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SOLAR HEATING MY WORKSHOP


CONSTRUCTION BLOG
Guy in front of solar heated barn

I removed the solar collectors in November 2021 and replaced them with five 366 W solar PV panels after I had (self) installed a heat pump for my workshop.  Solar thermal systems for building heating have become obsolete over the last 10 years due to the advent of state-of-the-art heat pump technology which is very efficient and couples very well with solar electric panels.
This blog may be relevant for those considering a heating system for a fully off grid cabin or remote home where the electric grid or solar PV is unavailable or impractical to use.
2001:
July 18 installing soffit vent
July 23 insulating the barn, day 1
July 24 Insulating barn etc., day 2
July 25 installing radiant floor
July 26 plumbing the heating system manifold
July 30 pouring concrete in the barn
July 31 framing and installing barn doors
. . .
October 2 Building the solar shed onto the barn
October 3 Roofing the solar shed
October 5 Solar shed progress
October 6 Installing solar collectors
October 9 Plumbing the solar collectors and manifold
October 11 Plumbing solar heat exchanger etc.
October 14 Installing the Aquastar propane backup water heater
October 16 Sweating the radiant floor pump manifold
October 17 Filling the solar system
October 18 Solar system shakedown - more work needed
October 20 Heat at last!!!
October 24 Heating system upgrades + woodworking
. . .
November 21 Solar system final tweaks
. . .
January 2: Clearing snow off the collectors



2002:
May 23, 2002: Home Power article - feedback on my design
. . .
September 21, 2002: Added 2 more solar collectors
September 23, 2002: Added Differential Temperature Controller
October 29, 2002: Installing 2nd floor radiators
November 8, 2002: Pump timers and controls upgrade


2003:
February 20, 2003: Over pressure fix
November 17, 2003: Pump cavitation issue
November 19, 2003: Air venting and system pressure

2004:
December 13, 2004: Frozen antifreeze!


2005:
April 2, 2005: Replacing expansion tank
October 18, 2005: Installing stove pipe for a wood stove backup
November 18, 2005: Installing wood stove


2006:
May 21, 2006: Thinking cool - installing solar attic vent
September 24, 2006: Re-plumbing manifold



2008:
August, 2008:
Insulating the exterior of the frost walls
October 2008: Adding a heat recovery ventilator




2010:
December 2010: Moved solar panel away from tree shade + replaced expansion tank


 Lessons Learned
Propane consumption annually
Some before and after images

Some notes on sustainable living.

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