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solar advice (Bob Bona)

Bob Bona_4
Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
Well guys, my dad finally is ready to say goodbye to his 35 year old SmithPak oil boiler-(Cue angel harmony) Dreadful to clean-his son won't miss it :)

He has had 3 solar panels on the roof since the early/mid 70's-pretty big, probably about 2x5 feet each, if I had to guess. Panels pinholed about 10-15 years ago, so he replaced them. They tie into a storage tank that ties in the tankless on the Smith. No solar space heating going on, just boosting domestic. The neato gauge up in the den would tell us the tank temp, and if we needed to kick on the boiler.

So, whaddaya guys think about this getup and how can we slip a Buderus G115/28 with prolly a 40-50 gallon indirect
in utilizing the storage tank he's got? I certainly don't want another tankless setup.

What's the trick setup here? TIA!


  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790

    Do the panels run through a heat exchanger in the storage tank? Is the storage tank closed or open? How was it connected to the tankless?

    Not being sure exactly what your setup is I cant say for sure, but if you have access, drop a coil of copper or even pex-al-pex in that tank and run the domestic through it before it feeds to the indirect.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    good questions

    I never really got cozy with it, but from what I remember, it looks like a closed water heater type. I do know that there used to be a stone lined tank there before if leaked.

    If I had to guess, I think the solar S/R goes in the tank (either thru a coil or surrounds a coil), and the domestic side is separated. The domestic goes thru the tank and also the tankless on the boiler. I need to call Dad for the particulars. I do know this is not a homegrown. It was done by a local solar co.

    Hopefully be up there Sunday so I'll get some pics.
  • mark schofield
    mark schofield Member Posts: 153
    indirect with 2 coils

    if the solar panels, copper tubing, and glycol pump are OK, you might want to use a tank with two coils. One for the boiler and one for the solar/gycol. Both coils would heat the DHW. If you kept the existing solar storage tank to feed the indirect with pre-heated DHW, the indirect/boiler might cycle on and off more. Check out this link to Viessmann. There are more manufactures of two coil indirect storage tanks. There is a thread in this forum with a list. Mark S
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