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PostPosted: Jun 2nd, '15, 10:14 
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Hi folks, looking at buying a solar water heater ASAP and have heard these work well in the poor Melbourne winter sun (or lack thereof).

The systems I have seen used for aquaponics are stainless steel, but all the "stainless steel" systems I have found from solar distributors include a copper heat transfer. This was discussed under "aquaheat" topic, but the trail ran cold there.

Do you know if these are safe for fish, or what I need to ask for?
Also any information regarding how to use the system would be appreciated. I.e. Does it need a controller, or just thermal siphon or small pump on timer?
Is there a way to calculate what size I need?
What about efficiency/cost of an electric booster versus aquarium heater to supplement heat at night?


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My first basic IBC system: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24197


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PostPosted: Jun 2nd, '15, 15:51 
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I have one and i live in Tassy not for the aquaponics but on the roof, and i get hot water all year round. even if the sun don’t shine for 3-4 days its still warm enough for a shower. half hour of sun and its red hot ,the one i have is a 36 tube with a s/s steel tank on top. no heat transfer through any metal , the water is actually in the tubes, i was a bit iffy about the seals around the tubes they are a very soft silicon compound , but a super tight fit into the tank. had it for 3 years now and no hassles at the moment. but might be a bit expensive for backyard aquaponics though.


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PostPosted: Jun 2nd, '15, 16:18 
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..
Heat Transfer..

Forget the concerns for metals within the Solar-Collector..
Just run the hot water through an safe-tube, in the fish tank or sump.. eg... bent stainless steel or PEX tubing..
..
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PostPosted: Jun 2nd, '15, 16:59 
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johna, sounds like yours might be more like what I'm after; water directly in the tubes. Do you know the brand/model?
I don't mind investing in solar for long term growth gains. Compared to an electric aquarium heater, it would pay for itself in one season.. Bacteria and fish will be happier not to be cold most of the year!

BuiDoi, I'll keep that in mind. Prefer to avoid installing a coil in my smallish tank if possible, but I guess it has the added benefit of not cooking the bacteria if it really heats up..


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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '15, 18:59 
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got mine from this site.http://stores.ebay.com.au/ultimateproductsdirect/, he personally delivered it very good service.


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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '15, 19:50 
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The use of a solar hot water (SHW) system with a heat exchanger rather than direct water heating of the system seems safer copper has a mild antiseptic character and killing bacteria in an Aquaponics system seems "questionable". There are some thermally stabilised soft pipes available (e.g. like the ones used in the "Solartwin" - SHW system) I've been using this system for 10 years to heat my domestic water for more than ten years. This system has the advantage of being flexible and frost resistant.

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but if you can put the SHW panel lower than the water to be heated (with a least 30cm between the top of the Panel and the bottom of the tank) the water will flow WITHOUT a pump - this method is called THERMOSYPHON. You need to be careful with the design of the panel, it's simple principle which works on the fact that hot water is lighter than cold - by heating the water and having a large body of cool water (to be warmed) allows a circulation flow to be established as the hot water "rises" up from the panel and the cooled water "drops" down from the tank to the bottom of the panel.

I could post a special on this subject (I it's one of the things I teach at my University and have even run a self build course for a micro system) but the net is full of great info (Look at this simple DIY project: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Wa ... honDIY.htm )
- I'd only be reinventing the wheel?

If you are thinking of buying a system off the net, the thing to look for is a stand alone system on it's own frame with the solar panel set BELOW an insulated tank these are almost always thermosyphon systems.

Remember once you start playing with SHW - it's all about insulation, so you decided when and where things heat up!


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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '16, 17:02 
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Asi_9 wrote:
Hi folks, looking at buying a solar water heater ASAP and have heard these work well in the poor Melbourne winter sun (or lack thereof).

The portland hvac company reviews I have seen used for aquaponics are stainless steel, but all the "stainless steel" systems I have found from solar distributors include a copper heat transfer. This was discussed under "aquaheat" topic, but the trail ran cold there.

Do you know if these are safe for fish, or what I need to ask for?
Also any information regarding how to use the system would be appreciated. I.e. Does it need a controller, or just thermal siphon or small pump on timer?
Is there a way to calculate what size I need?
What about efficiency/cost of an electric booster versus aquarium heater to supplement heat at night?


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I recommend you one thing that you can use a thermal siphon to indicate the temperature of water heater. not use these water for fishes. The fishes will die and last thing use 2' pvc pipe for water heater.


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