Hot Water

Table of Contents

Making a Solar Electric Water Heater | Can it Be Done?

April 1, 2015

As the price of photovoltaic modules (solar modules, solar panels) continues to drop there are many discussions about using solar electric modules to heat water. No more leaks, messy and complicated plumbing, heat exchangers, controllers to fail, pumps to maintain and fluids to freeze. Solar hot water has been plagued with leaks, freezing (or poisonous […]

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The Best Choices for Heating Your Solar Home | And The Worst!

March 17, 2015

The largest energy consumer of any home-built in the northern hemisphere is the heating system. Designing the correct heating system is critical in the success of the off grid home. Build it wrong and nothing else will matter. Almost all heating systems require some form of electricity to operate whether it for the fans (oil, […]

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The Best Off Grid Heating System

March 14, 2015

The greatest advance in home heating in the past few decades has to be the Open Direct System invented by Radiantec. The Open Direct System uses a highly efficient condensing tank-style water heater that provides both radiant space heating and domestic hot water all in one unit cutting electricity requirements for those of us living […]

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Dump Loads for Solar, Wind and Microhydro

May 2, 2013

Dump loads a.k.a. diversion loads are are an important part of the off grid electric system. Almost all wind and water turbine installations will require them and most solar installations can benefit from a dump load. As we discussed in the dump load intro, a dump load is simply an electrical device (load) to send […]

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Add a Diversion Load to a SkyStream

April 18, 2013

There are a few methods to add a diversion load to your Skystream. The best methods are shown below (option #1 or option #2) but it assumes you either have a charge controller/ inverter with a programmable relay driver/output or you will purchase a diversion controller. Outback Power, Schneider Electric and Magnum Energy. Midnite Solar, […]

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Dump Load / Diversion Load Intro

April 16, 2013

Since there is a lot of confusion about diversion loads, we will discuss what they are and why they are used. A dump load is nothing more than a resistor (heating element) that is used for dumping electricity when it is not needed or to prevent your battery bank from being overcharged. It could be […]

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Using an Electric Heater as a Dump Load

April 12, 2013

A common question I get asked is “Can I use a standard 120/240 AC heating element or hot water heater element as a DC dump load for my wind turbine/water turbine/solar system?” (Wondering what a dump load is? Click here) The answer is yes but don’t expect it to consume (dump) as much electricity as […]

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Circulating Pumps for the Off Grid Home

March 16, 2013

It is almost inevitable you will need at least one circulating pump for your off the grid homestead. Whether it is for radiant home heating, keeping fish alive in a aquaponic or aquaculture system or making a home-made air conditioning system, circulating pumps are very important. If you go to your local hardware store and […]

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How to Choose a Gas Tankless Water Heater

March 13, 2013

A tankless gas hot water heater might be a good choice for your off the grid home. If you are not familiar with the tankless hot water heater they are a box shaped unit that heats water instantaneously as water passes through it rather than heating water slowly and storing it in a large tank. […]

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Hot Water Heating Systems

March 11, 2013

Domestic hot water will account for about 30% of your home’s energy footprint. Only a few decades ago there were very limited options for the off grid home’s water heating system. Back then the only options were a gas hot water heater, some form of wood boiler or the often high maintenance solar hot water […]

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Ivan Labs El SID DC Circulating Pumps

March 4, 2013

The Ivan Labs El SID circulating pumps have been the best choice for solar hot water and radiant heat for the past few decades. For solar hot water they are used to pump water from the solar collector(s) to the heat exchanger and from the heat exchanger to the hot water tank/heater. In a radiant […]

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Using Your Wood Stove to Heat Water

March 1, 2013

One of the most overlooked functions of a wood stove is heating water. A few decades ago many wood stoves (especially cook stoves) used what was a called a hot water front in conjunction with a tank (range boiler) beside/behind the wood stove to produce endless hot water. The hot water front (which is nothing […]

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