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Is solar Thermal Dead?

Dave responds to solar water heater article
Heat pump water heater review

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/solar-thermal-dead

Written almost 3!!! years ago.  When PV was like 4.50$/watt! .... LOL!

    Article says: Unlike a PV system, most solar thermal systems have moving parts (pumps and solenoid valves).
Dave says: Well yes!

    Article says: In freezing climates, solar thermal systems are sometimes subject to freeze damage.
Dave says: OK yes 

    Article says: Solar thermal systems require regular maintenance, including antifreeze replacement.
Dave says:: Um I guess so.

    Article says: Unlike owners of a grid-connected PV system, who can be credited for their excess electricity production during the summer, owners of a solar thermal system can't sell the excess summer production of their hot water systems.
Dave says: I don't care about grid tie.

    Article says: While a pole-mounted PV array can include a tracking mechanism to follow the sun's path across the sky, it's virtually impossible to install solar thermal collectors on a tracker.

Dave says:: LOL ... trackers of any kind are road kill. Dead Dead Dead.
I knew that 7 years ago.  What is dude thinking?

    Article says: On average, PV systems probably last longer than solar thermal systems.
Dave says: Not just yes but YES.

Dave reviews heat pump water heater:... article goes on about heat pump water heaters. ... sorry but with PV below a buck a watt you need an AC inverter to feed mr heat pump thingy.  Instead of buying a reliable 3600 watt inverter for $1700 why not just buy 2000 watts more PV?

Mr heat pump gonna be working in 10? 15? 20? years with no maint? NO.
Wouldn't it be weird if super cheap PV killed heat pump water heaters (AC powered)??? 

Wouldn't it be weird if everyone just bought PV panels and stuck them out on their lawn or some such?
  Im game for a DC powered heat pump water heater if someone builds me a nice garage to stick it in. ... second thought... nah. It will block my view.


So I’ll list a few exceptions to my new rule:

    Article says: Solar thermal systems still make sense for off-grid homes.
Dave says: No ... sorry they still don't.  Not now.

    Article says: If you can get a two-collector solar thermal system installed for $5,000 or less — an attainable price in areas of the country where people don't have to worry about freeze protection — it may make sense to install one.
Dave says: No.  They are still a pain in the ass.

    Article says: In a sunny, warm climate, where a solar hot water system will have a higher solar fraction than 63%, an investment in a solar thermal system makes more sense than it does in Wisconsin or Massachusetts. (On the other hand, a PV system produces more electricity in a sunny climate, too.)
Dave says: Needs to recalculate that with PV at 1/5th the cost now.

    Article says: If you are skeptical about the longevity of heat-pump water heaters, you may prefer to wait a few years before buying one, and to stick with a solar thermal system in the meantime.
Dave says: Actually good advice to wait.  But better to heat water with propane cylinders for 3 years until PV is under a buck   ;-)  hindsight being what it is and all that.

-Dave
DC solar water heater

DC solar water heater


Connect ordinary electric water directly to solar power.

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