Combination Solar Domestic Hot Water and Space Heating System

Vacuum tube solar panel system for domestic hot water and space heating

Vacuum tube solar panel system for domestic hot water and space heating

We installed a system of 6 vacuum tube solar collectors in a renovated farm house in Prince Edward County.

The system will provide the majority of domestic hot water for a growing family, and contribute to their space heating system in the wintertime.

When engineering a combination solar domestic hot water and space heating system, care must be taken not to oversize the solar array.

The solar system will output more heat than required for domestic hot water in the summertime, which means that there must be a place to put that heat. A swimming pool is an ideal “summertime dump load.” However there was no pool in the plans for this house.

Our solution was to install a 5000 L concrete seasonal storage tank underneath the mud room. The tank was insulated and lined with a pool liner. The tank holds dead water that acts as a battery, storing solar energy during the summer that can be drawn down into the winter. Two copper coil heat exchangers were placed inside the concrete tank, one to dump excess solar heat collected during the summertime, and a second to pump heat out of the storage tank and into the radiant floor system installed on the first floor.

The house also feature extra insulation to lower the space heating energy load, as well as a masonry stove by Norbert Senf.