Question Re: Our Solar Water Heaing System
Home Energy Savings - Pleases Your Pockets And The Earth

Question Re: Our Solar Water Heaing System

by Liz
(North Carolina)

We have a 12-year-old roof panel solar water heating system, heating our floor with pex tubing, (also passive solar southern windows), in North Carolina where it freezes but is usually also sunny. We have gas tankless backup heat, which runs a lot, in fact too much.

Our problem is: Our "storage" tank is a huge old-style water heater. We're paying to keep this water heated even in the dark (non-solar) night. But if we want to switch to an on-demand water heater, to eliminate the waste of that big old water storage/heater, we lose the ability to store the solar-heated water.

How do we get max efficiency in storage vs. back-up? Any suggestions out there?

Comments for Question Re: Our Solar Water Heaing System

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 17, 2010
Thanks For Your Contribution Liz
by: Site Administrator

If I understand correctly your passive solar water heating system is equipped with either a roof mounted collector panel or a batch tank, and since much of if not all of North Carolina is fairly seasonal, there are chunks of the calendar year where the gas powered tankless whole house water heater serves as the site's primary system.

If this is the case it may be more efficient annually to retro fit the solar collector and/or batch to a non powered (but well insulated) storage tank, which in return can be plumbed to either a powered storage tank or a thermostatic tankless water heater. Often times such non powered storage tanks (retro fitted indoors) are referred to as "buffer" tanks.

The benefit of a buffer tank is that even during colder winter months (provided the site has sufficient solar resource) the indoor, non powered buffer tank can serve as a temperature booster for either a powered tankless or powered storage tank, provided the systems are all plumbed properly and in series.

It's worth noting that not all suggestions are ideal for every application. Careful planning and considerations should be made. With that said, I hope my thoughts spark your energy savings minded ambitions.

Thanks for your contribution Liz. Oh and would you have any pics of the roof mount and/or storage tank to better assist my (and our readers) thoughts on the matter?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Energy Saving Poll And Discussion.

Home Energy Savings - Pleases Your Pockets And The Earth

Copyright | All rights reserved.
Atlanta, Georgia | Powered by Site Build It!
Website design by Cre8ve online