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Interface solar water heating panel with heat pump water heater

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  • Interface solar water heating panel with heat pump water heater

    Plumbing contractors said "It cannot be done"! So I did it any way, as part of replacing fairly old Ruud hot water storage tank, with auxiliary heat element.
    Connected my solar water heating panel (pumped) to new Rheem Hybrid water heater. Draw cool water from bottom of tank by adding coaxial fitting in place of drain valve (drain valve now installed at outboard end of coaxial assembly). Return hot water from solar panel to coaxial connection, into horizontal dip tube, with the thought that the hot water would rise in the tank. Rheem tank scheduled to turn off at night and come on in Heat Pump Mode at 3am, so that we have warm water for morning dishwashing, etc. Rheem control point set to 125 degrees. On very sunny day, the 50 gallon tank will get to over 140 degrees. Yes, we have installed a tempering valve at tank. Rheem remains enabled through the day to allow us to have warm water after one of our frequent cloudy days. I welcome comments and critiques; and can add pictures to my post if anyone interested.

  • #2
    As a junior member here I say it sounds like you're saving energy so it looks good so far.
    How about freeze protection? Or are you in a warmer climate?

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    • #3
      Warm Climate: Island of Maui, State of Hawaii. Coldest we have ever seen at this elevation: upper 40's F.

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      • #4
        I changed out an inefficient propane water heater with an electric heat pump water heater and saved about $700/year in propane. The new heat pump water heaters are pretty amazing. I like your idea of the solar hot water. It helps to live in Hawaii, but living in Hawaii must help everything!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ward L View Post
          It helps to live in Hawaii, but living in Hawaii must help everything!
          Except the cost of living. But, you want nice - you pay nice.

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          • #6
            Sometimes we call it the "paradise tax".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KULADAVID View Post
              Sometimes we call it the "paradise tax".
              Understood. My cost of living back in Buffalo before I moved to San Diego was a good deal less than it is now. Pay your money, take your choice. You want nice - you pay nice.

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