Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

solar heat for primary heating?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • solar heat for primary heating?

    I have nat gas for my primary heating source, but have just recently became concerned with health risks it may pose. I ordered an indoor solar spcae heater that sits on the window sill which will help, but it will not work when the sun goes down (will this work at night if it sits under a table lamp or something?). Do they make any kind of system that can store the heat and use it at night?

  • #2
    First thing, its extremely hard to find a heating technology with less health effects than natural gas, I don't know where you get your info but I would really spend some time determining the validity.

    There were attempts to install air based thermal storage 25 years ago on solar hot air systems, it can work but the size of the storage banks that were used were huge. There were also attempts to use phase change materials with not much success. The most successful is passive design where the space to be heated is very well insulated and then thermal mass is installed to heat up during the day and release the heat at night. There are passive homes in new England that are entirely heated this way, but the amount of air sealing and insulation is well above that used in conventional construction. The low budget way that some folks use with greenhouses is to fill a 55 gallons drum painted black and locate it where the sun is on it all day. When the sun goes down the tank will slowly give off heat and heat the room.

    About the best option is PV with net metering and a low temperature minisplit heat pump. I build up a surplus of power in the summer and heat my house in the winter with it. Of course it only sounds green as the utility still needs to generate power in the winter to make up for my net metering.

    Comment


    • #3
      Mini split heat pump with net metering PV

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jasonsolar View Post
        I have nat gas for my primary heating source, but have just recently became concerned with health risks it may pose.
        Pray tell what kind of BS someone is feeding you?
        [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mdm99 View Post
          Mini split heat pump with net metering PV
          Definitely the way to go. I do most of my heating with a mitsubishi FH15NA heat pump, but kept my very inefficient natural gas furnace for times like this week.

          Ben

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by russ View Post
            Pray tell what kind of BS someone is feeding you?
            It's not entirely irrational. Any combustion system has some risk of CO leakage if it's not properly maintained, and natural gas leaks are nothing to play around with either. Every winter, at least a few people are killed by a malfunctioning gas furnace. So call it merely 95% irrational.

            But to answer the OP's original question, the best way to use solar as the primary heat source (especially in northern climates) is to design from the ground up as a passive solar house. That means tons of insulation, lots of southern exposure, etc. It can work, and if done properly is about the cheapest and lowest-impact way to heat a home. But you can't retrofit it, and very few houses are built this way (probably because the buyers don't care, and so the builders can't be bothered).
            16x TenK 410W modules + 14x TenK 500W inverters

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pleppik View Post
              It's not entirely irrational. Any combustion system has some risk of CO leakage if it's not properly maintained, and natural gas leaks are nothing to play around with either. Every winter, at least a few people are killed by a malfunctioning gas furnace. So call it merely 95% irrational.
              I would go closer to 99.9%. Take care of equipment or have it taken care of by competent people and the risk is less than crossing a street that has one car a day go by on it.

              Your car is far more dangerous every time you pull out of the drive way.
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jasonsolar View Post
                ...I ordered an indoor solar spcae heater that sits on the window sill which will help,...
                May as well start throwing your money out the window as these don't save anything and actually cost you in higher heating bills and lighting costs.

                They only collect heat that has already entered the room. This heat would have normally been absorbed by objects in the room that the sun shines on and slowly released back into the room. All this does in concentrate that heat in one area. Having this area close to the windo gives you a high tempeture differential close to it so it looses more heat then usual, increasing you heating heating costs. Blocking natural light also increses your lighting costs.

                WWW

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used solar thermal for a secondary heat source for my little house in MA. I had a solar air heater on my kitchen wall, and a rather complex solar water heating system for the rest of the house. It is not for the faint of heart. I got tremendous deals (and some used free stuff) and did most of the work myself. Using a large storage tank, I was able to utilize my solar heat until about 2AM, then the electric heat had to kick on until about 10AM. That was of course on sunny days, on cloudy days, I was 100% electric.

                  I've since sold the house, and don't have many pictures of the complete install, but here's a little description with a few pictures during the install. http://www.altestore.com/solar-showc...er-heater-128/ and http://www.altestore.com/solar-showc...r-heating-127/

                  Unless a house is designed for it to begin with, it will be VERY difficult to heat primarily with solar. Unfortunately, solar is at it's lowest when you need it the most.
                  Solar Queen
                  altE Store

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Amy@altE View Post
                    I used solar thermal for a secondary heat source for my little house in MA. I had a solar air heater on my kitchen wall, and a rather complex solar water heating system for the rest of the house. It is not for the faint of heart. I got tremendous deals (and some used free stuff) and did most of the work myself. Using a large storage tank, I was able to utilize my solar heat until about 2AM, then the electric heat had to kick on until about 10AM. That was of course on sunny days, on cloudy days, I was 100% electric.

