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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i am a 3rd year apprentice and was wondering about the possibilities of putting some solar heat into my garage and was wondering how many panels it would take to keep a garage of 832 sq. ft. heated at about 59 degrees fahrenheit with an outdoor design temp of -20 degrees fahrenheit, and if you directly pump the fluid through the panels and floor without the use of a heat exchanger?
 

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i am a 3rd year apprentice and was wondering about the possibilities of putting some solar heat into my garage and was wondering how many panels it would take to keep a garage of 832 sq. ft. heated at about 59 degrees fahrenheit with an outdoor design temp of 20 degrees fahrenheit, and if you directly pump the fluid through the panels and floor without the use of a heat exchanger?
Sounds like a good project to test yourself on using formulas that you need to know to do the trade, consider it a challenge and feel free to post your results.
 

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I'd strongly advise use of a storage tank, that setup would be useless after 5pm on a winter night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
thanks for the advice grumpy, now what I'm really wondering is, i am rebuilding my garage from 580 sq. ft to 832 sq. ft and have about an 80% efficient furnace and was wondering if when i rebuild the garage with one/two panels and a storage tank for in slab heating use, would i see a payback in the solar system after 10 years?
 

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see manufacturer's specifications... when in doubt =) they know their product better then any one else. so i hear those systems work pretty well. especailly depending on your area. but i mean it could not hurt an a great learning project. but if your shooting for savings... yea long term an secondly .. mor about getting free guilt free energy.
 

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You will never see a payback. the cost of the equipment necessary to heat the slab will be far more than any savings.

www.calleffi.com look for Idronics3 and download it as a pdf file. It's big but full of very usefull solar info.

I've been installing solar for 30 years now. And though I'd like to say that it is efficient and saves money, the truth is that it never really does. problem is that when you construct a system large enough to take care of the load and enough storage to take care of a weeks worth of crappy weather the price skyrockets to the point where the equipment will never pay for itself. At this point in time the best application for solar is a 3 panel domestic hot water set with a 80 gallon storage tank. On average that set will give you perhaps 70% of your hot water in the sunny climates and closer to 30% in the northern parts of the country.
 

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We would need to know specifics like geographical location and oriantation, shading, temps etc etc

You will want a tank. The bigger the better. Yes, you can run heating water directly with no heat exchanger. Will this system produce domestic HW as well floor heat?
 
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