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dremd 02-29-2008 12:21 PM

Time for New Hot Water Heater
Looking at Solar collector + Tankless electric (no natural gas and super high propane prices here ($3.75 a gallon)

Haven't decided on either just yet, but looking for opinions + deals.

Looing at Bosch AE125 for heater (not sure yet) , and whatever I can get cheap for solar. (South Louisiana is hot a lot of the time).

FYI My ground water is currently 68 degrease.

Any and all info is highly appreciated.

Who 02-29-2008 12:47 PM

Why tankless? You need to store that solar energy...

Any chance of frost there? If so maybe a drainback system to an electric tank (Marathon)? The electric element would be backup.

How many people and how many gallons a day do you use?

You should try and get F-charts.

boxchain 02-29-2008 01:51 PM

Here's a setup that Common Ground has here in New Orleans. They use garden hose and (painted?) black food grade barrels as a collector:

As far as tankless goes, I'm assuming you're using that as a backup and the collectors as a preheat. The problem that I've heard tankless heaters have is that parts and people who can do repairs are both hard to find and expensive.

Good luck with the project :thumbup:

Ryland 02-29-2008 02:26 PM

For solar you need to know what your solar window is like where you live, this basicly brakes down to, how many sun hours per day do you average each month of the year, then you subtract your shading, add your BTU's needed of hot water, and you end up with a very good idea on what size of a solar hot water collector you are going to need to keep you happy.
I haven't spent enough time in your part of the country to know who you might have for consutants or installers, but expearince seems to show that unless you spend ALOT of time learning this stuff your self, you are going to spend more money over sizing your system or going back and adding on or fixing mistakes then you would have spent hiring a consultant to spend a few hours look at your land and needs and giving their recomendations on how to make it work so well that it will not only blow your mind but make everyone else who sees it want to fallow in your foot steps.

Daox 02-29-2008 03:10 PM

Have you looked into if its worth it in our neck of the woods (WI) Ryland?

I'm planning on purchasing a house in the next year or so and looking into a lot of this kinda stuff. Loved the outdoor chilled fridge posted last week or so.

Who 02-29-2008 04:21 PM

Ryland 02-29-2008 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 12076)
Have you looked into if its worth it in our neck of the woods (WI) Ryland?

You could say I've looked in to it, I've been part of installing 4 differnt solar hot water systems and they work great! I've also taken steps tward getting my solar site assesser certification, and grew up with solar electric, and installed correctly, and in the sun, these systems work great.
most of the systems I've worked on were used for space heating as well, heating domestic hot water first, then heating the floor, so even on a compleatly overcast day the chance of it collecting enough heat to heat your domestic hot water without your instant hot water heater coming on was really good, add to that a well insulated storage tank, and you still have 100+F hot water in the morning.

jjackstone 03-01-2008 04:52 AM


Here's a good site for this type of info.
Hope it helps.

dremd 03-01-2008 04:28 PM

Been trying to post with no luck for 24 hours err.

Solar tank would be separate from tankless water heater. A tanked water heater would perform similarly because the thermostat would trip when pumping water in.

2 people + Guest (every month or so 3~4 extra people)
Also much of the time (25%) there is nobody there.
So what we have is a large variation in use, hence the Tankless.

Unsure of total gallons per day (depends heavily on occupancy, other factors) <- Totally open to other options.

We are on a ground water well with poor flow (4gpm MAX, more like 3gpm) so total flow on a tankless isn't a huge deal.

dremd 03-01-2008 04:31 PM

Just scored a FREE! 40 gallon solar hot water system.
I didn't get a real good description, but
Built in 70's
Never installed/ used
2 layers of "space age" glass
40 gallon tank underneath
4 feet x 5 feet
And free if I pick it up next week in Baton Rouge (60 miles each way)


Originally Posted by jjackstone (Post 12142)

Here's a good site for this type of info.
Hope it helps.


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