Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:45 am

...we all experience winter and cold weather and therefore we gather at this forum to gain information, help others, laugh, not laugh, and most important to save money! :D
I am interested in solar assist any way possible ( within financial capability of course) and would like to start a thread where we can contribute all our solar uses and save even more!
So.. show us what you got! Please and thank you. Mike.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:08 am

I've got a solar clothes dryer. The line runs up high in a tree and will hold three loads of laundry. 8-)
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coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:46 am

That's awesome, I have heard of such technology,but have never witnessed :lol: Did you say it holds tree loads of laundry...I kill me!
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace


Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:54 am

michaelanthony wrote:That's awesome, I have heard of such technology,but have never witnessed :lol: Did you say it holds tree loads of laundry...I kill me!


You probably have never witnessed the technology because you're in Maine. :lol: It doesn't work so well when there's 108% humidity and it's 43 degrees. Let alone when it's not summer...

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: blrman07 On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:57 am

At my last house I put up two banks of 30 evac tube solar collectors for heating water. I installed a wall mounted toe kick heater in the living room as a closed loop system separate from our hot water heating system. I designed and installed everything myself to save money. It supplemented the heat for the home which was hot water heating supplied by a coal fired boiler. The coal yard was 4 miles away.

I spent over $6,000 and maybe saved a bucket of coal a week during the heating season. Rice coal at the time was selling for $150 a ton. A bucket is about 35 pounds. That makes it about $.075 per pound. I saved about $2.62 per week or $136 a year. At that rate my break even point was 44 years. I thought it was going to provide more heat than it did. I had a lot of heat loss and upgraded to super thick closed cell insulation for all the piping. That was an additional $600. The efficiency went up just as advertised.

In order to speed this up the break even point a bit I re-piped and installed a 30 gallon electric water heater that I pulled the elements out of and used only the tank. I reconfigured the piping and installed a heat exchanger so I could generate all our DHW in the spring, summer, and fall, and supplement our heat in the winter. I had already calculated that I burned $35 a week in rice coal to heat DHW during the spring, summer, and fall. I made hot water with solar for DHW about 6 months of the year and shut down the coal fired boiler.
That works out to an additional $210 a year. Add that to the $136 a year and I was saving $346 a year. That moved my break even point to 17 years. Maybe your numbers would be a bit different but you will still have a long break even point.

I was 59 years old when I did this which means I wasn't going to even break even until I was 76 years old. I sold the house and the solar went with it.

We bought a smaller three bedroom that we heat with an older Econoline 1 coal stove and we heat our hot water with a bucket a day coal fired water heater that we fire up only when we want hot water.

If you live in the NE USA it is nice to have but not as efficient as you think it will be. Now if your west of the Mississippi river that's a whole different ball gave. My rig would have heated the entire house, all the hot water we could desire and we would have to have dump zone.

I tried it, it worked, but the payback line was going to be too long. I tied up a bunch of money that I didn't recover when we sold the house at a loss.

Rev. Larry
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, reblacking a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: blrman07 On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:48 am

Correction.....I burned about $35 a month in rice coal NOT $35 a week.

Rev. Larry
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, reblacking a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:02 pm

..Thanks Rev. Larry, that is the experience I'm looking for. Hopefully some more folks will chime in with their set up and enlighten me.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:41 pm

Not solar, but a money saver.... I see some places are selling the GE Geospring hybrid electric water heaters for $200 after rebates. That's a no brainer!
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 uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:52 pm

coalkirk wrote:I've got a solar clothes dryer. The line runs up high in a tree and will hold three loads of laundry. 8-)
solar clothes dryer.jpg


Solar and wind powered, I assume?? :lol:
Oh wait, solar, wind AND man powered, or uh, women powered if you like :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:25 pm

Here's the extent of my solar experience... You've probably seen these before. These black strips are 20 feet long. One is 4 feet wide, there other two are 2 feet wide.. They have tiny tubes that water flows thru. My pool pump has a diverter valve so when the sun is pounding on it, I can send water out to the solar palnels. The water that returns is around 10 degrees warmer in direct sunlight at a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. These are measured numbers, not guesses...

That's 600 gallons raised 10 degrees in one hour.

Since the British Thermal Unit, BTU, equals the amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Farenheit then you would need 8 BTU's to raise one gallon one degree as one gallon is the equivalent of eight pounds of water.

8 btu per gallon per degree
8 btu x 600 gallons x 10 degrees = 48,000 btus per hour

That's a FREE 48,000 btu's per hour of solar heating!!! Not bad in my book 8-)

Helps heat my pool quite nicely. One summer it hit 94 degrees.. Yes the pool did :lol:

SO - what I would like to do is use this to more advantage. I've thought about putting one on my roof to preheat my temper tank (that I use in the winter for coal).. If successful, I would cut electric for DHW by $30 a month for 5 months for savings of $150 for that year. Total investment around $300 So payback on this is around 2 years... Hot dam lol time to get busy, next year 8-)
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Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:37 pm

x2 on the solar pool heaters. I have two 4x20 ones like in the pic above. Between those and the solar cover the pool normally is around 18 deg warmer than the average air temp of the preceding few days. I may have to add some coal-fired btu's to keep the pool open in October, but solar power has offset the cool air this summer pretty effectively.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: WNY On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:28 am

I put in a couple of 230Watt panels (temporary setup as shown) at my sisters summer home, its completely off grid, 690aHr battery bank. I have 4 more panels (255watt ea) to install in the spring. It's a 24Vdc system feeding 2 x 2000 inverters for 220VAC. It works pretty well. Currently, Its keeping the battery bank charged nicely. There is no load when no one is there, but we stay on the weekends and stuff in the summer.

The Charge Controller is an OutBack FM60 MPPT. it can actually convert the higher voltage down for more current to the battery bank if needed as shown, I have the 2 panels wired in Series (about 35vdc each x 2 = 70 Vdc @ 7.5-8amps).

it does have a 5K generator backup if needed.
Now that I've learned about setting up this system, I may put a small system at my house for backup and running small loads in the evening (Laptop, tv, a few lights).
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WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: mmcoal On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:21 pm

One day I want to experiment with a solar hot air collector to help supplement my heat during the morning when I get a lot of sun hitting the front of my house. Out of all the solar ideas I feel this would offer me the best return in my situation.
mmcoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: nut

Re: Solar uses, products, and possibilities.

PostBy: WNY On: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:44 pm

I built a solar hot air collector and it worked well, it was small, an old used single pane window and some downspout material, it was putting out about 163+ degrees into my garage. I plumbed it thru a window as a experiment. I put a small blower with a heat snap switch and it would kick on at 140? I think.
Now that I know it works, I'll make a bigger one.

Here is similar design and what I want to build

http://www.n3fjp.com/solar/solarhotair.htm
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon