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Re: [hreg] Digest Number 197

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  • Kevin L. Conlin
    Regarding the apropriatness of solar DHW (domestic hot water) for anyone, in a past life as a solar water heating contractor, we used a very simple criteria:
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 20, 2001
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      Regarding the apropriatness of solar DHW (domestic hot water) for anyone,
      in a past life as a solar water heating contractor, we used a very simple
      criteria: If the homeowner had natural gas, he didn't need a solar water
      heater, if he was all electric, he did. I realize the economics have
      changed since then, but I'm willing to bet the numbers still hold up.
      Simply put, the payback economics just didn't make sense for natural gas,
      but were good for electric. Since it is inherently difficult to sell anyone
      a $3000 water heater, it has to make economic sense. People would much
      rather buy a hot tub or big TV if they have $3000 sitting around. That was
      always one of the biggest hurdles marketing solar honestly, people just
      don't get all that excited about spending thousands of dollars on a water
      heater. Regards, Kevin

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Chuck Wright <chuck-wright@...>
      To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 7:48 AM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 197

      > hreg@yahoogroups.com wrote:
      > > Message: 4
      > > Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 17:25:32 -0600
      > > From: Marge Wood <othermother6@...>
      > > Subject: Re: Inquiry re Solar Heat Panel
      > >
      > > I heard a speaker yesterday whose name shall be withheld. I don't think
      > > he's on this list but if he is, it's okay. He was talking about energy
      > > efficient homes. There were lots of questions going around and finally I
      > > asked if he thought solar water heaters would be good and lo, he said
      > > nobody wants them, and I said WHY? and he said, cost too much, not
      > > folks to maintain them etc etc. I was really surprised. I mean, he was
      > > promoting other things that take a little work and money and I figured
      > > solar hot water would fit right in. I told him that there are whole
      > > developments in Houston with solar hot water systems and the systems
      > > worked fine for at least 20 years, and I also told him that there are
      > > several working solar hot water systems in my neighborhood and most
      > > people who have them, like them. How many folks are coming along who
      > > trained to install and maintain solar hot water systems? Is there any
      > > other plan other than the periodic SEI or other training for solar
      > > applications which will see that enough good plumbers are licensed or
      > > trained or whatever? Is there licensing for solar hot water folks? I
      > > think lots of folks would like to have solar hot water. Of course,
      > > there's a wait, we are finding out.
      > > Marge in Austin
      > >
      > I can see his point. The lack of an industry, with volume production,
      > makes them far more expensive than they should be, and it makes
      > getting them serviced a problem.
      > Still, I have recently reworked the 17 year old Reynolds (yes, Aluminum)
      > unit that has served me well. The problem was in the tank, a variant
      > of a standard electric water heater. The "solar" components (collector,
      > heat exchanger, pumps) appear to be in excellent shape. From April
      > to Oct., the only water heating electricity we use is to run those pumps,
      > which I figure is far less than the electric elements. The rest of the
      > solar makes a significant contribution.
      > So, I have no reason to doubt the technology. I do have minor concerns
      > about recommending them to "just anyone". I think it is one of those
      > chicken-egg things, and we need to figure out how to push over the
      > hump, because water heating is such an enormous energy consumer.
      > --
      > Chuck Wright
      > http://www.chuck-wright.com
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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