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EcoStor2

SC Solar Indirect System Double-
Wall Single Coil Gas Backup Models
• Uses gas burner for backup when solar energy
does not meet hot water demand
• Electronic temperature sensor in upper portion
of tank allows maximum use of solar power
• Double wall heat exchanger located in lower
portion of tank optimizes heating performance
and provides protection between surrounding
water and heating fluid
• Atmospheric venting provides easy replacement
for existing water heaters
EcoStor

SC Solar Indirect System Single-Wall
Single Coil Electric Backup Models
• Single-wall heat exchanger provides fast and efficient
water heating from the solar collector
• Available with single or dual electric element for backup
• Dual element models can provide a full tank of hot
water when solar heating is not available
EcoStor

DC Solar Indirect System Dual
Coil Heat Exchanger Backup Models
• Dual heat exchanger design provides superior
installation flexibility
• Allows combination heat source systems to
operate independently or simultaneously
• Top heat exchanger coil is single-wall; lower
heat exchanger coil is double-wall
• Typical applications: solar, boiler, wood burner,
geothermal or space heating
EcoStor2

SC Solar Indirect System Double-
Wall Single Coil Electric Backup Models
• Double-wall heat exchanger allows heated water from
a solar collector to flow through the coil and provides
additional protection required in certain municipalities
and applications
• Available with single or dual electric element for backup
• Dual element models can provide a full tank of hot
water when solar heating is not available
Solar Saver
®
Models
• For open system applications
where water from a solar
collector is pumped into tank
• Directly heats the potable water
(no internal heat exchanger coil)
• Alternate collector supply and
return connections provided for
installation flexibility
EcoStor2

SC Solar Indirect System
Double-Wall Single Coil Eco-Defender
Gas Backup Models
• Uses the Eco-Defender Safety System
®
Ultra
Low NOx gas burner as backup when solar
energy does not meet hot water demand
• State-of-the-art radiant burner
reduces NOx emissions by 75%
• Incorporates the latest advances in
technology to meet the most stringent air
quality requirements for allowable NOx
emissions in the country
EcoStor2

SC Solar Indirect System
Double-Wall Single Coil Power Vent
Gas Backup Models
• Same design features as atmospheric
vent models but with a powerful, quiet
blower motor for venting flexibility
All EcoStor

models feature an Integrated
Mixing Device that allows for higher
stored water temperatures and sensor
wires for solar thermistor connections.
With so many types of solar water
heating solutions to choose from,
Bradford White is
now the center of
your solar system!
For full details on
the entire line of
Bradford White solar
water heaters, ask your
Bradford White representative or
wholesaler for the Solar Water
Heating Solutions Brochure.
Circle 403
Choose FlexSure
®
solar tubing for a stellar
connection between solar thermal panels
and your hot water storage tank.
FlexSure
®
– Flexible Stainless Steel Tubing Systems
Titeflex Corporation
603 Hendee Street • Springfield, MA 01104
BENEFITS OF FLEXSURE SOLAR TUBING
• Continuous runs allow for bending around
corners and obstacles
• Minimal energy loss through tubing because
of high R-value insulation
• Closed cell elastomeric EPDM insulation
• Tough cover stands up to installation conditions
• 316L corrugated stainless steel tubing
• Self-flaring, reusable fitting: No special
tools required
• Pre-insulated tubing saves time and money
• Made in the USA
Call 1-888-353-9471 or visit www.flexsure.net
Circle 400
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 2
Solar Heating Report Spring 2010
4
Features
4 On The Cover: The Italian Job
The challenges of installing solar radiant
heating in an 800-year-old mill.
9 Thermal Handoffs, Part 1
Inside the fundamentals of heat exchangers in
solar thermal systems.
12 Photovoltaic = Sexy Solar
Thermal Solar = Not So Much
Thermal solar systems can do a big job at a
relatively low installed cost.
Departments
15 Information Showcase
15 Solar Heating Products
16 Reader Service Card
13
4
Bradford White Corp. (215) 641-9400 www.bradfordwhite.com 403 IFC
IAPMO (909) 472-4100 www.iapmo.org 404 7
PAW (508) 943-4240 www.paw.eu 406 14
Stiebel Eltron Inc. (800) 582-8423 www.stiebel-eltron-usa.com 405 BC
Taco Inc. (401) 942-8000 www.taco-hvac.com 401 3
The Noble Co. (231) 799-8000 www.noblecompany.com 407 6
Titeflex Corp. (888) 353-9471 www.flexsure.net 400 1
Viega (800) 976-9819 www.viega.com 409 13
Viessmann Mfg. (800) 288-0667 www.viessmann-us.com 402 IBC
Zuwa (508) 943-6000 www.zuwa.de 408 8
ADVERTISER PHONE WEBSITE RAC PAGE
Solar Heating Report
AD INDEX
15
Contents
12
15
www.taco-hvac.com
Great warm-ups.
The Taco Family of Solar Products
Domestic water heating is the #2 user of energy in
most parts of the country. That’s why homeowners
are warm ing up to solar. With Taco Variable
Speed Solar Pumps with integral controls, system
performance can increase by as much as 20%.
Our Solar X-Pump Block’s patent-pending design
includes a variable speed solar diferential control,
collector circu lator, storage tank circulator and
brazed-plate heat exchanger for system isolation,
all in a single unit. The Solar Pumping Station
is a complete closed loop system. With just 5
connections – 2 to the collector(s), 2 to the storage
tank’s heat exchanger, and 1 to the expansion tank –
the installation is done!
Flexible applications.
All Taco solar products work beautifully with any
solar thermal application: open or closed loop, drain-
back, 1 or 2 storage tanks and more. And each is a
snap to install. It’s solar everyone can warm up to.
Circle 401
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 4
“P
eople request solar
thermal systems for the
efficiency and energy
cost savings you can achieve with an
integrated thermal system that pro-
vides domestic hot water, space and
pool heating — that it’s a sustain-
able technology is a bonus,” says Bill
Shady, P.E., owner of Santa Cruz,
Calif.-based Sustainable Design
and Project Management. “Saving
money over the long term helps save
the planet by investing in renewable
energy technologies today.”
Shady speaks from vast experi-
ence on the subject. His solar begin-
nings date back to the early 1980s
when he obtained an associate’s
degree in solar energy technology.
He went on to get his bachelor’s
degree in mechanical engineering
before starting Sustainable Design
and Project Management, a con-
sulting mechanical engineering
firm, in 2002.
By 2005, he had three project
engineers and was doing primar-
ily HVAC design as a consulting
mechanical engineer; almost 95
percent of that work was radiant
and hydronic heating.
“From the outset, solar thermal
integration was a feature that we
were known for,” Shady explains. “I
realized there was an opportunity
to apply a lot of the technologies
we’d been using in commercial
buildings to small-scale residential
projects. The manufacturers were
seeing that as well.”
The firm now has clients all
over the country — and the world.
That’s how Shady ended up in Italy
to work on a unique job.
One of his American clients,
Bob Smith, fell in love with an
Italian island he discovered in the
middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Over the years, Smith continued
to visit the island, eventually pur-
chasing several connected proper-
ties that include an 800-year-old
house, a 20-acre organic winery
and an olive orchard. He wanted to
make his property sustainable and
energy-independent but wasn’t
sure how to go about it.
He contacted radiant heating
panel manufacturer Warmboard,
which recommended Pacific Solar
Radiant, Inc., a business Shady
started in 2006 with Greg Cross,
a plumber who wanted to branch
The Italian Job
by Kelly Faloon faloonk@bnpmedia.com
The challenges of installing solar radiant heating in
an 800-year-old mill on a tiny Mediterranean island.
The mill's roof is plumbed for rainwater catchment, providing a large part of the domestic water supply.
P
h
o
t
o
s