                    I've since sold the house, and don't have many pictures of the complete install, but here's a little description with a few pictures during the install. http://www.altestore.com/solar-showc...er-heater-128/ and http://www.altestore.com/solar-showc...r-heating-127/

                    Unless a house is designed for it to begin with, it will be VERY difficult to heat primarily with solar. Unfortunately, solar is at it's lowest when you need it the most.
                    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Nice "simple" heating system you installed at that house. [/FONT]

                    I also noticed a couple of pictures of a sailboat with a wind turbine. How well did that perform?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For those near southern NH (concord area), the tour of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPHHF) headquarters complex is worth the trip. They have 3 examples of buildings built to the latest and greatest energy concepts in effect at the time of construction.https://www.forestsociety.org/conservation-center What they learned over the years is that complex active solar is intrusive and doesn't work very well. The 2001 wing is quite conventional looking, had they not gone for LEED certification, I expect the square foot building costs wouldn't not be a lot higher than conventional construction.

                      By the way at some point they installed a district heating loop and have what I think is the worlds smallest Chiptec woodchip boiler that provides heat for the facility (also part of the tour).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                        [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Nice "simple" heating system you installed at that house. [/FONT]

                        I also noticed a couple of pictures of a sailboat with a wind turbine. How well did that perform?
                        The heat actually works quite well. With a 1964 all electric house in New England, it was worth the effort for me, and with electricity at $0.21 a kWh this winter, and record breaking cold, I know the new owner is loving it. I had fun building it, and it was an amazing learning experience. My new boyfriend at the time used to be a marine engineer, working on it with me took him back to his days at sea. (I'm sure it had something to do with him marrying me after it was done.) I even had my mentor Bob Ramlow come out for a tour. All that being said, would I do it again from scratch with new (full price) products? Probably not.

                        The wind turbines combined with solar work great for sailing cruisers who don't want to turn on their engine to top off their batteries while they are anchored in paradise.
                        Solar Queen
                        altE Store

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pleppik View Post
                          It's not entirely irrational. Any combustion system has some risk of CO leakage if it's not properly maintained, and natural gas leaks are nothing to play around with either. Every winter, at least a few people are killed by a malfunctioning gas furnace. So call it merely 95% irrational.
                          This is exactly what happened to my furnace, the heat exchanger went out and i was left with heat but every time it came on, was left with the smell of musky underground. I had to put towels over my vents because even when it was off, the air and the smell still came through. I have been getting by until the new unit is installed but i think it is time to look into better ways of heating if possible. I have a couple of questions.

                          1. If someone was to install a solar skylight, would one be able to sit a solar space heater under it to supplement heat where light and heat is normally not available?

                          2. If someone sat the same solar space heater under, say, a heat bulb (or normal light bulb), would one be able to heat at night?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jasonsolar View Post
                            This is exactly what happened to my furnace, the heat exchanger went out and i was left with heat but every time it came on, was left with the smell of musky underground. I had to put towels over my vents because even when it was off, the air and the smell still came through. I have been getting by until the new unit is installed but i think it is time to look into better ways of heating if possible. I have a couple of questions.

                            1. If someone was to install a solar skylight, would one be able to sit a solar space heater under it to supplement heat where light and heat is normally not available?

                            2. If someone sat the same solar space heater under, say, a heat bulb (or normal light bulb), would one be able to heat at night?
                            Quick answer to both questions. NO.

                            1. You can't get enough sunlight through a skylight to generate any heat. For that matter you will probably lose heat that is transferred through the thin material of the skylight.

                            2. Using a heat bulb to run a space heater is wasting energy. You will get more heat directly just using an infrared or heating lamp then you will get from that solar space heater.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                              Quick answer to both questions. NO.

                              1. You can't get enough sunlight through a skylight to generate any heat. For that matter you will probably lose heat that is transferred through the thin material of the skylight.

                              2. Using a heat bulb to run a space heater is wasting energy. You will get more heat directly just using an infrared or heating lamp then you will get from that solar space heater.
                              This sounds like a lost cause. I guess the best thing to do is insulate and conserve. Do any of you have a link to a good conservation forum? Or thread?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X