow under certain conditions and either you manually remove the snow, or wait until nature does it. The tube people say hogwash. I'd like to see two identical BTU systems side by side & see how they actually do.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Solar for Heat... Ouch!

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:24 pm

A divorced buddy of mine lived on his sailboat for about 5 years. He heated it with solar. He sailed it to Florida every fall and stayed there until Spring. Worked great.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal


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