c
o
u
r
t
e
s
y

o
f

B
i
l
l

S
h
a
d
y
,

S
u
s
t
a
i
n
a
b
l
e

D
e
s
i
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n

a
n
d

P
r
o
j
e
c
t

M
a
n
a
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e
m
e
n
t
.
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 5
out into mechanical contracting. “We
started a design-build company from
scratch,” he says. “The only customers
back then were my design clients. The
projects were very far apart geographi-
cally, because that was the nature of
my design practice.”
Smith hired the firm after discov-
ering that it specialized in the integra-
tion of solar thermal radiant hydronic
heating and cooling, domestic hot
water, swimming pool and spa heating
— as well as its experience traveling to
remote locations.
We Do Things Differently Here:
The first task for Shady and his crew
was to investigate the site and the
geography to understand the obsta-
cles and challenges of the project.
They studied climate data and satellite
images through Google Earth.
The process included learning
about the history of the area. It was
thought the house Smith bought was
originally a mill built by the Moors in
the 12th century. The most common
building style has a domed roof made
of cut and stacked volcanic lava stone,
plastered on both sides. The mill is
typical of island architecture for this
period and continues to this day, even
with new homes. The domed roofs
are all plumbed for rainwater catch-
ment that flows by gravity into a lava
rock cistern that is also plastered. It
provides a large part of the domestic
water supply.
Smith wanted Shady to design an
off-grid system that includes water col-
lection and water treatment, electrical
power, heating and possible cooling.
“Since we had designed and built
projects with similar energy sources,
we knew we had to source as many
products from the European Union
as possible in order to minimize the
chance of being stuck out in the mid-
dle of the Mediterranean Sea with the
wrong parts,” Shady explains. “The
most challenging aspect of the design
was finding controls and pumps that
were different dimensional units, and
motors that were European voltage.”
The team was finally able to source
the materials from Great Britain and
Italy and had them shipped to the
United States.The solar thermal and
radiant floor heating systems were
assembled in Pacific Solar Radiant’s
manufacturing facilities in Santa
Cruz and shipped in containers to
the island. The electrical systems
provided by Sandbar Solar and
Electric, the electrical contractor
that designed the PV electrical, were
included in the shipments.
But the project did encounter a few
obstacles. The first one came when the
containers were detained in customs
in Palermo, Italy. There were questions
about documents and whether the
system components bore the required
CE (Conformitee European) mark.
Most of them did, since they were
manufactured in Europe. Smith had
his attorney deliver the technical file
to Italian Customs and the containers
were finally cleared.
In late April 2008, the Pacific Solar
Radiant crew of six men flew to Rome
and then to the island to begin con-
struction. That’s when the next chal-
lenge presented itself.
“If getting our crates through cus-
toms wasn’t challenging enough, get-
ting them up the hill to the mill was an
equally daunting task, since most of the
roads were designed for donkey carts
and maybe the odd Fiat,” Shady notes.
They hired a truck with a crane to
remove the crates from the contain-
‘People request solar
thermal systems for the
efficiency and energy cost
savings you can achieve
with an integrated
thermal system that pro-
vides domestic hot water,
space and pool heating —
that it’s a sustainable
technology is a bonus.’
— Bill Shady, P.E., owner
of Sustainable Design and
Project Management
Left: Bill Shady, P.E., and the Pacific Radiant Solar team installed the home's solar thermal and PV systems, the radiant heating and cooling systems and
the hydronic water heating system. Right: The site before the solar thermal and photovoltaic panels were installed. The solar systems were fabricated in
California before being transported to the island.
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 6
ers; it showed up an hour late with two
flat tires. They rented cars, which took
a bit of a beating, in order to fetch odd
parts from the local hardware store.
The final obstacle occurred when
they met with the Italian construction
contractor and his crew. “Everything
he and our foreman had agreed upon
a year earlier was ‘forgotten,’” Shady
says. “Their construction methods and
tools were outdated and somewhat
primitive. None of us spoke Italian and
they spoke no English.”
So, the crew picked out the guy
with the best English — Alfredo, who
grew up on the island and knew where
to find everything the crew needed.
“Even with our careful packing, we
would have been lost without him,”
Shady states.
The Particulars: Due to the high
cost of propane and the cost to trans-
port the multiple tanks up to the mill,
Shady and his team decided to design a
high solar fraction. Solar fraction is the
percentage of annual expected energy
use that the collector array generates.
“A high solar fraction normally
means that at certain times of the
year, usually summer in the Northern
Hemisphere, you generate more than
you need for domestic hot water
and space heating,” Shady explains.
“Serving the pool where you would
otherwise burn fuel is the best way to
‘shunt.’ If there is no pool, then some
form of low-energy-use dump of heat
is required. This gives you the highest
true solar fraction.”
The mild Italian climate and the
minimal load in the summer led the
Pacific Solar team to the installation
of a shunt fan assembly to relieve solar
gain from the system. The addition of
a heated swimming pool in a future
phase of the project will keep the shunt
to a minimum.
Additionally, five 16-tube Sunda
Seido 1 evacuated-tube collectors are
installed on a low-profile ground-
mount array, piped to a 50-gallon
domestic water heater and a 200-gal-
lon insulated storage tank. All solar
The Italian Job
Radiant floor heating and cooling is distributed
throughout the home with PEX tubing in a grooved
subfloor. The radiant cooling system draws water
from the rainwater collection cistern.
Circle 407
Antifreeze & Heat Transfer Fluid
• Non-Toxic - made with 100% FDA
G.R.A.S. ingredients
• Extended Temperature Range
(up to 325
o
F)
• For Applications such as Solar Heating,
Hydronic Heating and Water-Based
Heat Extraction Systems
NOBURST Freeze Flow Burst
HD Point Point Point
100% -60°F -70°F -100°F
75% -60°F -60°F -100°F
50% -30°F -40°F -75°F
40% -7°F -15°F -60°F
35% 0°F -10°F -60°F
Noble Company produces a variety of antifreeze products including NOBURST -100 and NOBURST AL
for Aluminum systems. The finest raw materials (including deionized water) contribute to Noble’s high
quality. The company also markets refractometers, test strips, inhibitor boost, and other accessories to
help ensure system performance.
Circle 404
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 8
fluids are closed loop and all thermal
storage is domestic hot water. Radiant
floor heating is distributed through
Uponor TruFlow manifolds with ther-
mal actuators and five zones of control.
Composite PEX-al-PEX tubing was
installed in the Warmboard thermal
subfloor for heating and cooling.
Controls for the project were
Kanmar injection-mixing controllers
with pumps supplied by Wilo and
Grundfos. The innovative Wilo Stratos
Eco is the first known application of
the pump in the region, Shady says. It
provides heating with the bare min-
imum use of valuable solar power
stored in the battery system or used as
it is being generated. The Kanmar tem-
perature controllers are also variable
speed, thereby limiting the power used
and maximizing the wire-to-water
heating efficiency of the system.
Cooling is accomplished through
a heat exchanger in the radiant floor
loop that draws water off the rainwater
collection cistern and cools the water
going into the home down to a com-
fortable 67 degrees F for passage into
the interior of the building.
The home is continually condi-
tioned in the wet and windy winter
season — beginning in October and
continuing into late spring — by the
solar thermal array. In order to moni-
tor the system remotely, a Sensophone
remote monitoring system with a cel-
lular data modem allows alarms to call
out and the users to call in to download
temperature and climate data in real
time to diagnose potential problems.
An Engineered Solution: After
Shady returned from Italy, he began to
work on a simple, engineered system
that could be installed in remote loca-
tions — the ClimateRight System. It’s
an easy-to-install system that evolved
from the design and engineering
work he has done over the past eight
years, including the extremely long-
distance Italian project. It’s factory-
built and factory-tested in Oregon and
California; all a contractor needs to
do is rough in the utilities with a
standardized, dimensioned wall-hung
template, bolt it to the wall and make
the final connections.
And while he believes solar thermal
and solar radiant systems will continue
to gain in popularity, Shady says the
economic climate today is a hindrance.
He wants to change that by having a
financing option that contractors can
offer their customers, making it easier
for them to buy the product.
“People love to do these projects,
they just don’t have the money,” he
explains. “The biggest factor in grow-
ing the solar thermal business is the
opportunity to lease the equipment.
When I offer a customer a completely
engineered product and I can offer
financing, that’s when this thing is
going to take off.” SHR
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Circle 408
The Italian Job
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 9
M
ost of the solar domestic water heating
systems now deployed in the United States
use antifreeze to protect the collectors and
exposed piping from freezing. The antifreeze absorbs
heat in the collectors and conveys this heat to the “hot”
side of a heat exchanger. This heat conducts through
the metal wall of the heat exchanger and passes into
water on the other side of this wall.
Like most things hydronic, the performance of heat
exchangers can vary widely, and that performance can
have a profound effect on the overall energy yield of a
solar thermal system.
Two Flavors: Heat exchangers for solar thermal
systems are classified as either internal or external.
An internal heat exchanger usually takes the form of
a helical coil made of stainless steel or copper. The
coil is suspended within the lower portion of a stor-
age tank — essentially the same configuration found
in most indirect water heaters. Figure 1 is a schematic
showing a typical internal heat exchanger in a solar
water heating system.
Heat moving from the coil’s external surface to the
cooler water is transferred by natural convection. In
this situation the word “natural” implies there is no
pump or other device to create vigorous water flow
across the coil’s external surface. This significantly lim-
its the rate of heat transfer relative to a heat exchanger
where flow is forced across both sides. To compensate,
some internal heat exchangers have large surface areas
and may use fins or other “extended-surface” detailing
to further increase surface area and enhance the rate
of heat transfer.
An external heat exchanger has forced flow through
both sides. Forced flow produces higher rates of heat
transfer relative to natural convection. This allows a
relatively small heat exchanger with forced flow to
transfer heat at the same rate as a significantly larger
internal coil.
Figure 2 shows how an external heat exchanger is
typically used in a solar water heating system. Notice
that two circulators are required: one for the collec-
tor side and the other for the tank side of the heat
exchanger. When the tank contains domestic water, the
tank-side circulator must have a stainless-steel, bronze
or engineered polymer volute to prevent contamina-
tion of the water.
Thermal Handoffs,
Part 1
by John Siegenthaler, P.E.
s
o
l
a
r

