Solar system for a new house

Solar Domestic Hot Water and Solar hot water heating for homes and pools
Mail Bag
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:59 pm

Solar system for a new house

Postby Mail Bag » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:53 pm

My wife and I are planning on building a new home on a property we have purchased. We are in discussions with builders and have pretty well settled upon a 1200 sq ft plan, that is very well insulated and will rely heavily on passive solar heating, with a sun room and other windows on the southern exposure.

We are still researching heating systems. We are definitely interested in solar hot water heating (just the two of us in the household for domestic requirements). What costs would we be looking at for in floor heating? Can it be installed under hardwood flooring? Any sites that we could look at that would give further details about your product?



Conundrum
Site Admin
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: Solar system for a new house

Postby Conundrum » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:54 pm

Hi,

First off, the way solar hot water systems are normally sized, the size of the array is determined as 10 tubes per person. This allows the system to be large enough to produce all of your hot water in the summer, and a large portion in the winter. For a 2 person household, we sell the kit for $3800. This does not include pipe, or glycol because these items vary by house size and tank placement. We do, however, sell the pipe cheaper than it wholesales for locally, with typical runs being in the $550 range including insulation and sensor wire.

The above being said, we typically have problems with building a hot water system large enough to supply home heating demands. The reason for this is because if the system is large enough to provide heat for your home in the winter, the summer months will pose a problem of dumping the excess heat. During the summer months the system would continue to produce enough energy to heat your home, as well as a large percentage more than you require. At this point you would need to bleed off this heat somewhere. The logical choice, if you have one, would be a swimming pool. To do this, the water from the pool would be routed through a heat exchanger in the domestic hot water tank in much the same way that the in-floor heating system would be. You would need to manually change the valves twice per year. If you don't plan on using a pool there are other options we could look at, but it is by far the best way to dispose of the excess heat.

As for in-floor heating, we don't install it. We can connect to something that your contractor installs, but if the work is being done in Moncton I would ensure that the contractor properly insulates under the slab. We have found a number of poorly made floors, one that we couldn't even run the glycol through because it was not poured properly. It seems to be mainly a Moncton problem, but something to be cautious of in any case.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance. We also handle off-grid products and LED lighting for your reference.

-Brooke

Mail Bag
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:59 pm

Re: Solar system for a new house

Postby Mail Bag » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:54 pm

Thanks for the info!

GT

Trigue
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:40 pm

Solar system for a new house

Postby Trigue » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:02 am

Thanks for posting the link, my husband and I will try to browse and see what it can do to help us build our own solar panel.

Conundrum
Site Admin
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: Solar system for a new house

Postby Conundrum » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:04 am

Building a solar panel is ok for an exercise in how its done, but it is not worth the money to build your own. I'm not just saying this to sell stuff, its a matter of what your time is worth. Right now solar is around $1.10/watt from us for large panels, 24V. That means the you get a grade A panel that has a 25 year warranty.

The main flaws with building your own revolve around the process of sealing them against Canadian weather. Yes, lots of folks in the US build them, and it if your time is worth nothing, you can build them for about the same price or a few cents per watt cheaper than purchasing them. The problem is that in Canada we have a seasonal variation of over 80 degrees. It isn't uncommon for the temp to hit -40 or -50, then he +40 in the summer. The expansion and contraction of materials will cause moisture to get inside the panels. When this happens, the connecting wires will oxidize and corrode. This will lead to failure of the panels in a relatively short time.

Again, you could spend more time and money on them, but to beat the commercial price of mass produced panels, it is almost impossible.

Another concern is the controllers. To replace a controller under warranty, you need the specifications of the panels. Without that, we can't replace them because we don't know if the panel was built with too high an output voltage. It makes things unnecessarily complicated.


Return to “Solar Hot Water”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest