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Re: [alternativeenergy-224] Solar Power at Grid Parity Cost in Several Countries

From: Steve F.
Sent on: Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:01 PM
On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM, Mitchell <[address removed]> wrote:
I have not seen nor heard about any solar space heating systems.  They could be similar to solar water heaters.   The sun would heat a liquid which would be pumped through a radiator.
Those would be highly cost effective, but another source of heat would still be necessary when it's very cloudy, and at night.


That's an interesting spin on passive solar (not sure you can still call it that). You could re-use/purpose old radiators, and just plumb a standard SHW system up to a radiator (hmmm. might have to do a test of that this system has spare btu's avail anytime it's sunny), or you could put automotive/hvac raidiator coil in your existing ductwork and run the hvac system as per normal). You could get one of those recirculating units that keeps all the taps hot and instead hook that to a radiator, if you weren't as worried about it scaling out. If you put the radiator in the glycol loop, it will probably last forever. I suppose there are commercial systems - there's that house on 5th street that looks to have 8 or so SHW panels on the roof. No one showers that much.
Plenty of ways to do passive solar. I'm planning my own - peeling the roof off the living room to put in south-facing clerestory windows that move heat in, but are fully shaded from Apr - Oct or so. I actually saw a place just north of campus that had a giant equivalent of a solar hot water panel, except hollow, with a duct incoming at one end, and exiting the other, hit the fan and hot air comes out. Owner said it worked quite well.

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