c
o
l
l
e
c
t
o
r

a
r
r
a
y
storage tank
ll / purge
valves
expansion
tank
air vent
w/ shut off
valve
PRV
internal heat exchanger
Inside the fundamentals of heat
exchangers in solar thermal systems.
Figure 1
-
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 10
An Effective Approach: Heat exchanger perfor-
mance is often expressed as “effectiveness,” which is
defined as follows:
To calculate effectiveness, you need to first deter-
mine:
a. The actual rate of heat transfer across the heat
exchanger.
b. The maximum possible rate of heat transfer
across the heat exchanger.
The actual rate of heat transfer can be determined
based on the flow rate, specific heat and temperature
change of fluid flowing through either side of the
heat exchanger. Figure 3 provides the formulas and
nomenclature to calculate the rate of heat transfer
across the heat exchanger.
Where:
Q
actual
= actual rate of heat transfer across heat
exchanger (Btu/hr.)
8.01 = unit conversion factor
D
h
= density of fluid through hot side of heat
exchanger (lb./ft.
3
)
D
c
= density of fluid through cool side of heat
exchanger (lb./ft.
3
)
c
h
= specific heat of fluid through hot side of heat
exchanger (Btu/lb./degrees F)
c
h
= specific heat of fluid through cool side of heat
exchanger (Btu/lb./degrees F)
f
h
= flow rate of fluid through hot side of heat
exchanger (gpm)
f
c
= flow rate of fluid through cool side of heat
exchanger (gpm)
T = temperatures at locations shown in figure
(degrees F)
The maximum possible rate of heat transfer through
the heat exchanger can be calculated as follows:
Where:
(8.01xDxcxf)
min
= the smaller of the two fluid
capacitance rates. This can be found by calculating the
product (8.01xDxcxf) for both the hot and cool side
of the heat exchanger and then selecting the smaller
of the two.
Th
in
= inlet temperature of the hot fluid (degrees F)
Tc
in
= inlet temperature of the cool fluid (degrees F)
As the size of the heat exchanger increases relative
to the rate of heat transfer, its effectiveness approaches
the theoretical limit of 1.0.
e=effectiveness = e =
actual heat transfer rate
maximum possible heat transfer rate
Th
out
Th
in
Tc
in
Tc
out
f
c
f
h
hot side cool side
or
Q
actual
= (8.01 D
c
c
c
) f
c
Tc
out
Tc
in
( )
Q
actual
= (8.01 D
h
c
h
) f
h
Th
in
Th
out
( )
Q
max
8.01u Du c u f
> @
min
u Th
in
Tc
in

Thermal Handoffs, Part 1
Figure 3
solar storage tank
differential
temperature
controller
s
o
l
a
r

