Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by ngzcaz, Nov 16, 2008.
Funny, I authored a detailed reply to John D two days ago and it hasn't shown up yet. Did the reply fail being submitted for some reason, or does it sometimes take several days for it to be posted?
John D, This is the website I found with the plans for making the solar panels:
The $1000 Solar Water Heating System
I opted to build the copper tube with aluminum fin version since I am using it with the OWB and figured it likely would see some fairly high temperatures at times. This is where I ordered the preformed aluminum fins:
Aluminum Solar Absorbers - U.P. Solar Solutions
The panels are set up in a drain back configuration. I installed a vacuum breaker valve on the return line. It is located in a vertical run off a T in the return line in the OWB cabinet. The valve is about 1 foot above the tank water level. The temperature in the OWB cabinet stays way above freezing at all times so there is no issue of the valve freezing up and causing a problem. I also installed a custom made open cell foam filter on the valve to prevent bugs and dirt from getting in it and preventing a good seal.
Since the panels are on a slope and are different distances from the pump I made an orifice plate to install on the outlet of each panel to independently control and balance the flow through each one. The orifice should allow approximately 3 gal/min to flow through each panel.
The differential controller I chose is the Steca TR 0301 U. It controls the pump (the one that came with the furnace and was intended for use with the DHW system) and circulates the tank water through the solar panels.
I plumbed the HX in the OWB as a preheat of the cold water line going into the DHW tank. This required the addition of a tempering valve on the outlet of the DHW since it is likely that the hot water coming from the HX will exceed 140 degrees at times. The tempering valve is set at 120 degrees output temperature. This configuration also allows me to take advantage of at least a little heat input in the summer when it has been cloudy for several days and the OWB tank is not hot enough to carry the full DHW load. While burning wood and holding the tank temperatue at 160 degrees I am seeing the cold water going to the HX at 57 degrees and the return water from the HX at 132 degrees while the shower is in use. These temps are measured with an IR thermometer on the body of the brass isolation valves at the DHW. The hot water temp is 121 degrees as measured with a digital thermometer at the kitchen sink. With this configuration I have the DHW electric heaters turned off while buring wood and never run out of hot water. During the summer the electric heaters are turned on and are set at 115 to make up for when the demand exceeds the available solar input.
Just today around noon I was out cleaning the ashes out of the OWB and the clouds cleared. I took a look at the solar panel temperature. The outside temp was 22 degrees at the time and there is snow on the ground. The snow had melted off the panels a couple days ago when the sun was out. Within 10 minutes of the sun coming out the panels were up to 168 degrees and the pump kicked on. The lower tank temperature was 152 degrees and the diff controller comes on when the panel is 16 degrees warmer than the lower tank temp. I turned the pump off and let it drain back to see how warm the panels would get. In about five minutes it had climbed to 180 degrees and was still climbing when I had to move on to other tasks and turned the pump back on.
When I get started on building the third panel in the spring I will try to get a build thread going so others can see how it is done.
Thank you! I like your setup.I will look into the panels,Im interested especially for summer use to avoid using heating oil,and keep the outdoor wod boiler off until october.I just looked at the system,and the only issue I have is I do not have room for a storage tank....so im not sure I could build this setup,as its essential for it to perform properly.
The neat thing about this setup is that the OWB is the heat storage tank. There is no need to build a separate tank. With the HX set up as the preheat for the cold water supply to the DHW there is no difference in how the hot water system works with wood heat or with solar. Just keep in mind that the Shaver will need much better insulation than it comes with from the factory to make it efficient with the solar panels. You can also do as I did and build extra panels to make up for some of the lack of insulation in the OWB. I also add 1 inch styrofoam panels in both door openings and the chimney when there is no fire burning as well as the 1 inch foam box that covers the doors and seals to the front of the OWB.
I'm using the "Made for NASA" stuff that Shaver sells for water treatment. They now want over $300.00 for five gallons. I didn't pay nearly that much for mine but I will need to add to it some day. Anyone know what it is and/or a less expensive source for it?
