This is an update on my solar hot water heater that I am designing.
For about a week and a half now, I have been working with a company out of China that manufactures vacuum tube hot water heaters, and have now wired the money to them for one of their products for testing purposes in our home for the winter as well. The new unit comes complete with a new hot water tank that is not designed like the the normal hot water tanks in the USA. I will post pictures of it when it gets here, which may be a while since I believe it is being shipped via an Oceanic route. I know that there are probably some of you that are disappointed in me for buying from a Chinese company as opposed to a US company, but the reality is that after researching the similar products on the US market, the cost difference was just too great to not buy from the Chinese company. In case you are wondering, I spent roughly $2000 on the China product which includes shipping, and the USA comparable units are costing well over $12,000 for the cheapest, and up to $25,000 area. Sorry, but I just cant see throwing away $10,000+ for no apparent reason.
Anyhow, because the Chinese unit comes with it’s own hybrid hot water tank that is about twice the size of our current electric hot water tank, the new tank will be replacing our old one, and I will now use the old electric hot water tank for my own solar heating unit. Problem is, I cant use the electric water heater on my unit until the new one arrives, since we will still need hot water in the mean time. In short, this means I cannot 100% complete the unit I am building until the Chinese unit gets here so I can switch tanks and take the old tank for my unit. This also changes my original plans for the use of the one I am building. I will now use my design for testing radiant floor heating this winter, to see how well it works for that.
NOTES ON TESTS ON MY DESIGNED UNIT:
The other day, I had Ron (a neighbor) over to demonstrate to him how well my design works. I placed a 2×2 piece of wood in the unit, and after roughly 20 seconds, the wood was putting off a fair amount of smoke and was very hot to the touch. I changed out the wood for a piece of PVC pipe and after about 17 seconds, the PVC pipe was also putting off smoke and began to bend from the heat. Temperature tests for my design, even in an unfinished state, shows temperatures of over 400 degrees F. in less than 30 seconds. Mind you, the unit isn’t even done yet, so my guess is that in final, finished form, it will be putting out temperatures in excess of 500-600 degrees F. per square inch on heating area.
Tomorrow, I will take some pictures of what I have done and probably a video as well to explain how i created the design and why the measurements are, what they are. I will also include in tomorrows video a demonstration of what happens with the wood when it is placed in the unit. Hope to see you again tomorrow!!