c
o
l
l
e
c
t
o
r

a
r
r
a
y
expansion
tank
pressure
relief
valve
collector
circulator
air vent
w/ shut off
valve
ll / purge
valves
tank
circulator
(bronze or
stainless steel)
external heat exchanger
-
Figure 2
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 11
Here’s an example. Consider a heat exchanger in a solar
thermal system operating at the conditions shown in Figure 4.
The fluid in the collector loop is a 40 percent solution
of propylene glycol. The fluid on the cool side of the heat
exchanger is water. Here is how you determine the rate of
heat transfer across the heat exchanger and its effectiveness.
Start by finding the fluid properties of both the 40
percent propylene glycol solution and water at the aver-
age temperature of each fluid as it passes through the heat
exchanger. These can be found in reference books on heat-
ing or, in the case of antifreeze solutions, referenced from
specifications at the manufacturer’s Web site.
For the 40 percent propylene glycol solution:
D = 64.0 lb./ft.
3
C = 0.91 Btu/lb./degrees F
For water:
D = 61.8 lb./ft.
3
C = 1.00 Btu/lb./degrees F
Next, calculate the actual rate of heat transfer across the
heat exchanger. This can be done using data from either
flow stream. In this case, data from the flow stream through
the hot side of the heat exchanger (using the 40 percent
propylene glycol solution) is used:
Then determine which side of the heat exchanger has the
minimum fluid capacitance rate (e.g., calculate the product
(8.01xDxcxf) for each flow stream and determine which is
smaller).
For the hot side of the heat exchanger:
For the cool side of the heat exchanger:
The fluid capacitance rate on the hot side of the heat
exchanger is the smallest.
The next step is to determine the maximum possible
heat transfer across the heat exchanger. This corresponds to
a thermodynamic limit in which the outlet temperature of
the fluid with the lower fluid capacitance rate approaches
the inlet temperature of the other fluid stream. It is deter-
mined by multiplying the minimum fluid capacitance rate
by the difference in temperature between the entering hot
fluid and the entering cool fluid.
Finally, determine the effectiveness of the heat exchanger
under these conditions.
In the next issue, we’ll look at how the effectiveness of a
heat exchanger affects the overall energy yield of a solar ther-
mal system. As you might expect, the higher the effectiveness,
the higher the solar fraction. But as usual, the numbers pro-
vide a more complete story and also guide design decisions.
About the author: John Siegenthaler, P.E., is principal
of Appropriate Designs, a consulting engineering firm in
Holland Patent, N.Y., and the hydronics editor for Plumbing
& Mechanical and pme. E-mail him at john@hydronicpros.
com. More than 200 of John’s articles on hydronic system
design are now available in the “Hydronics Know How II”
DVD collection. To order, go to http://store.bnpmedia.com/
store/aec_online/index.html.
Q
actual
(8.01u D
h
u c
h
) u f
h
u Th
in
Th
out (8.01u 64.0 u 0.91) u 4 u 130 120 18, 660Btu / hr
hot side cool side
130ºF
4 gpm
120ºF
6 gpm
110ºF
116.3ºF
40%
propylene
glycol
water
(8.01u Du c u f )
40%PG
(8.01u 64.0 u 0.91u 4) 1866
Btu
hrxº F
(8.01u Du c u f )
water
(8.01u 61.8 u1.00 u 6) 2970
Btu
hrxº F
Q
max
8.01u Du c u f > @
min
u Th
in
Tc
in [8.01u 64.0 u 0.91u 4] u 130 110 37, 320Btu / hr
e =
Q
actual
Q
max
=
18, 660
37, 320
0.50
Figure 4
SHR
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JOHN SIEGENTHALER’S
JJJO JO JOH JOH JOH JOHN JOHN JOHN JOHN JOHN JOHN S
JOHN S
JOHN SI
JOHN SIE
JOHN SIE
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JOHN SIEGENTHAL
HYDRONICS
KNOW HOW II
PM Plumbing Mechanical &
Over 200 of John's articles and
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hydraulic separators. All in full color,
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ALER’ LER’ ERRR SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
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Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 12
I
can relate to the lack of respect
and attention that thermal
solar systems experience in the
marketplace as well as within our
state and federal governments. As
a teenager, my best buddy was this
good-looking, smooth-talking guy
and standing next to him, I kind of
blended into the wallpaper. I wasn’t
ugly and/or dull but next to my
buddy, the ladies couldn’t see my
attributes. So goes it for thermal
solar systems!
Photovoltaic (electricity-gener-
ating) solar systems have become the
“sexy solar” systems in the press and
in the legislatures around our coun-
try. Don’t get me wrong, producing
electricity via the sun’s energy is
awesome and deserves attention. My
concern is that thermal solar systems
may not be getting the attention
they deserve and, thus, opportuni-
ties may be missed.
Thermal solar systems that gen-
erate hot water for domestic use as
well as supplemental heat are gener-
ally a fraction of the cost of a PV sys-
tem. Although thermal systems can’t
create an income-generating source
as photovoltaic can, I don’t believe it
is realistic for average homeowners
to think they will be getting checks
from their local electric utility for
the unused kilowatts that a residen-
tial PV system could generate. Small
residential PV systems are just that
— small — and as a result can’t gen-
erate income and fulfill unrealistic
expectations of potential buyers.
On March 31, 2009, the governor
of New Jersey enacted the Residential
Development Solar Energy Systems
Act, which requires residential home
builders to offer a solar energy option
to potential home buyers in projects
of 25 or more units. I believe ther-
mal solar systems are the best choice.
TSS can be installed by properly
trained plumbers and HVAC install-
ers. Sixty vacuum tubes or four flat-
plate panel collectors can do most,
if not all, of a typical domestic hot
water requirement for a four-person
family, as well as supplement low-
temperature heat (approximately 30
percent) and high-temperature heat
(approximately 10 percent).
Thermal solar collectors are
much more efficient than PV col-
lectors. Depending on the collector,
a solar thermal system can convert
50 to 70 percent of the sun’s energy
into hot water. Photovoltaic collec-
tors convert somewhere between 12
to 15 percent of the sun’s energy into
electricity. Hot water can be stored
at low- or no-usage periods in an
insulated tank with less than one
degree of heat loss per hour.
PV systems large enough to pro-
duce more electricity than the home
by Gerry Wagner
Photovoltaic = Sexy Solar
Thermal Solar = Not So Much
Thermal solar systems can do a big job
at a relatively low installed cost.
Gerry Wagner, training manager at The Wales-Darby Learning Center, teaches his students
the many benefits of thermal solar systems compared to photovoltaic systems.
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Viega… The global leader in plumbing and heating systems. www.viega.com 1.800.976.9819
Circle 409
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 14
can use can be connected directly
to the “grid” and excess kilowatts
sold to the local utility. However, it’s
more typical in small PV systems that
electricity may be stored in a battery,
or a series of batteries, which require
space, maintenance and can be very
expensive.
Thermal solar systems have very
little maintenance issues. A circulator
is virtually the only moving part and
it, as well as the other system compo-
nent parts, are familiar to all plumbers
and HVAC technicians because a TSS
is a traditional hydronic system. The
only thing different is, instead of a
boiler and/or water heater, the panel
is your heat source. Thermal solar is a
simple system that can do a big job at a
relatively low installed cost compared
to complicated PV systems.
In my role as the training manager
at The Wales-Darby Learning Center,
I have plumbers and HVAC techni-
cians calling me daily to ask when
our next “solar” class is scheduled.
I have learned to ask the question,
“You do understand our class is for
thermal solar and not photovoltaic?”
Unfortunately, I have found that
people are using the word “solar”
in an all-encompassing way. Early
on, I had a few guys in my class ask,
“When are we going to talk about
systems that produce electricity?” It
brought me back to my younger days
when I would get phone calls from
pretty girls asking me if I thought
my buddy liked them. Ugh!
There are signs that the spotlight
is starting to shine (pun intended) on
TSS. The feds finally came around and
raised the $2,000 limit on tax credits
related to residential TSS installations
and put it in line with what had been
standard for PV systems (up to 30 per-
cent of installed cost) since the enact-
ment of the 2005 Federal Energy Act.
Eventually my good-looking,
smooth-talking friend moved away
and I started to get some attention
(and I stress some) from the female
population.
Hang in there, thermal solar fans.
I’m proof that every “dog” has his
sunny day!
This article was previously published
in sister publication Supply House
Times’ January 2010 issue.
Gerry Wagner has been in the
HVACR industry for 29 years, the last
18 with the manufacturers representa-
tive firm Wales-Darby Inc., Warren,
N.J. He is now the training manager
at The Wales-Darby Learning Center,
where he brings his unique combina-
tion of experience, both in the field
and in the classroom, as well as humor,
communication skills and love of the
HVACR industry to life. You can con-
tact Gerry at 732/907-1763, gwagner@
walesdarby.com. SHR
Photovoltaic = Sexy Solar
Thermal Solar = Not So Much
Circle 406
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 15
Stiebel Eltron Thermal Solar
Water Heating System
Stiebel Eltron SOLKITs 2 and 3 are now
Energy Star-rated and have OG300 sys-
tem certification from the Solar Rating
and Certification Corp. Each solar closed-
loop system includes flat-rate collector
panels and mounting hardware, a stor-
age tank with heat exchangers, a pump
station with expansion tank and various
temperature/pressure gauges, pressure
relief and check valves, and a control-
ler unit with corresponding sensors. A
five-year warranty is also included.www.
stiebel-eltron-USA.com. 800/582-8423.
Stiebel Eltron USA
Circle 410
solar i.s.
{information showcase}
solar products
STORAGE TANK AND WATER HEATER: Solar
Usage Now’s S.U.N. Equinox Heating System
is a combination hot water storage tank and
instantaneous water heater that provides
100 percent of domestic hot water and
space-heating needs while placing a special
emphasis on water hygiene. Solar Usage
Now. www.sunequinox.com. Circle 411
DRILL PUMP: Zuwa’s Unistar 2001 series drill
pump is ideal for refilling solar collectors
and features a light aluminum body, dry
self-priming from 10 feet and flow rates of
8, 16 and 24 gallons per minute. The pump is
available in stainless steel and different im-
peller materials for different fluids (not for
gasoline). Zuwa. www.zuwa.de. Circle 412
SOLAR TRILOGY: Taco introduces all-in-one solar pumps, components and controls to fit
a wide variety of solar thermal applications. The Solar Pumping Station combines all fea-
tures needed for a closed-loop water heating system (five connections to make). The
Solar X-Pump Block combines a stainless-steel, flat-plate heat exchanger with two bronze
circulators and a solar differential temperature control in one compact package. The Vari-
able Speed Solar Pump line includes circulators with integral solar differential temperature
controls. Taco. www.taco-hvac.com. Circle 413
SOLAR THERMAL COLLECTORS: Solar’s
Smart received formal SRCC (Solar
Rating and Certification Corp.) industry
certification of its Smart 10, 15 and 20
Solar Thermal Collectors. The collectors
are designed for use in domestic hot
water, radiant home heat and swimming
pool heating applications and are con-
structed to perform under a wide vari-
ety of weather conditions. Solar’s Smart.
www.solars-smart.com. Circle 415
SOLAR THERMAL COMBISYSTEMS:
Caleffi released its 6th edition of
idronics, a semi-annual design
journal for hydronic professionals,
on solar thermal combisystems.
The journal provides information
to assist those designing solar
combisystems. Caleffi also has
state-of-the-art hardware to sup-
port installation of the systems.
Caleffi. www.caleffi.us. Circle 414
Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 16
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You may also respond to ads in the Solar Heating Report via the Reader Action
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STORAGE TANK: Rheem’s SolPak systems fea-
turing Marathon storage tanks combine the
longevity of the Rheem Marathon electric
water heater with the energy savings of an
active solar water heating system. This new
option for SolPak provides homeowners ac-
cess to a high-efficiency storage tank with
a lifetime leak-free guarantee. Rheem.
www.rheem.com. Circle 418
INTERNAL TEMPERATURE SENSOR: Solar
Skies Mfg. offers an option to maximize the
efficiency of its solar collectors. The new
internal temperature sensor well allows
for a more accurate internal temperature
measurement of the collector, allowing the
system’s controller to respond quicker and
collect more Btu per day. Solar Skies Mfg.
www.solarskies.com. Circle 417
CIRCULATION PUMP: PAW’s FlowCon FA
(U.S. version) is for use in a closed-loop
design only. The circulation unit is used
on the primary circuit of solar heating
systems to control temperature in the hot
water storage. The pump inside the unit is
activated by the signal from the differen-
tial temperature regulator. PAW GmbH &
Co. KG. www.paw.eu/us. Circle 416
solar products
Circle 402
Circle 405

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System DoubleWall Single Coil Gas Backup Models
• Uses gas burner for backup when solar energy does not meet hot water demand • Electronic temperature sensor in upper portion of tank allows maximum use of solar power • Double wall heat exchanger located in lower portion of tank optimizes heating performance and provides protection between surrounding water and heating fluid • Atmospheric venting provides easy replacement for existing water heaters

EcoStor™ SC Solar Indirect System Single-Wall Single Coil Electric Backup Models
• Single-wall heat exchanger provides fast and efficient water heating from the solar collector • Available with single or dual electric element for backup • Dual element models can provide a full tank of hot water when solar heating is not available

Solar Saver® Models
• For open system applications where water from a solar collector is pumped into tank • Directly heats the potable water (no internal heat exchanger coil) • Alternate collector supply and return connections provided for installation flexibility

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System DoubleWall Single Coil Electric Backup Models
• Double-wall heat exchanger allows heated water from a solar collector to flow through the coil and provides additional protection required in certain municipalities and applications • Available with single or dual electric element for backup • Dual element models can provide a full tank of hot water when solar heating is not available All EcoStor™ models feature an Integrated Mixing Device that allows for higher stored water temperatures and sensor wires for solar thermistor connections. With so many types of solar water heating solutions to choose from, Bradford White is now the center of your solar system! For full details on the entire line of Bradford White solar water heaters, ask your Bradford White representative or wholesaler for the Solar Water Heating Solutions Brochure.

