Heating with thermal solar

wolfgangjonnySeptember 28, 2004

Any opinions on a glycol system vs. a drain-back for thermal solar? What are the major pros & cons of each? I'm considering one of these two applications because we do get the rare occasional hard freeze. This will be used for heating radiant floors and DHW with boiler back-up in N. California.

If nothing here, anyone know of a good solar hot water forum or message boards?


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Can't suggest anything specifically; but for long-term reliability passive thermo-siphon can't be beat for simplicity and having only a single moving part. You can make all kinds of fancy stuff with all kinds of controls and valves and pumps etc . . . . just more stuff to go wrong. I've looked at some various systems; they seem so overly complicated and yet don't seem to offer anything additional over very simple systems . . .

There was a collector called the Copper Cricket years ago that seemed so outstanding to me. Used an alcohol mix in a system which you pulled a small vacuum on . . . makes the mix boil at a lower temp. Phase change takes more heat than just heating the liquid. Anyway; it also is an "anti-freeze" which requires NO draining. Self-regulates as well; can be used way up north where it gets cold. One and only one "moving" part . . .. a one-way check valve to run the entire system. If you are interested e-mail me; I can send you a copy of the brochure that I have; it's old but the principles have not changed and it gives you some insight of how effective yet simple a good design can be . . . easily adaptable to DHW or radiant heat. Am considering building my own version of one as I too have radiant heat . . . good luck . . .


    Bookmark   September 28, 2004 at 6:50PM
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