i have been working on a solar water project for a while hears how its going, it uses a radiator as a collector and a plate heat exchanger from a scrap gas boiler connected to my existing hot tank. its a sealed system with a 12v pump. and is 90% out of a skip
Last Edit: May 24, 2011 17:23:15 GMT -5 by binhoker
the radiator was chosen to match the size of a upvc double glazed window, the radiator was modified with an extra port and plumbed so fluid will flow diagonally through the panel. After being panted mat black the radiator was fitted in a timber box lined with kingspan and the window in its frame was screwed to the front of the box. It can still open on its original hinges to allow inspection, bleeding and inquisitive visitors to feel how hot it is. (as i can only attach one image per post ill see you further down the page)
several years ago i pulled apart a natural gas boiler i saved the better looking bits as i work a sculptor. The plate heat exchanger has been used and reused in exhibitions and in props for TV and film but only when i the solar co-op came to the workshops did i realise that it was beautiful, useful and the first part of my new solar water heating project.
great stuff binhoker. your plate heat exchanger works just like the £300 solasyphon made by Willis in NI, and should work just as well.
love the idea of using an opening DG window to glaze the panel, good lateral thinking, makes for ease of maintenance too.
on the subject of willis, is that really an enormous willis electric immersion heater? willis designed the side-arm electric immersion back in the early days of domestic electricity and patented the design. plumbers in GB have never heard of 'the willis' yet they are everywhere in NI. Is your immersion an original vintage Willis?
paddy, that's a useful pic of the pump. Colin has a spare head he has kindly agreed to post to the workshops for you. i am getting the supplier to supply a few extra spare heads with future orders to cover this eventuality.
flexi tap connectors may be useful to reduce the stress on the new head if there's any risk of same thing happening again? not sure whether these are fit for HT though? i may also look at whether it's possible to apply some form of 'potting' to an unbroken/new head for use in circumstances when the head may be subject to stress, to provide some extra support - What do you think?
i love the old willis. beautiful. what age is the house BTW? the willis size is very similar to the willis solsyphon which you've avpided buying by using your slavaged plate heat exchanger! Lovely job
here is the pump repaired with tec7 the compresion couplings have been replaced with Hep push fit to reduce stresses imposed during instalation, it worked for a about a month before it gave up. Think the pump head is made of some sort of glass reinforced plastic something like isopon might work well as a potting material. Don't know how old the house is but its built of stone and probably built in different stages most of the house pre-dates domestic hot water any how. The house is near to Belvior park hospital and i sometimes think looking around that some of the building materials might have 'gone missing' from the hospital.