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System Double-Wall Single Coil Power Vent Gas Backup Models
• Same design features as atmospheric vent models but with a powerful, quiet blower motor for venting flexibility

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System Double-Wall Single Coil Eco-Defender Gas Backup Models
• Uses the Eco-Defender Safety System® Ultra Low NOx gas burner as backup when solar energy does not meet hot water demand • State-of-the-art radiant burner reduces NOx emissions by 75% • Incorporates the latest advances in technology to meet the most stringent air quality requirements for allowable NOx emissions in the country

EcoStor™ DC Solar Indirect System Dual Coil Heat Exchanger Backup Models
• Dual heat exchanger design provides superior installation flexibility • Allows combination heat source systems to operate independently or simultaneously • Top heat exchanger coil is single-wall; lower heat exchanger coil is double-wall • Typical applications: solar, boiler, wood burner, geothermal or space heating

www.bradfordwhite.com

|

Built to be the Best™
©2010, Bradford White Corporation. All rights reserved.

|

To Find A Wholesaler Call

800.523.2931

Circle 403

flexsure. BENEFITS OF FLEXSURE SOLAR TUBING • Continuous runs allow for bending around corners and obstacles • Minimal energy loss through tubing because of high R-value insulation • Closed cell elastomeric EPDM insulation • Tough cover stands up to installation conditions • 316L corrugated stainless steel tubing • Self-flaring.net FlexSure® – Flexible Stainless Steel Tubing Systems Titeflex Corporation 603 Hendee Street • Springfield. reusable fitting: No special tools required • Pre-insulated tubing saves time and money • Made in the USA Call 1-888-353-9471 or visit www. MA 01104 Circle 400 .Choose FlexSure® solar tubing for a stellar connection between solar thermal panels and your hot water storage tank.

Part 1 Inside the fundamentals of heat exchangers in solar thermal systems.viessmann-us. Zuwa PHONE (215) 641-9400 (909) 472-4100 (508) 943-4240 (800) 582-8423 (401) 942-8000 (231) 799-8000 (888) 353-9471 (800) 976-9819 (800) 288-0667 (508) 943-6000 WEBSITE www.zuwa.com www.org www. Viega Viessmann Mfg.stiebel-eltron-usa. Departments eport Solar Heating R AD INDEX ADVERTISER Bradford White Corp.bradfordwhite.flexsure. 12 Photovoltaic = Sexy Solar Thermal Solar = Not So Much Thermal solar systems can do a big job at a relatively low installed cost.Contents 15 4 eport Spring Solar Heating R 2010 4 Features 4 On The Cover: The Italian Job The challenges of installing solar radiant heating in an 800-year-old mill.com www.iapmo.paw.net www. 9 Thermal Handoffs.eu www.com www.de RAC PAGE 403 IFC 404 406 405 401 407 400 409 7 14 BC 3 6 1 13 15 Information Showcase 15 Solar Heating Products 16 Reader Service Card 15 402 IBC 408 8 12 13 2 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report . Titeflex Corp. The Noble Co. IAPMO PAW Stiebel Eltron Inc.com www.com www.taco-hvac.noblecompany.com www.viega. Taco Inc.

That’s why homeowners are warming up to solar. all in a single unit. And each is a snap to install. The Solar Pumping Station is a complete closed loop system. Our Solar X-Pump Block’s patent-pending design includes a variable speed solar differential control. www. collector circulator. It’s solar everyone can warm up to. system performance can increase by as much as 20%. and 1 to the expansion tank – the installation is done! Flexible applications.taco-hvac. With Taco Variable Speed Solar Pumps with integral controls. The Taco Family of Solar Products Domestic water heating is the #2 user of energy in most parts of the country. 2 to the storage tank’s heat exchanger. With just 5 connections – 2 to the collector(s).com Circle 401 .Great warm-ups. 1 or 2 storage tanks and more. storage tank circulator and brazed-plate heat exchanger for system isolation. All Taco solar products work beautifully with any solar thermal application: open or closed loop. drainback.

He wanted to make his property sustainable and energy-independent but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Bob Smith. space and pool heating — that it’s a sustainable technology is a bonus. which recommended Pacific Solar Radiant. fell in love with an Italian island he discovered in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. he had three project engineers and was doing primarily HVAC design as a consulting mechanical engineer. The challenges of installing solar radiant heating in an 800-year-old mill on a tiny Mediterranean island. owner of Santa Cruz. almost 95 percent of that work was radiant and hydronic heating.” Shady speaks from vast experience on the subject. a consulting mechanical engineering firm.com The Italian Job The mill's roof is plumbed for rainwater catchment.” The firm now has clients all over the country — and the world. The manufacturers were seeing that as well. “From the outset.-based Sustainable Design and Project Management. a plumber who wanted to branch . Sustainable Design and Project Management.. His solar beginnings date back to the early 1980s when he obtained an associate’s degree in solar energy technology..” says Bill Shady. Calif. Over the years.” Shady explains. Smith continued to visit the island. 4 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report Photos courtesy of Bill Shady. One of his American clients. That’s how Shady ended up in Italy to work on a unique job. in 2002. solar thermal integration was a feature that we were known for. P. By 2005. “Saving money over the long term helps save the planet by investing in renewable energy technologies today.by Kelly Faloon faloonk@bnpmedia. “I realized there was an opportunity to apply a lot of the technologies we’d been using in commercial buildings to small-scale residential projects. a 20-acre organic winery and an olive orchard. “P eople request solar thermal systems for the efficiency and energy cost savings you can achieve with an integrated thermal system that provides domestic hot water. He contacted radiant heating panel manufacturer Warmboard.E. providing a large part of the domestic water supply. a business Shady started in 2006 with Greg Cross. eventually purchasing several connected properties that include an 800-year-old house. He went on to get his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering before starting Sustainable Design and Project Management. Inc.

P. since they were manufactured in Europe. “Since we had designed and built projects with similar energy sources. But the project did encounter a few obstacles. “We started a design-build company from scratch.” he says. Smith wanted Shady to design an off-grid system that includes water collection and water treatment. That’s when the next challenge presented itself. and the Pacific Radiant Solar team installed the home's solar thermal and PV systems. The electrical systems provided by Sandbar Solar and Electric. heating and possible cooling. There were questions about documents and whether the system components bore the required CE (Conformitee European) mark.” Shady explains. electrical power. out into mechanical contracting. because that was the nature of my design practice. the Pacific Solar Radiant crew of six men flew to Rome and then to the island to begin construction.” The team was finally able to source the materials from Great Britain and Italy and had them shipped to the United States. “The most challenging aspect of the design was finding controls and pumps that were different dimensional units. Most of them did.The solar thermal and radiant floor heating systems were assembled in Pacific Solar Radiant’s manufacturing facilities in Santa Cruz and shipped in containers to the island. The solar systems were fabricated in California before being transported to the island. domestic hot water. and motors that were European voltage. “If getting our crates through customs wasn’t challenging enough. We Do Things Differently Here: The first task for Shady and his crew was to investigate the site and the geography to understand the obstacles and challenges of the project. In late April 2008. The first one came when the containers were detained in customs in Palermo.” Smith hired the firm after discovering that it specialized in the integration of solar thermal radiant hydronic heating and cooling. The process included learning about the history of the area. The most common building style has a domed roof made of cut and stacked volcanic lava stone. “The only customers back then were my design clients.E. swimming pool and spa heating — as well as its experience traveling to remote locations. getting them up the hill to the mill was an equally daunting task. even with new homes. Smith had his attorney deliver the technical file to Italian Customs and the containers were finally cleared. we knew we had to source as many products from the European Union ‘People request solar thermal systems for the efficiency and energy cost savings you can achieve with an integrated thermal system that provides domestic hot water. It was thought the house Smith bought was originally a mill built by the Moors in the 12th century. were included in the shipments.. owner of Sustainable Design and Project Management as possible in order to minimize the chance of being stuck out in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with the wrong parts.” Shady notes. the electrical contractor that designed the PV electrical..E.Left: Bill Shady. The domed roofs are all plumbed for rainwater catchment that flows by gravity into a lava rock cistern that is also plastered. Right: The site before the solar thermal and photovoltaic panels were installed. They studied climate data and satellite images through Google Earth. plastered on both sides. since most of the roads were designed for donkey carts and maybe the odd Fiat. P. the radiant heating and cooling systems and the hydronic water heating system. They hired a truck with a crane to remove the crates from the contain- Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 5 . The projects were very far apart geographically. The mill is typical of island architecture for this period and continues to this day.’ — Bill Shady. space and pool heating — that it’s a sustainable technology is a bonus. Italy. It provides a large part of the domestic water supply.

