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PV to electrify old iron

hot_rod
hot_rod Member Posts: 21,857
2016 technology matched to 1800 technology.

I installed a 12VDC, 200 watt element into this old radiator and filled with water. A couple 120W PV modules for power.

This element has a temperature control built on, goes up to 190F! Apparently they get used for off grid brewing applications.

I'll roll the rad into the shop, around 65F today and see how it performs.

I'm starting a tiny home project and adding some radiators, or panel rads might work into the plan. With some PV on top, the 12VDC rads could be a dump circuit, or off grid heat and power.



Bob "hot rod" Rohr
trainer for Caleffi NA
Living the hydronic dream
kcoppErin Holohan Haskelldelta T

Comments

  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    How long is the element?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,857
    6"

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,857

    Interesting concept.

    However, with 680 BTUH available, it's going to take forever to heat all that cast iron to the point where it can actually deliver a few tidbits of warmth.

    You need a lot of energy to warm up a heavy CI rad

    Consider installing it in a very tiny panel rad.

    I have the time :)

    I have a couple low mass copper radiators I built with 120V elements, just trying to put a RE spin on it.

    It may well be too much mass, and weight for a tiny home project, some clever wall panels may be in the future.




    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    kcopp
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    I get that it might take a long time for this to be an issue, but what provision did you make for expansion and relieving excess pressure?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,857
    Steamhead said:

    I get that it might take a long time for this to be an issue, but what provision did you make for expansion and relieving excess pressure?

    I just left the top vent plug out, filled it 1/2 way. I don't know that I would ever run it with and element, I have a boiler and solar thermal to connect to it.

    Just tinkering with the PV and DC element, seeing how much heat I could pull from the sun with a wire.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    kcopp
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,857

    hot rod said:


    I have the time :)

    I have a couple low mass copper radiators I built with 120V elements, just trying to put a RE spin on it.

    It may well be too much mass, and weight for a tiny home project, some clever wall panels may be in the future.




    I think I put a 150W, 120V element into this one, it goes into the bottom in the copper closet flange. About a quart of mineral oil in it. The copper conducts the heat nicely and the setpoint control keeps it all regulated. It's rarely gets plugged in, more of a conversation piece and office decoration.



    That's a beauty.

    Can you put one or two of the elements in that one?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    It would be quite interesting to compare this simple DC resistance heater with the panels, and solar thermal like evacuated tubes or flat panel. Cost of total system, to heat output. Set similar systems side by side in the sun and see what happens btu wise....

    Taylor
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!