pipe insulation

Solar Retrofit Part 7: Installation

It's been a long road but my system is now up and running! I expect that a lot of people will ask how much energy my installation actually collects so I ended up taking the $600 Government of Canada Eco-Energy rebate for my high-efficiency boiler and bought a BTU meter (http://www.wsetech.com/btu.php) from the guys at WSE Technologies (http://www.wsetech.com/). So far the BTU meter is up to 84kwh which means I've collected (84 kwh * 3400 BTU/kwh =) 285,600 BTUs of heat. The temperature sensor at the _bottom_ of my storage tank didn't drop below 58 degrees C all week so I'm pretty sure that my boiler hasn't run since I completed the installation.

There are a few outstanding things I have to take care of: Insulation and cladding on a portion of the exterior runs and insulation on the piping in the house. Also, I've talked to IBC boilers and they don't yet have a controller module that integrates the boiler and the solar so I'll try and rig something up so that I can use the collectors to help heat my home. At 9:40 this morning (August 28, 2010) the outside temperature was 12 degrees C and I was suprised to hear the collector pump start. Despite the fact there was light cloud cover, the temperature sensor in the collectors was reading 68 degrees C.

Here are some pictures:

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Pipe Insulation


I spent the afternoon putting pipe insulation on the hot water pipes in the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH). I can’t believe how cheap the insulation was – around $100 for the whole house. Its price and the ease with which it is installed make it a must, in my opinion, for those interested in energy efficiency. Anyone can install this stuff, and the insulation is so useful because it just sits and works, saving you energy every single day and never breaking.  read more... »