Also, has anyone installed anodes in your Shaver? Any thoughts on the subject?
First two years I used the Shaver recommended product, this year I bought the $ 30 gallon of additive sold by a CB dealer. Had to buy a separate test kit for about $ 10 bucks but it does several tests. Anodes seem like such a no brainer of an idea I can't believe I haven't seen posts about it. Take the stupid cover off the back where the copper coil is supposed to be located, drill a couple of holes, make something so they don't drop all the way down etc.. That should take care of the acid, you just need something for the nitrates and that should do it. From what I recall there was little discussion on this topic.
just curious, what, if any spare parts do you keep on hand for that time when something fails. for me i depend on my shaver a good bit, so stocking a spare pump,blower,and a spare ranco theromostat gives me some piece of mind. in my area none of this is stocked in stores so it will have to be ordered an takes several days,an i don't like running the electric furnace.
I am in my second year with my Shaver. At this time I just have a spare draft blower. My solar panels are pumped with the same model pump as the house heating loop, so I can swap pumps if I need to. I am also fortune to be able to purchase a suitable replacement pump locally within a day or two. If my digital controller goes out I can swap back in the old water heater thermostat that came with it until I can get a replacement for the digital unit. Running the electric furnace is an absolute last resort if all else fails.
I keep a spare 3 speed grundfos pump,it will work in place of every circ I have in the house,or on the OWB.Also keep a spare solenoid for the blower,and have the stock tstat on the OWB if the Ranco fails.....Im amazed at the number of people who live in areas where it gets down to -20 and they have one heat source,and either no clue how to diagnose/repair it,or no back up heat....I love having the wood with oil backup,spare circs,controllers,and multiple generators to run it all in a pinch..
My house came with electric baseboard .I installed forced air propane,freestanding wood stove in basement, Two kerosene heaters,propane torpedo heater and the Shaver 290. Guys at work say only a redneck would have so many heating sources . Lol.
I sell for Shaver so I have spare parts. Nice thing about them is you don't need much to use them.
I keep a spare blower, T-stat ( Aquastat ) in case the Ranco goes bad ( it doesn't read correctly ) A couple extra pumps because I use 5. I bought a bottle of anti-corrosion off of e-bay and they messed up and sent me 12. I'm set.
replacing door seal on the shaver
has anyone replaced the door seal on the shaver with the rope type or is the silcone a better seal.
I've heard of some guys switching to rope .They were having problems with the glue that holds the rope breaking down . I think using silicone to hold the rope in place works good.
I just drilled and tapped the bracket and used a 3/8 bolt with a head off a 3/4 bolt welded on the backside to allow adjustment of the door seal.
I think no matter what you use this needs done .
I too did the Adjustable bolt trick last year. I think I will re-silicone for next season and see what happens.
Question, It's getting close ( in MN. ) to the end of OWB season. I have drained my stove (s ) the last 2 summers for various changes and works. Now I am good to go with Corrosion inhibitor installed and have used very little water this year due to some great info gathered here. Do we drain or do we not drain for the summer season.??
Dont drain. Why waste the treatment ? Just open the bottom drain every so often to blow out the sediment.
If you used the treatment from shaver that lasts five years, I wouldn't even consider draining it. I can just picture the bare metal starting to rust as the water runs out. A couple mods I will be doing this summer: Installing a well for the ranco - hanging the probe directly in the water is a bad idea, (thanks shaver!) Probe failure in mid Feb. :msp_angry:I'm also extending the stack further into the fire box, or building some sort of baffle, havn't decided yet. Looking forward to start cutting wood for next year
I made a well by installing a T in the pex below my pump. My Ranco does not read correctly so I am unsure if it is the well or the Ranco.
Yes I would like to see how you wired that so I can do the same. Thanks
Could you please send m ethe wiring diagram?
That would be a great help- thanks
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