The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › What's the best and least expensive way to install solar thermal hot water h

What's the best and least expensive way to install solar thermal hot water heating on your house?

A former member
Post #: 26
Mail order; home improvement store; do-it-yourself; certified installer; or ?

What is your best plan of attack....'just do it', get a solar thermal assessment & evaluation; get detailed installation plans & a design for your house; start shopping with a vengeance and listen to sales pitches; get a subscription to HOME POWER magazine and 'trust' their expertise; or ??

What did you do and how did it work out? Did you get stuck trying to decide between Vacuum tubes vs. flat panels? Did you think out of the box and install your array on the lawn?

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 632
Frank - good post. As I sit here I can hear the sawzall cutting in chases for our solar thermal system being installed on the roof. After getting various vendor quotes for the system, we decided to buy out all the components and GC it ourselves. After looking at the pros and cons of both types, we started by wanting to do flat panel but it's getting more challenging to do that so we went with evac tubes (25 tubes) and a super-insulated marathon tank (with elec backup) in the basement. The exchanger is Purist (Maine-made).

Anyway, it will be complete soon and we will hold a little show-and-tell meetup event for any interested peeps....
A former member
Post #: 27
On Thursday and Friday, I'm taking a certificate installer's course at Mid Maine Community College in Fairfield.

Not really sure I'm going up on any roofs, but I'll know how to size and integrate the solar thermal panels into the existing heating system.

P.S. I'm a do-it-yourself plumber and overhauled two bathrooms; as well as 'sweated' a lot of copper tubing and PVC joints.
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