They rented cars.’ If there is no pool. “Their construction methods and tools were outdated and somewhat primitive. who grew up on the island and knew where to find everything the crew needed. you generate more than you need for domestic hot water and space heating. in order to fetch odd parts from the local hardware store. Additionally. All solar Circle 407 6 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report . This gives you the highest true solar fraction. “Everything he and our foreman had agreed upon a year earlier was ‘forgotten.” Shady explains.” So. we would have been lost without him. The company also markets refractometers. Shady and his team decided to design a high solar fraction. The radiant cooling system draws water from the rainwater collection cistern.R. Solar fraction is the percentage of annual expected energy use that the collector array generates.made with 100% FDA G.” The mild Italian climate and the minimal load in the summer led the Pacific Solar team to the installation of a shunt fan assembly to relieve solar gain from the system. “Even with our careful packing. Antifreeze & Heat Transfer Fluid • Non-Toxic . which took a bit of a beating. None of us spoke Italian and they spoke no English. then some form of low-energy-use dump of heat is required. ers. ingredients • Extended Temperature Range (up to 325oF) • For Applications such as Solar Heating. it showed up an hour late with two flat tires. the crew picked out the guy with the best English — Alfredo. inhibitor boost.A. test strips.S. The Particulars: Due to the high cost of propane and the cost to transport the multiple tanks up to the mill. piped to a 50-gallon domestic water heater and a 200-gallon insulated storage tank. Hydronic Heating and Water-Based Heat Extraction Systems NOBURST HD 100% 75% 50% 40% 35% Freeze Point -60°F -60°F -30°F -7°F 0°F Flow Point -70°F -60°F -40°F -15°F -10°F Burst Point -100°F -100°F -75°F -60°F -60°F Noble Company produces a variety of antifreeze products including NOBURST -100 and NOBURST AL for Aluminum systems. The finest raw materials (including deionized water) contribute to Noble’s high quality.” Shady states. and other accessories to help ensure system performance. “A high solar fraction normally means that at certain times of the year. The final obstacle occurred when they met with the Italian construction contractor and his crew. The addition of a heated swimming pool in a future phase of the project will keep the shunt to a minimum. “Serving the pool where you would otherwise burn fuel is the best way to ‘shunt.’” Shady says.The Italian Job Radiant floor heating and cooling is distributed throughout the home with PEX tubing in a grooved subfloor. usually summer in the Northern Hemisphere. five 16-tube Sunda Seido 1 evacuated-tube collectors are installed on a low-profile groundmount array.

Circle 404 .

For more information please get in touch with one of our distribution partners. It’s an easy-to-install system that evolved from the design and engineering work he has done over the past eight years.solarnetix. When I offer a customer a completely engineered product and I can offer financing. The best lling station for solar collectors in the market is now available all over the United States and Canada. thereby limiting the power used and maximizing the wire-to-water heating efficiency of the system. Controls for the project were Kanmar injection-mixing controllers with pumps supplied by Wilo and Grundfos. Radiant floor heating is distributed through Uponor TruFlow manifolds with thermal actuators and five zones of control. In order to monitor the system remotely. “People love to do these projects. The home is continually conditioned in the wet and windy winter season — beginning in October and continuing into late spring — by the solar thermal array. a Sensophone remote monitoring system with a cellular data modem allows alarms to call out and the users to call in to download temperature and climate data in real time to diagnose potential problems. all a contractor needs to do is rough in the utilities with a standardized..freehotwater. ZUWA‘s perfect device for lling. they just don’t have the money.com . Jack Alter T 408 432 9900 info@freehotwater. ushing and venting collector loops – fast. Cooling is accomplished through a heat exchanger in the radiant floor loop that draws water off the rainwater collection cistern and cools the water going into the home down to a comfortable 67 degrees F for passage into the interior of the building. The innovative Wilo Stratos Eco is the first known application of the pump in the region.com USA West: Free Hot Water Inc. It’s factorybuilt and factory-tested in Oregon and California.alphathermalsystems. clean.de Circle 408 8 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report .com Canada: SOLARNETIX Inc. The Kanmar temperature controllers are also variable speed. ef cient. T 416 699 6746 info@solarnetix. “The biggest factor in growing the solar thermal business is the opportunity to lease the equipment.zuwa. Shady says the economic climate today is a hindrance.com www. Composite PEX-al-PEX tubing was installed in the Warmboard thermal subfloor for heating and cooling.com www.com You won‘t believe you went without i ! i h it! www. He wants to change that by having a financing option that contractors can offer their customers.The Italian Job fluids are closed loop and all thermal storage is domestic hot water. It provides heating with the bare minimum use of valuable solar power stored in the battery system or used as it is being generated. bolt it to the wall and make the final connections. Don’t waste time – CALL NOW! USA East: Alpha Thermal Systems Inc. including the extremely longdistance Italian project. T 508 943 6000 info@alphathermalsystems. Shady says..” he explains..sunmaxxsolar. engineered system that could be installed in remote locations — the ClimateRight System. that’s when this thing is SHR going to take off. he began to work on a simple.” THE TOOL FOR SOLAR PROFESSIONALS TOP GERMAN QUALITY Make Solar Easy! The secret of German Solar Installers. making it easier for them to buy the product. and: Exclusive model available for the SunMaxx solar dealer network www. dimensioned wall-hung template.com www. Save up to 50% of installation time – and lots of money. And while he believes solar thermal and solar radiant systems will continue to gain in popularity. An Engineered Solution: After Shady returned from Italy.

Forced flow produces higher rates of heat transfer relative to natural convection. P. Part 1 Figure 1 air vent w/ shut-off valve Inside the fundamentals of heat exchangers in solar thermal systems. so la r co lle ct or Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 9 .by John Siegenthaler. the tank-side circulator must have a stainless-steel. Notice that two circulators are required: one for the collector side and the other for the tank side of the heat exchanger. In this situation the word “natural” implies there is no pump or other device to create vigorous water flow across the coil’s external surface. some internal heat exchangers have large surface areas and may use fins or other “extended-surface” detailing to further increase surface area and enhance the rate of heat transfer. This allows a relatively small heat exchanger with forced flow to transfer heat at the same rate as a significantly larger internal coil. Thermal Handoffs. M ar ra y PRV ll / purge valves expansion tank storage tank internal heat exchanger ost of the solar domestic water heating systems now deployed in the United States use antifreeze to protect the collectors and exposed piping from freezing. and that performance can have a profound effect on the overall energy yield of a solar thermal system. Like most things hydronic. bronze or engineered polymer volute to prevent contamination of the water. An external heat exchanger has forced flow through both sides. The coil is suspended within the lower portion of a storage tank — essentially the same configuration found in most indirect water heaters. An internal heat exchanger usually takes the form of a helical coil made of stainless steel or copper. This heat conducts through the metal wall of the heat exchanger and passes into water on the other side of this wall. When the tank contains domestic water. This significantly limits the rate of heat transfer relative to a heat exchanger where flow is forced across both sides. The antifreeze absorbs heat in the collectors and conveys this heat to the “hot” side of a heat exchanger. To compensate. Figure 2 shows how an external heat exchanger is typically used in a solar water heating system. Figure 1 is a schematic showing a typical internal heat exchanger in a solar water heating system. Heat moving from the coil’s external surface to the cooler water is transferred by natural convection. Two Flavors: Heat exchangers for solar thermal systems are classified as either internal or external.E. the performance of heat exchangers can vary widely.

