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  • Hello from Almeria, Spain

    I have just bought a house near Mojacar in Almeria, Spain. It is to be my home for 6 months of the year Oct - Mar. The other 6 months I'll live in my current home which is in France where I have an excellent solar panel system for water and central heating.
    I would like to put a simple solar tube system into my home in Spain for two bathrooms and a hot-tub; probably not for central heating. Does anyone know a reliable solar heating engineer who can install a vacuum tube system in Almeria for me ?
    I have an accessible flat roof, facing the sun.

  • #2
    Almeria, isn't that where John Lennon did a movie?
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >3000kW installed

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    • #3
      One of our moderators, Russ, has had a solar thermal system in Turkey for many years. But now that it is wearing out, he has decided to replace it with a heat pump type water heater, which was not available (or at least not economical) at the time he installed the thermal system.
      Be sure to check out the initial and operating costs for such a system before making your decision.

      In the US, piped natural gas is priced so low that it is hard to save money with solar thermal system. If propane or electric resistance are the only alternatives, the solar PV comes out way ahead. The new wrinkle to be checked out is the electrically driven heat pump.
      SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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      • #4
        Movie Location

        Originally posted by solarix View Post
        Almeria, isn't that where John Lennon did a movie?
        Almeria was the location for two of Clint Eastwood's movies - A fistful of $ and A few $ more. Other spaghetti westerns have been filmed here. There is a tourist Dodge City in the hills near Tabernas not far from Almeria city

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        • #5
          Energy supply

          Originally posted by inetdog View Post
          One of our moderators, Russ, has had a solar thermal system in Turkey for many years. But now that it is wearing out, he has decided to replace it with a heat pump type water heater, which was not available (or at least not economical) at the time he installed the thermal system.
          Be sure to check out the initial and operating costs for such a system before making your decision.

          In the US, piped natural gas is priced so low that it is hard to save money with solar thermal system. If propane or electric resistance are the only alternatives, the solar PV comes out way ahead. The new wrinkle to be checked out is the electrically driven heat pump.
          There is no natural gas supply in Almera; and electricity is very expensive - therefore solar heating, log burning stoves and gas bottle heating is popular.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick1 View Post
            There is no natural gas supply in Almera; and electricity is very expensive - therefore solar heating, log burning stoves and gas bottle heating is popular.
            If a heat pump is not a choice, for a sunny climate I'd go back to solar flat plate closed loop w/ glycol and a tank heat exchanger for water heating to mod. temp. (say <60-70 deg. C.). The closed loop will get freeze protection.

            Evac. tube units can work, but they're probably better suited for higher temp. applications like boiling or process heat. Flat plates cost less. Match the equipment to the task. Heating water for domestic use is easy. Don't kill a fly with a sledge hammer.

            Depending on the winter low temps., you might consider a system that circulates potable H2O directly through the collectors with freeze protection provided by using a controller that turns on the pump to circulate hot H2O for short periods through the collector(s) when freezing temps. get near. Seems like a waste, but in moderate climates can be quite effective.

            I've had such a system for 7+ years with no problems. It circulates at night for about 20-30 min./yr. about 2 min. at a time as needed. In freeze protection m ode, the pump circulates H2O when the collector temp. drops to ~3 deg. C. and stops at ~ 5 deg. C. Seems a small price in comparison to a second loop for glycol, a heat exchanger and lower service requirements.

            Drawbacks are if the power fails at 4 A.M. during a cold snap, or the controller goes haywire, I'm screwed. Know the risks.

            Other possibilities are drain bask systems or batch heaters. Both have +'s/-'s.

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            • #7
              What is "very expensive"?
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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              • #8
                Originally posted by russ View Post
                What is "very expensive"?
                If similar to a good part of the rest of the developed world, probably~ 2X+ over the cost of an equal amount of net energy supplied by most available CH4 in most places.

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