Solar Panel Water Heater

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by PP Bear, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Has anyone ever come across such a system for a motorhome :)

    All that glorious free energy sitting and waiting to be utilised, it seems strange that this hasn't been investigated by companies and then utilised in the same way as they have for solar panels :)

    Sure there'd need to be some form of pumping system, but that's not beyond the realms of any manufacturer :)

    If it was anything like a guest house I had to stop in recently, then their system produced loads of piping hot water :)

    Thoughts? :)
     
  2. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Now that is something I would consider most of summer gas usage is in showers and washing up it would be at least 60% of our gas use as elaine will not use showers / toilets on site unless they spotlessly clean
    In winter we use far more on heating but always have hot water due to heating running
    And I don't think it would be too difficult to design
     
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  3. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    And it would certainly work. Just leave a bucket of water outside the van (don't ask) in Summer and it really does get very warm.
     
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  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    old hat really . many for years have had a shallow tank across the roof . ideally painted mat black . fit a shower tap on one end . mind can get extremely hot in the sun .
    almost gets to boiling point . becarefull scolds are common .
     
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  5. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    You can get those solar shower thingys but I guess that isn't what you mean.
    If you mean a similar solar hot water system to the ones you see on houses I imagine both space and weight would make it a non starter - in those systems the solar panels have an anti-freeze type liquid pumping around them and then either a heat exchanger or an indirect coil in the hot water tank to transfer the heat. The panel arrays tend to be pretty big too so that would be another consideration.
     
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  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    the tanks i said about are about 2inches deep 3ft across by about 2foot . fit lovely in front of lift up roofs on vw t2,s . mine used to be made of stainless. in morocco and spain it got far too hot for showering . it was fed by the pressurized surflo pump. worked a treat .
     
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  7. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Similar idea to the camping solar showers then Alan just a bit bigger by the sound of it.
     
  8. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Used that system extensively through my trips to the sandy place of conflict, but I'm talking a properly installed system and one that makes use of the rays and gets pumped and stored for later use really :)
     
  9. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I wonder if that could be piped into van boiler so it would run into van shower therefore able to run it though mixer tap for hot and cold mix

    Bloody hell I may be building soon dam you all (n):eek:
     
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  10. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Any system that sends water directly around the panels couldn't be permanently installed. If it had water in it and the temperature dropped enough to freeze the expansion would split the panels and piping. Then when it thawed out you would have a big mess.
     
  11. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Apologies Alan, as that's the sort of thing that could be used, but I'd wonder if they could make a system similar to the ones found on houses. I know it would take some designing, but it must be within scope of modern design
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    if i had wanted to i could have pumped it into another storage tank insulated etc . but no need . dont really need that much water any way . worked fine when the kids were younger and there was 4 of us .
    i now use instantaneous water heater why carry hot water . it gets cold . bit like all the modern truama gear expensive and slow plus heavy . the roof system was ok as it also acted as a roof rack as well. had rails welded around it . for bungy fixing .
     
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  13. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    Yes but it could be drained down though boiler frost dump in cold weather conditions
    Ideas anyone?
     
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  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    mine was permanent i could fill it or not fill it . drain it etc . doesnt need to be filled constant . if its not sunny you dont use it .
     
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  15. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    That works until you get some numpty that forgets to drain it.
     
  16. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    One possible solution looking at it in a different way would be to use solar PV (electric) panels and use them as a dedicated feed to an immersion heater. You still get the benefit of the sun but don't have the weight issues that would come with a modified domestic system.
     
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  17. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Weight / storage / power.

    There is only a small hot tank within a Truma boiler.
    You don't want weight on the roof. Or anywhere else for that matter.
    You would need a circulation pump running.
     
  18. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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  19. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Think that's the same for any drain down in the winter. I'm thinking a handy bypass valve, so that it can be utilised in the sun and isolated in the colder weathers :)

    Doesn't need to be so much heavier either and would use the water already carried onboard. If the panels also doubled up as a power supply, then hot water and battery power at the same time :)
     
  20. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    If you can invent them I'll go halves with you on it (y)
     
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