01xDxcxf) for both the hot and cool side of the heat exchanger and then selecting the smaller of the two. you need to first determine: a.01 D c f min Thin Tcin To calculate effectiveness.) 8.01xDxcxf)min = the smaller of the two fluid capacitance rates. The actual rate of heat transfer across the heat exchanger.01 Dh ch ) fh or Qactual = (8. 10 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report .01 = unit conversion factor Dh = density of fluid through hot side of heat exchanger (lb. Part 1 Figure 2 air vent w/ shut-off valve Figure 3 hot side Thin fh cool side fc Tcout so la r co lle ct or ar ra y Thout Qactual = (8. The maximum possible rate of heat transfer across the heat exchanger.0. Figure 3 provides the formulas and nomenclature to calculate the rate of heat transfer across the heat exchanger./ft./degrees F) fh = flow rate of fluid through hot side of heat exchanger (gpm) fc = flow rate of fluid through cool side of heat exchanger (gpm) T = temperatures at locations shown in figure (degrees F) The maximum possible rate of heat transfer through the heat exchanger can be calculated as follows: Qmax 8. b.3) ch = specific heat of fluid through hot side of heat exchanger (Btu/lb. This can be found by calculating the product (8. Thin = inlet temperature of the hot fluid (degrees F) Tcin = inlet temperature of the cool fluid (degrees F) As the size of the heat exchanger increases relative to the rate of heat transfer./ft. its effectiveness approaches the theoretical limit of 1.01 Dc cc ) fc Tcin (Thin (Tcout Thout ) Tcin ) differential temperature controller collector circulator pressure relief valve ll / purge valves tank circulator (bronze or stainless steel) external heat exchanger expansion tank solar storage tank An Effective Approach: Heat exchanger performance is often expressed as “effectiveness.” which is defined as follows: e=effectiveness = e = actual heat transfer rate maximum possible heat transfer rate Where: Qactual = actual rate of heat transfer across heat exchanger (Btu/hr.Thermal Handoffs./degrees F) ch = specific heat of fluid through cool side of heat exchanger (Btu/lb. The actual rate of heat transfer can be determined based on the flow rate.3) Dc = density of fluid through cool side of heat exchanger (lb. specific heat and temperature change of fluid flowing through either side of the heat exchanger. Where: (8.

the higher the solar fraction. Qmax 8. N. Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 11 . without written permission from BNP Media. These can be found in reference books on heating or.91) 4 130 120 18.com. Now available at the AEC Store http://store.0 or higher) Over 200 of John's articles and columns from the last 12 years of PM and PM Engineer covering everything from heat loss to hydraulic separators. com. referenced from specifications at the manufacturer’s Web site.0 0. The original purchaser of this DVD may make one printed copy of the articles it contains for personal use./ft.3 C = 1.8 lb. Requires Adobe Acrobat® Reader (version 3..91 4) 1866 hr º F © Copyright 2009..01xDxcxf) for each flow stream and determine which is smaller). Here is how you determine the rate of heat transfer across the heat exchanger and its effectiveness. T RELEASED! JUS R L R’ LER’S THALER’S JO SI JO S JOHN SIEGENTHA ICS N HYDRO OW II H KNOW PM Plumbing &Mechanical Then determine which side of the heat exchanger has the minimum fluid capacitance rate (e. 320Btu / hr water 110ºF Finally.com/ SHR store/aec_online/index. To secure permission contact BNP at 248-362-3700 or www. To order./degrees F Next. data from the flow stream through the hot side of the heat exchanger (using the 40 percent propylene glycol solution) is used: Qactual (8. All rights Reserved. As you might expect. P. But as usual.01 64. Consider a heat exchanger in a solar thermal system operating at the conditions shown in Figure 4.html. e= Qactual 18.bnpmedia. About the author: John Siegenthaler. calculate the product (8. Figure 4 hot side 4 gpm 130ºF 40% propylene glycol 120ºF cool side 6 gpm 116.Here’s an example.g./ft.01 Dh ch ) fh Thin Thout (8. For the hot side of the heat exchanger: (8.91 Btu/lb.8 1.00 Btu/lb. More than 200 of John’s articles on hydronic system design are now available in the “Hydronics Know How II” DVD collection. either in print or electronic form. in the case of antifreeze solutions. the numbers provide a more complete story and also guide design decisions. BNP Media. Start by finding the fluid properties of both the 40 percent propylene glycol solution and water at the average temperature of each fluid as it passes through the heat exchanger.0 0.bnpmedia. and the hydronics editor for Plumbing & Mechanical and pme.3ºF The next step is to determine the maximum possible heat transfer across the heat exchanger. a consulting engineering firm in Holland Patent.01 61. calculate the actual rate of heat transfer across the heat exchanger. All in full color.50 The fluid in the collector loop is a 40 percent solution of propylene glycol. This corresponds to a thermodynamic limit in which the outlet temperature of the fluid with the lower fluid capacitance rate approaches the inlet temperature of the other fluid stream.01 64. The fluid on the cool side of the heat exchanger is water. It is determined by multiplying the minimum fluid capacitance rate by the difference in temperature between the entering hot fluid and the entering cool fluid. In this case.Y.01 D c f min Thin Tcin [8.91 4] 130 110 37. we’ll look at how the effectiveness of a heat exchanger affects the overall energy yield of a solar thermal system. 660 = Qmax 37..01 64. 320 0. PMmag.01 D c f )40%PG Btu (8. the higher the effectiveness.660Btu / hr In the next issue. is principal of Appropriate Designs. For the 40 percent propylene glycol solution: D = 64./degrees F For water: D = 61.com/store/aec_online/index. No one is allowed to create or distribute additional copies of these articles.E. This can be done using data from either flow stream. fully searchable files. go to http://store. determine the effectiveness of the heat exchanger under these conditions.01 D c f )water (8.3 C = 0.00 6) 2970 Btu hr º F The fluid capacitance rate on the hot side of the heat exchanger is the smallest.html For the cool side of the heat exchanger: (8.0 lb.0 0. E-mail him at john@hydronicpros.

my best buddy was this good-looking. PV systems large enough to produce more electricity than the home 12 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report . Depending on the collector. Although thermal systems can’t create an income-generating source as photovoltaic can. opportunities may be missed. 2009. of a typical domestic hot water requirement for a four-person family. which requires residential home Gerry Wagner. training manager at The Wales-Darby Learning Center. the governor of New Jersey enacted the Residential Development Solar Energy Systems Act. as well as supplement lowtemperature heat (approximately 30 percent) and high-temperature heat (approximately 10 percent). I wasn’t ugly and/or dull but next to my buddy. smooth-talking guy and standing next to him.by Gerry Wagner Photovoltaic = Sexy Solar Thermal Solar = Not So Much Thermal solar systems can do a big job at a relatively low installed cost. I believe thermal solar systems are the best choice. My concern is that thermal solar systems may not be getting the attention they deserve and. Hot water can be stored at low. Thermal solar collectors are much more efficient than PV collectors. I can relate to the lack of respect and attention that thermal solar systems experience in the marketplace as well as within our state and federal governments. I don’t believe it is realistic for average homeowners to think they will be getting checks from their local electric utility for the unused kilowatts that a residential PV system could generate.or no-usage periods in an insulated tank with less than one degree of heat loss per hour. a solar thermal system can convert 50 to 70 percent of the sun’s energy into hot water. the ladies couldn’t see my attributes. I kind of blended into the wallpaper. thus. if not all. On March 31. Don’t get me wrong. Sixty vacuum tubes or four flatplate panel collectors can do most. producing electricity via the sun’s energy is awesome and deserves attention. Small residential PV systems are just that — small — and as a result can’t generate income and fulfill unrealistic expectations of potential buyers. So goes it for thermal solar systems! Photovoltaic (electricity-generating) solar systems have become the “sexy solar” systems in the press and in the legislatures around our country. Photovoltaic collectors convert somewhere between 12 to 15 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity. teaches his students the many benefits of thermal solar systems compared to photovoltaic systems. Thermal solar systems that generate hot water for domestic use as well as supplemental heat are generally a fraction of the cost of a PV system. builders to offer a solar energy option to potential home buyers in projects of 25 or more units. As a teenager. TSS can be installed by properly trained plumbers and HVAC installers.

