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A Video Look At How We Use Solar Heating.

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Jim Eddy, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

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Solar Heating - Our Water Heater


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After 31 years of living in our home in Northern California, we are moving to a new location. We love living here and wish we could take our home with us, but we can't. If you are interested in living in an off grid home please click on the picture or click  HERE to see how you might become the next owner.

Click here to view the solar heating video


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Solar Heating PanelsMany people have probably noticed on a hot summer day how hot the water gets in the garden hose after being in the sun for awhile. In a solar home heating water for household use takes advantage of the same process. Using this type of solar energy is a good way to save energy costs and is a great example of solar living.

There are many ways to heat water with the sun, but I believe that the most effective way is to use water solar collectors located either on the roof or even on the ground if desired. The first solar water heater that I made was located on the ground next to my garage where the existing propane hot water heater was located. The solar storage tank that was used was placed next to the existing tank. The bottom of the storage tank was elevated to have its bottom to be about 2 feet higher than the top of the solar collector. With this 2 feet of difference there was no need to have any circulation pump as the hot water from the solar collector would begin to move toward the tank since hot air or water rises. This rising action would also draw the cold water in the tank bottom towards the solar collector bottom. This process would continue all day long until the temperature of the water in the solar tank would be around 130 degrees. This pre-heated water was then run to the propane heater and then into the house. On most days the propane water heater would never have to turn on.

It may not be possible or practical to place a collector on the ground, so the next best place is on the roof. If solar collectors are placed on the roof, some sort of pump and temperature controller are required to circulate the water from the collector to the storage tank.

A basic solar collector usually consists of a bottom pipe, a top pipe and several pipes running between them. Some sort of absorbing material is placed around the pipes and extends away from them to provide additional surface to absorb and transfer heat to the pipes. My first solar panel was made using inch copper pipe spaced 6 inches apart running vertically between two horizontal pipes. I stapled thin aluminum printer's plates to the pipes and painted them black. The pipe was placed into a 2x4 framed box that had rigid insulation on the back and sides and had a 4 foot by 6 foot 8 inch sliding glass door attached to the frame. Most commercially made collectors use the same design or one similar to a car radiator.

You can also visit the Living On Solar Blog to talk about solar heating.

The video runs for 1 minute and 36 seconds and shows how we use solar heating for our water. We hope that you enjoy the video. Please watch our other solar videos elsewhere on this site.

Click here to view the solar heating video


Watch it on YouTube


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