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Solar Home Space Heating


Solar Home Heating with Hydronic Infloor Heat or Radiator - Solar Space Heating

Perhaps the most exciting new development in solar thermal is in space or Solar Home Heating Applications. With the newer more powerful vacuum tube technology, winter heating has become much more feasible. Solar Space Heating can be integrated into an existing home heat system via radiant floor heat (hydronics) & radiators or forced air home heat. In all these applications, solar is to be used as a supplement to the existing heating system. Because home heat consumes a great portion of your energy bill, its payback can be under 5 years.

Basic Principles:

Solar Space Heating uses the solar evacuate tube collectors to capture the sun's energy, this energy is then transferred to a storage tank or concrete pad (in floor heating). The stored heat is then integrated with the existing heat system to supplement the heat supply. Larger 119 gallon storage tanks can hold more energy and as such can be used in the evening to supply heat when the sun is not shinning. Because the heat demand occurs during the winter, a secondary dissipation loop may be needed to off load the heat in the summer months. Alternatively, this energy can be off loaded to heat other heat demand sources such as pools, hot tubs or domestic water heat. A dissipation circuit will also help regulate the storage tank temperature allowing the home heating circuit to be set at a comfortable level without over-heating.

Note: alternatively one can cover or unplug the heat pipes in the summer as a manual means of shutting down the system.

solar storage containerMost Solar Space Heating System require some form of freeze protection in the winter months, thus the solar loop usually contains a mixture of water and glycol to prevent freezing. Specialty solar storage containers have been designed for buffering (storing) the solar heat for use with the home heat. These storage tanks have two internal heat exchangers built into them. The solar loop heat exchanger is found in the bottom of the tank and heats the storage water. Heat is extracted from the top of the tank by a 2nd top internal heat exchanger that removes the heat from the storage tank to a heat load area such as radiant floor heat by activating a second pump. When there is demand and the top of the tank is hot enough to meet this demand the pump will turn on. By using a solar storage tank, the system can retain the heat that would otherwise be dissipated once the demand temperature has been met.


System Design:

Northern Lights Solar Home Heating Systems use a special solar storage tank. This storage tank system allows for solar storage during the day and can release the stored energy at night when the demand is usually higher. The storage tank also is used as the domestic hot water tank so that the solar can provide both solar water heating and space heating in one system. Our Solar Heating System comes with a 4.5 Kw element located in the middle of the tank. It is optional whether a customer uses this or not. The element can be used to ensure there is always hot water even in the evenings. This Hybrid system is especially popular for Solar Radiant Floor Heat, because the solar space heating system can replace the need for a Hydronic boiler as the 4.5 Kw heater and the solar energy should provide enough energy or up to about 2,000 square feet of solar heating space. The Resol controller is capable of controlling both the solar heating loop plus the 2nd heating loop. This type of integrated solar heating package has the highest solar heating paybacks!

Solar Home Heating combined with Geothermal heating is another very popular means of combining two Green energy sources to provide a Maximum Cost Savings. By using any excess heat from the solar water heater we can add this energy to the geothermal loop by means of a heat exchanger. Click here for more information on solar heating & geothermal.

Another means of heating with solar is with solar air heaters. This is a much more cost effective means of space heating but it lacks the ability to store heat energy. Air is heated through a layer of glass and selective coated material that absorbs the heat. A solar PV fan system then distributes the heated into the house based on a thermostatic controller. This is also great for homes with basements or crawl spaces that want to heat the colder air . For more information on solar Air Collectors visit www.123ZeroEnergy.com

Solar Water + Space Heating + Pool – WIN,WIN,WIN!

If you are fortunate enough to own a pool, you know that when living in Northern USA or Canada the season is much to short! Using solar to heat your pool in the summer and shoulder months and then heat your home in the winter months is perhaps the most ideal system and the best way to provide free energy 365 days a year. Oh Yah and did we forget to mention FREE domestic hot water! This system solve the problem of too much heat in the summer. Most pool owners welcome any heat and especially if it is free!

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