No need for cumbersome equipment such as tanks and hoses and no need for supplies such as thread cutters. More than 600 fitting configurations available. During pressure testing. solder and flux. air/water-tight seal. ProPress allows you to join wet connections. strong. Viega’s ProPress® system is the fastest. residential and industrial applications. That’s why hospitals have entrusted their piping systems to Viega. reliable. ProPress meets the most rigorous testing codes and standards in North America. www. making it the fastest. With Viega’s patented Smart Connect® feature you can make connections in less than seven seconds. Achieve a consistent. indicating an unpressed fitting. most reliable way to join metal piping in commercial. Circle 409 Viega… The global leader in plumbing and heating systems.com 1.9819 .800. flameless solution for maintenance and emergency repair jobs.976. You can rely on Viega’s ProPress system to back you up in an emergency.viega.When Seconds Count. water and air flows past the sealing element. ProPress features and benefits: Make connections in 4 to 7 seconds on sizes 1/2" to 4".

thermal solar fans. I had a few guys in my class ask. both in the field and in the classroom. The only thing different is. where he brings his unique combination of experience. the last 18 with the manufacturers representative firm Wales-Darby Inc. I have learned to ask the question. 14 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report Circle 406 . instead of a boiler and/or water heater. as well as the other system component parts. He is now the training manager at The Wales-Darby Learning Center.Photovoltaic = Sexy Solar Thermal Solar = Not So Much can use can be connected directly to the “grid” and excess kilowatts sold to the local utility. Thermal solar is a simple system that can do a big job at a relatively low installed cost compared to complicated PV systems. smooth-talking friend moved away and I started to get some attention (and I stress some) from the female population. However. I’m proof that every “dog” has his sunny day! This article was previously published in sister publication Supply House Times’ January 2010 issue. Warren.. are familiar to all plumbers and HVAC technicians because a TSS is a traditional hydronic system. Eventually my good-looking. Ugh! There are signs that the spotlight is starting to shine (pun intended) on TSS. gwagner@ SHR walesdarby. the panel is your heat source. Thermal solar systems have very little maintenance issues. which require space. Early on. as well as humor. I have found that people are using the word “solar” in an all-encompassing way. N.J.000 limit on tax credits related to residential TSS installations and put it in line with what had been standard for PV systems (up to 30 percent of installed cost) since the enactment of the 2005 Federal Energy Act. The feds finally came around and raised the $2. maintenance and can be very expensive. In my role as the training manager at The Wales-Darby Learning Center. You can contact Gerry at 732/907-1763. it’s more typical in small PV systems that electricity may be stored in a battery. Hang in there. “You do understand our class is for thermal solar and not photovoltaic?” Unfortunately. “When are we going to talk about systems that produce electricity?” It brought me back to my younger days when I would get phone calls from pretty girls asking me if I thought my buddy liked them. I have plumbers and HVAC technicians calling me daily to ask when our next “solar” class is scheduled.com. Gerry Wagner has been in the HVACR industry for 29 years. or a series of batteries. A circulator is virtually the only moving part and it. communication skills and love of the HVACR industry to life.

The Solar Pumping Station combines all features needed for a closed-loop water heating system (five connections to make).U. components and controls to fit a wide variety of solar thermal applications. stiebel-eltron-USA.) industry certification of its Smart 10. www.com. www.taco-hvac. Caleffi. Solar’s Smart. A five-year warranty is also included. Stiebel Eltron USA Circle 410 STORAGE TANK AND WATER HEATER: Solar Usage Now’s S. www.us. www. The journal provides information to assist those designing solar combisystems. radiant home heat and swimming pool heating applications and are constructed to perform under a wide variety of weather conditions. Each solar closedloop system includes flat-rate collector panels and mounting hardware. a semi-annual design journal for hydronic professionals. Taco. Circle 415 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report 15 . flat-plate heat exchanger with two bronze circulators and a solar differential temperature control in one compact package.s.solars-smart. Equinox Heating System is a combination hot water storage tank and instantaneous water heater that provides 100 percent of domestic hot water and space-heating needs while placing a special emphasis on water hygiene. The collectors are designed for use in domestic hot water. dry self-priming from 10 feet and flow rates of 8.N. Solar Usage Now.com. a storage tank with heat exchangers. Zuwa. 800/582-8423.www. Circle 413 SOLAR THERMAL COMBISYSTEMS: Caleffi released its 6th edition of idronics. 16 and 24 gallons per minute. Circle 414 SOLAR THERMAL COLLECTORS: Solar’s Smart received formal SRCC (Solar Rating and Certification Corp.solar i. The Solar X-Pump Block combines a stainless-steel.caleffi. Circle 411 DRILL PUMP: Zuwa’s Unistar 2001 series drill pump is ideal for refilling solar collectors and features a light aluminum body. pressure relief and check valves.com. The Variable Speed Solar Pump line includes circulators with integral solar differential temperature controls.zuwa.com. Circle 412 SOLAR TRILOGY: Taco introduces all-in-one solar pumps. The pump is available in stainless steel and different impeller materials for different fluids (not for gasoline). www. a pump station with expansion tank and various temperature/pressure gauges. Caleffi also has state-of-the-art hardware to support installation of the systems. {information showcase} solar products Stiebel Eltron Thermal Solar Water Heating System Stiebel Eltron SOLKITs 2 and 3 are now Energy Star-rated and have OG300 system certification from the Solar Rating and Certification Corp. 15 and 20 Solar Thermal Collectors. on solar thermal combisystems.de. and a controller unit with corresponding sensors.sunequinox.

paw. The circulation unit is used on the primary circuit of solar heating systems to control temperature in the hot water storage. This new option for SolPak provides homeowners access to a high-efficiency storage tank with a lifetime leak-free guarantee.solarskies. Circle 417 STORAGE TANK: Rheem’s SolPak systems featuring Marathon storage tanks combine the longevity of the Rheem Marathon electric water heater with the energy savings of an active solar water heating system.com. www. Circle 416 INTERNAL TEMPERATURE SENSOR: Solar Skies Mfg. E-Mail Address _____________________________________________ Request for information expires JUNE 2010 APRIL 2010 RACT04 16 Spring 2010 Solar Heating Report . version) is for use in a closed-loop design only.com.S.FREE! No Signature Date Yes! I would like to receive the Radiant & Hydronics E-Newsletter FREE of charge! I would you like to receive the Bath & Kitchen E-Newsletter FREE of charge! Please check your preferred format: Digital Version Print Version No 3 We do the following type(s) of work: (check all that apply) 31 32 33 35 36 37 38 39 Yes! No Plumbing Hydronic Heating (boilers/steam) Bath & Kitchen Remodeling Process Piping Private Water Systems Sprinkler/Fire Protection Radiant Heating Other (please specify) ________________ Mail back to: CREATIVE DATA SERVICES 440 QUADRANGLE DR STE E BOLINGBROOK IL 60440-9726 OR Fax back to 1-888-533-5653 OR Subscribe online at @ www.pmmag. Solar Thermal 507 400 407 414 401 408 415 402 409 416 403 410 417 404 411 418 405 412 419 406 413 420 Print Name/Title_____________________________________________ Company ___________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________ City ____________________________ State _______ Zip ___________ Work Phone ________________________________________________ Work Fax ___________________________________________________ ______________ You may also respond to ads in the Solar Heating Report via the Reader Action Card in the August issue of Plumbing & Mechanical (that SHR was bound into). PAW GmbH & Co. Circle 418 Yes! I wish to receive (continue receiving) Plumbing & Mechanical . 1 My firm is a: (check one only) 01 02 04 Plumbing/Hydronic Heating Contractor Mechanical Contractor Other (please specify) _________________ 4 I receive the following other trade magazines: 01 02 03 Contractor Magazine Plumbing & Heating Contractor News Jobsite 2 My title is: (check one only) 02 03 04 05 06 08 President/Owner Vice President Secretary/Treasurer General Manager Supervisor Foreman 07 09 10 11 Estimator Sales Engineer Other (please specify) 5 If you'd like to receive literature from ADVERTISERS in this issue advertising products in the following category. Solar Skies Mfg.rheem.eu/us.solar products CIRCULATION PUMP: PAW’s FlowCon FA (U. check the number listed below that company's ad. offers an option to maximize the efficiency of its solar collectors. www. KG. The pump inside the unit is activated by the signal from the differential temperature regulator. just check the boxes. allowing the system’s controller to respond quicker and collect more Btu per day. If you'd like literature on only a specific manufacturer's product.com Circl h Ci le the number which corresponds the Circle the number whi h corresponds to the b hich d h information you’re interested in. www. The new internal temperature sensor well allows for a more accurate internal temperature measurement of the collector. Rheem.

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