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Supplemental Indirect Solar Home Heating

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  • Supplemental Indirect Solar Home Heating

    I'm a retired Plumbing and Heating Contractor on a fixed income in central New Mexico. I can't afford retail solar systems and don't believe they are worth the cost anyway. However, I do have plumbing, heating and electrical skills, I love to tinker and I think I have a reasonably simple alternative that DIY'ers might like. Here's the deal: I live in a manufactured home with a 75,000 btu natural gas fired forced-air furnace. In this part of the country, due to the low humidity, most people (like me) do not use refrigerated air conditioning; we use swamp coolers. The reason I mention that is that all furnaces installed in manufactured homes are convertable for use with refrigerated air from the factory simply by installing a heat exchanger in the bottom of the unit. So, here's my idea: I want to install the heat exchanger and connect it to a closed-loop antifreeze solution solar panel with a 110v recirculating pump like that used for boiler systems, and an expansion tank. What I need is some help with the control system to select the heating source depending on the conditions at the time of the call for heat (Solar or gas; and the fan control). Obviously, there also needs to be sensor/s for sunlight presence and/or antifreeze temperature. I could probably design some type of relay-based circuit but would prefer if someone mght know of a more modern off-the-shelf circuit board and sensor system that would accomplish the same task. I would also like information on building my own solar panel (size, design, best reflector material, loop length, etc.) My initial design idea is to run 3/4" copper supply to the panel and then reduce to two 1/2" loops in the panel to maximize heat absorption and recombine to 3/4" for the return. Of course this system is only supplemental to the existing heating system but in my situation where I am now home most of the time, even daylight solar heating can be a big saver during cold weather. I hope someone that has more solar experience than I is able to help. Thx.

  • #2

    You should check out, great DIY ideas.



    • #3
      refrigerated air from the factory simply by installing a heat exchanger in the bottom of the unit.

      [COLOR=#800000]MOD NOTE. Your first post on a 2 year old thread which included a "hidden" link is out of bounds.[/COLOR]
      Last edited by SunEagle; 10-15-2015, 09:15 AM. Reason: removed spam link