a small solar heater setup???

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Countrybumpkin, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    NW OHIO
    I was looking at those solar pool heaters, and it got me wondering if I could put one of those on the roof, run it through an A coil in my ductwork, and make enough heat to use in the house during the spring and fall...and maybe put a little antifreeze in it so it wouldn't freeze at night...any good/bad ideas with this? i'm sure one of y'all have tried this at one point or another...thanks!!
     
  2. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NW OHIO
    You mean I'm the only one who has thought about this??
     

  3. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    Canada - Zone 5
    I've thought about it using the pool heater to heat my house but not the antifreeze. I still think it would work but someone at work who uses the pool heater says it won't. I'm still researching it.
     
  4. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Montana
    Hi,

    It depends a lot on what your winter temperatures are like.

    The efficiency of the unglazed pool collectors is excellent during the summer when the air is warm, and the water its heating is cool pool water. The collector temperature is often lower than the outside air temperature, and the heat loss is near zero -- low losses = high efficiency.

    In the winter its a different story. Air temp is colder and the temp you need for house heating is warmer. Collector temperatures are high -- air temperatures are low. This results in high heat loss from the collector and low efficiency. Solar space heating collectors are glazed to reduce this heat loss.
    If you live in a mild climate, it might work to some extent. If you live in a cold climate, you could think about adding a layer of glazing over the panels in the winter -- this could be (for example) the corrugated polycarbonate glazing that Home Depot sells for $1 per sqft. This will void most pool collector warantys -- you would also need an easy way to remove the glazing in the summer, because the pool panels would not take the temperatures under glazing.

    You can get an idea of how well this would work for your area by looking at the collector performance reports on the SRCC site. Find a pool collector, and see what its output is for the temperature difference that you would usually have during the winter.
    For example:
    A Solar Tech ST-300 poly tube collector
    gives 1700 BTU/ft^2 per day when air temp is 9F hotter than collector temp
    falls to 200 BTU/ft^2 per day when air temp is 36F cooler than collector
    falls to 0 BTU/ft^2 per day when air temp is 90F cooler than collector

    This does not look very promising to me unless you can get some glazing over the panels.

    SRCC site:
    http://www.solar-rating.org/RATINGS/RATINGS.HTM

    Gary