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Al Gore's getting radiant!

DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,525
not turn this into a political discussion?

Thank you.
Retired and loving it.


  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Just heard this on the radio

    Al Gore finally got HOA approval for his solar panels on his house, getting upgraded windows, lighting, and...floor radiant. Don't know any other details.

  • It's all political. Mr Global Warming has been in the hot seat since the general public became aware that his house was a major energy hog.
  • Jeff Lawrence_25
    Jeff Lawrence_25 Member Posts: 746
    This past Monday

    A customer and I were looking at his under-performing air-to-air heat pump. Gusty winds were blowing C O L D air around us as we stood there nearly shivering.

    Out of the blue, he looked at me and said something like "Al Gore's got some problems getting people to listen to him right now."

  • Apologies again...just so we know where his motivations lie.

    The silver lining here is I just discovered this evacuated tube solar stuff through Kevin's post. Interesting, looks like a relatively competent HVAC mechanic could almost build his (or her) own.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,525
    This is not a political website.

    And we all get along much better and accomplish more good things when we don't fight over politics, religion, guns, war, and so on.

    Thank you for understanding.
    Retired and loving it.

  • I do, good enough. I'll limit my posts to HVAC then.
  • LarryC_3
    LarryC_3 Member Posts: 3
    Rolling your own evacuated tube collector?

    I would be interested in your ideas on how to build your own evacuated tube collector.

  • I'm not sure what material I'd use for the outer tube but I'd simply run say a piece of 3/4" copper down through and out both ends of a larger tube with drilled caps soldered on each end and find a way to seal the inner tube to the caps. I'd attach a Schrader fitting to the outer shell and use my vacuum pump to draw a vacuum on it. Then I'd manifold a bunch of these together. Off the bat I'd try to get away with black ABS for the outer tube but I question it's heat transfer properties. I figure copper or aluminum painted black would work better.
  • Methinks you

    ought to get up close & personal w/ one before starting the production line.

  • Agreed, but this would just be for the builders personal use. I don't see a production line any time soon. ;)
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790

    The outside tube has to be glass. That's the idea with evacuated tubes. The vacuum between the outer glass shell and the inner absorber tube provides insulation. With the price of collectors these days, I cannot imagine building panels yourself would be much cheaper, and the finished product would not perform as well as a manufactured version.

    A flat plate collector would be much easier to build. You could always build an insulated box, put copper manifold at the top and bottom, run 1/2" copper vertically between the headers, and snap on some Thermofin painted black.

  • I do have a question, How is the evacuated tube type "better" than just using black tube without the outer shell? I'm guessing surface area?

    The answer appeared while I was typing this. Glass, yea that makes sense. Makes it a wee bit more difficult too. I was looking at them online and it didn't look like glass to me. Fragile though, no?

    I DO know a glass blower. ;)

    Actually I heat the neighbor's pool for them with a couple of those ABS solar mats. It's a total rig job but it works. I put a weil mclain heater off their boiler and once the pool was up to temp they maintained 33,000 gallons 85+ all summer with just 2 - 4 x 12 panels and 3/4 PVC teed off the discharge side of the pool pump. I've been wanting to add another panel and I thought maybe I'd fool around with this evacuated tube stuff.

  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790

    The black tube without a shell has no insulation unless put in a box, and then it might as well be a flat plate.
  • Uni R_2
    Uni R_2 Member Posts: 589
    Not as affected by orientation...

    But man do they look fragile.

  • Ah, insulation. I'm thinking pool heater for the summer, you guys are thinking heating the house or DHW all year. I don't know if you caught my edit to my previous post but I'll add by saying I HAD considered some way of insulating those ABS panels to get more out of them. I'll bet I was on the right track. I've been considering just draping clear plastic sheet over them. We take them down in the fall and put them up in the spring. Takes about an hour. We bunji them to the pool fence in the sunny spot.
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790

    What does the vacuum do if the outer tube is not transparent?
  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
    vac tubes & pool

    i wouldn't put expensive solar tube on a pool when those inexpensive abs panels seeem to do the trick.

    save the vac tubes for DHW or plain heat.

  • Right, that was MY question. :)

    Still, these things must be fairly delicate?

  • They actually do. They (the neighbors) didn't spend anything on NG to heat that pool for the entire season. A little at first to bring it up and then some at the end when it started turning cold. Not bad for a rig job! :)

    We did it that way becasue they didn't want to put anything on the roof and quite frankly, neither did I.
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    My apologies, Dan

    Not my intention to start a political dissertation or rant... Just relaying news I heard on CBS radio on the way into work. As I stated in my original post, I don't know any of the details.
This discussion has been closed.