Posted by: greenpinkies | October 21, 2010

Introductions, or The old fashioned picnic social



 We ‘green pinkies’ may be novices at saving the environment, but we are experts in how to enjoy it. The day was beautiful. October 18.












Food for thought






“Ken, meet Rick, Rick, meet Bob, Bob meet Rennai”. “Where’s John?” “What have you heard from William and Gary?”   Now things start to get exciting.

We wish to design the very best and most efficient whole house heating , air conditioning and water heating systems.

This requires that our plumbers will be talking with our HVAC guys and these, in turn will be talking with our solar water heater guy.

Why all this talking?  They will all have to play nice and get along with each other and can either cooperate with each other or they will conflict with each other. No, not the guys,… they all get along…we’re talking the systems!  The systems will either augment each other or be self-defeating. ( think: divide and conquer).

Here we will introduce those local Fayetteville companies who, so far, are willing to help us out and put up with our ever-present tendency to change our minds (a woman’s prerogative, you know).

We will include a complete description and contact for each company within the next few days. You will not find finer people to work with.

Ozark Mountain Air, with the team of Ken and Bob, will be working out the heating system for the house.  They will be trying a hydronic system. That is, heating with hot water. In this case our hydronic system will be pumping hot water through a coil that will then heat the air for the house.  Enter: North Star Plumbing.

North Star Plumbing, with the team of Rick and Ed, will be introducing a tankless water heater to this system.  A tankless water heater is not a storage device like a hot water heater tank. No, this one uses natural gas and will heat the water flowing through the pipes only when a user, either the heat pump or a person taking a shower, needs it. Now, is it possible to get mother nature to help this process out?

The answer is: Sun City SolarCommercial Energy, (Hi, John, nice to have you on board),   after all, Fayetteville has a surprising number of sunny days. Why not use the sun to heat the water on those days, giving Rinnai the day off!

Now here’s where it gets interesting: the water that will be used for the heating system in the house will flow in a circle. The water will start at the tankless water heater.  This tankless will fire up and heat the water to the correct temperature. Then the water travels to the hydronic heating system where, as it flows through coils, it will heat the forced air for the house heat. After flowing through the coils, the still hot water will flow down and circulate back and forth under the floors of both bathrooms and then the kitchen floor before circulating back to meet the tankless water heater again. The tankless will then fire again only if needed.  If someone turns on a hot water tap, or the dishwasher calls for hot water, the water will flow to that particular appliance. This house, itself, suggested the loop system because the closet for the tankless water heater, the closet for the heating system, and the bathrooms and kitchen are all in a very small area in the core of the house. The water does not travel far as it is a pretty small loop covering approximately 100 square feet of area. ( a rough estimate).

In theory this sounds pretty neat. Now, if you were to add a solar water heater to the loop, the water will become warm enough, even in winter, as long as the sun is shining, and the tankless should not have to fire at all.  At that point, all showers, other hot water usage, under floor heating and household heating will cost only the electricity to run the circulating pump for the water loop and the heat pump for blowing warm air.

We will be further describing the roof mounted solar water heater (not a photo voltaic solar panel) when we ourselves better understand it. Currently we think this is simply a system where a freeze resistant fluid in a closed tube loop is circulated through a flat black box mounted on the roof so that the fluid becomes quite hot.  This fluid then flows through coils inside a water heater-like tank down in the house and heats the water therein. This hot water will be the water that is circulating and, if the temperature should lower, the tankless water heater will fire up and start supplemental heating of the water.

Now there will be plenty of calculations and figuring to see how this will work. After the initial plans are made, we will circulate them 😉  over to William and Gary for final projections on what an average energy consumption might be with such a system.

Maybe we can start by November…then we’re only 1 month behind schedule!



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