Solar HW: Comments?
I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this questions, but...
We live in central Virginia and have 3200 sqft house (well insulated). We already heat with hydronic radiant heat and with propane as the power source. We want to add solar HW to the system to help with winter heating and DHW, especially in light of the tax credits, the skyrocketing cost of propane and other tangibles and intangibles.
Anyway, we have gotten a quote for a system. I am pasting the text below of the system:
The solar system provides active solar hydronic heat collection and storage using American Energy Technology 4Â x 10Â solar panels with black crystal coating, and a drainback heat storage tank with DHW heat coils. The system uses a drainback design to eliminate potential for overheating, freezing and nighttime losses. The heat storage module is an unpressurized, polyethylene tank with copper coils for the domestic hot water and integrates with the radiant system. The price includes 5 AET panels with flush mounting hardware for direct mounting to the roof and solarsil flexible couplings, the Delta T control, the storage tank, bronze solar pump. and tubing & insulation from the roof to the mechanical room. The panels are planned to be flush mounted to the garage roof. Included is a 1 Â½ton heat pump to raise the solar supply temps to make optimal use of solar panels in the heating season.
Cost: $11,000 (NOT INCLUDING LABOR)
Now some questions:
1) General thoughts on this system?
2) Are 5 4x10 panels enough? Too much?
3)What about the heat pump? Seems like overkill to me, though our water is from a well and pretty cold.
4) Is the cost reasonable for this system?
5) Is a simpler solution practical?