Sunday, October 18, 2009

New arrangement - FOUR panels across

18 Oct : I had a visitor from Mike Siebert, an architect friend who has built a few houses, and we discussed the best layout of panels. There are five things I want to do:

• One is to find a way to increase the number of panels so that the geocharging effect is measurable. Two would not be enough, in the judgement of people I have talked to.

• Two is to keep the plumbing in the loft simple and accessible and free from airlocks.

• Three is to find a way to tilt the panels to increase their harvesting in Summer - perhaps 15º.

• Four, to keep them high enough to be free of interference from trespassers and shading from the nearby tree.

• Five, to ensure a good glycol flow through the panels, avoiding the build up of 'dead spots'.

My previous layouts were somewhat constricted by my desire for access by ladder. If I am prepared to pay for the scaffolding to put the panels higher, it seems very clear that the best arrangement would be high above the south windows, where there is space to have FOUR panels across, and I am able to get a good flow, and get the pipes plumbed easily. The 15º tilt will give some solar shading to the upper windows at the height of summer.

In case anybody doubts my sanity on this experiment, I am getting clear indications that the temperature of the soil below the house is cooling as the heatpump draws more as we move to winter. Temperatures are affected by the fact that the upper 5m of soil varies, but the trend can be observed. While I was getting soil temperatures of 12.8 in summer, I am now getting 10.7, a 2 degree C drop.

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