Tag Archives: Solar Passive Heaters

Off Grid Living - How to Install Solar Lighting Systems for an Off Grid Property

Guide to Off Grid Living Launches New Living-Off-Grid.com Website to Complement Its Facebook Groups and Pages Targeting Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York and Texas

The Facebook pages/groups and off grid website provide info on building off grid homes, producing solar power, growing organic gardens, raising livestock and harvesting rainwater

Sacramento, California (November 11, 2019) – The Guide to Off Grid Living announced today that it has launched a new website, Living-Off-Grid.com, to educate people that want to buy a rural piece of property and build an off grid homestead in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York or Texas.

“Today’s world is full of high-technology gadgets, computers, cell phones, cloud-based services that are all dependent on electricity, but as more than 2 million people found out in California, that can change instantly overnight and without warning,” said Robert Hoskins, Editor, Guide to Off Grid Living. “Our Guide to Off Grid Living is written specifically to help people learn how to survive as long as the sun is shining and the clouds are raining.”

“Even if you live in a suburban or a downtown urban environment, almost anyone can prepare themselves and their family to live in a world without water, gas or electricity from the local utility company, which might vanish overnight, whether it be just for a couple of days or many months at a time,” Hoskins continued. “Imagine what it would be like to live in a house with no utility or grocery bills.”

For shelter, the site provides insightful information that beginners can use to research, plan and build their first off grid home, cabin and/or shed.

Off Grid Living - How to Build a Shed, Cabin, Tipi, Yurt, Earthship, Tent, Wilderness Shelter, Bunker, Tiny House or Steel Building for an Off Grid Property

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Shed, Cabin, Tipi, Yurt, Earthship, Tent, Wilderness Shelter, Bunker, Tiny House or Steel Building for an Off Grid Property


For energy, the site details how to harness solar energy to produce electricity, heat, hot water, lights and ovens for cooking.

Off Grid Living - Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

Off Grid Living – Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

For food, the site details how to plant organic raised-bed gardens, how to build aquaponic gardens/fish farms as well as how to raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, bees and other live stock to put food on the table.

Off Grid Living - How to Build a Greenhouse to Support an Off Grid Aquaponic Garden and Fish Farm

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Greenhouse to Support an Off Grid Aquaponic Garden and Fish Farm

For water, the site details how to collect water utilizing rainwater harvesting systems using rooftops and collection barrels and cisterns, how to build a fresh water ponds for raising fish and aquatic plants and how to drill your own well if the water table is close to the surface.

Off Grid Living - How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water for an Off Grid Homestead

Off Grid Living – How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water for an Off Grid Homestead

 

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Contact:
Robert Hoskins
Living-Off-Grid.com
512-627-6622

How to Heat Water with Solar Hot Water Heaters and Stove Water Heating Jackets

The Benefits of Using Passive Solar Heating and Wood Stove Water Heating Jackets to Heat Water for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Click on the photo to see more pictures:
How to Use Off Grid Solar Collectors to Product Free Hot Water

How to Use Passive Solar Collectors to Product Free Hot Water for Off Grid Properties

Various Types of Solar Hot Water Heaters to Heat Water for Off Grid Homes

United States – There are many options for solar water heaters that range from inexpensive home-made jobs to high-end state of the art commercial models.

If you switch to a solar water heating system, your use of electricity or propane will drop significantly; that number will approach zero rapidly if your backup heating system is a wood stove or firebox with a water jacket rather than occasional use utility electricity.

The home-made options are typically not suited for use during times of the year when temperatures dip below freezing. You would need to winterized them before any threat of fall or winter weather arrives.  There are probably hundreds of variations that may be found on the internet. They range from coils of black plastic pipe on one’s roof to coils of copper inside a box with outer glass cover (creating a greenhouse effect).

Some of these utilize a DC electric circulating pump. It pushes the heated water into a storage tank and bring fresh cool water into the heater.  This pump may be activated by a switch that is temperature controlled. But some are directly connected to a solar panel and only run when the sun is shining (precisely the same times that the water is being heated and needs to be circulated).

Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Heaters

Evacuated tube models are composed of numerous rows of glass tubes with another smaller tube inside each of the larger tubes.  A vacuum is pulled between each of the two tubes which greatly lessens the loss of heat to outside weather.  Water or an antifreeze solution is then circulated through the inner tubes.

The advantages of evacuated tubes lie in greater efficiency and less heat lost.  So they work quite well even during surprisingly cool temperatures.  However they are somewhat fragile and may not be as suited to areas with a great amount of snow and ice due to the potential for breakage from buildup.

Flat Panel Solar Hot Water Heaters

These heaters look much like solar electric panels but contain tiny water passages which enable a great amount of surface area to come in contact with the heat from the sun.  While not as efficient as evacuated tubes, flat panels still work very well and are certainly more rugged when faced with heavy snow and icy conditions.

Typically an antifreeze solution is circulated through the tubes or panels and the hot fluid is routed inside to a heat exchanger which transfers the heat of the fluid to the home’s hot water.  There are some varieties of evacuated tube heaters that are called drain down systems, which do not require the use of antifreeze because the water drains away from exposed areas once the water cools off.

Thermo-Siphon Solar Hot Water Heaters

It is possible to set up a solar water heating system that doesn’t require an electric circulating pump.  This would be called a thermo-siphon system, operating on the principle that heat rises.

This was the type of system we planned to install for our cabin in the summertime.  The disadvantages would be the amount of work involved in installation, significant cost of commercial systems, and reliance on an electric circulating pump (unless it is set up as a thermo-siphon system).

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