Paul's New Storage Tank


Paul replaced the old solar heated water storage tank in his system with a new tank and tied this into both his domestic water heating and floor space heating systems as described in the note below from Paul.




From Paul:


Here's a few photos to update the solar water system tank and some detail on a nice volt/amp meter I made for the solar electric system.

The new tank is only 80 gallons compared to the previous 150 gal. But because of the superior design it's been providing us with more hot water. The 6 collectors can heat the smaller tank faster. One full sun day can increase the tank temp from 75F to 150F by 3 in the afternoon. If the weather stays sunny I cover two of the panels.

The system tops out at about 165F. If it hits this temp by 1pm the pump turns off even though there is still lots of sun left. I don't have a limit function on my controller, the panels have their own natural limit.

Another very good thing about the tank-  because of it's shape, about 6 feet tall, the hottest water always rises to the  top giving us the hottest water in the tank for use because the output is right on the top. Sometimes the input fitting on the bottom is 60F (the well water is about 52F) and the top outlet fitting is 100F.

 Since the tank has two heat exchanger coils the oil furnace can heat things up if needed. If I run the solar circulator and the other pump to the furnace at the same time the heat will transfer from the panels to the tank to the furnace then into the in-floor heating. So besides giving domestic water it also will heat the basement floor.
As for the digital panel meters:
I was getting tired of running down the basement to check my old analog panel meters so I built these meters in one case and put them in my living room on the wall. They were purchased from Ebay for $12 each. They show current from the panels to charge the batteries, the battery voltage, and the current coming out of the batteries powering various loads in the house. It took a lot of work but works and looks great.



Click on pictures to see larger version

The new tank and plumbing to the boiler
and collectors.


Another view of the new tank and
connections to the boiler.

Paul's old tank is visible here behind
the new tank -- it was made from an
old oil storage tank.


Thanks very much to Paul for providing this update!


Paul's whole system is described here ...




Gary August 31, 2008