Solar Water Heating--Revised & Expanded Edition: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems

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Heating water with the sun is a practice almost as old as humankind itself. Solar Water Heating, now completely revised and expanded, is the definitive guide to this clean and cost-effective technology.

Beginning with a review of the history of solar water and space heating systems from prehistory to the present, Solar Water Heating presents an introduction to modern solar energy systems, energy conservation, and energy economics. Drawing on the authors’ experiences as designers and installers of these systems, the book goes on to cover:

  • Types of solar collectors, solar water, and space heating systems and solar pool heating systems, including their advantages and disadvantages
  • System components, their installation, operation, and maintenance
  • System sizing and siting
  • Choosing the appropriate system

This book focuses on the financial aspects of solar water or space heating systems, clearly showing that such systems generate significant savings in the long run. With many diagrams and illustrations to complement the clearly written text, this book is designed for a wide readership ranging from the curious homeowner to the serious student or professional.

Bob Ramlow has been involved in renewable energy system sales, installation, and manufacturing since 1976. He is an IREC/ISPQ certified solar thermal independent master trainer and a NABCEP certified solar thermal installer. He writes and teaches workshops about solar energy.

Benjamin Nusz has worked as an installer, site assessor, designer, and consultant for solar thermal systems. He currently trains renewable thermal technicians at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865716681
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 448,378
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Ramlow has been involved in renewable energy system sales, installation and manufacturing since 1976. He is a founding member of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and writes and teaches workshops about solar energy from his home in Amherst, Wisconsin. Benjamin Nusz has worked as an installer, site assessor, designer and consultant for solar thermal systems. He currently trains renewable thermal technicians at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments IX

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 History 5

Chapter 2 Conservation and the Economics of Solar Water Heating 11

The True Cost of Fossil Fuel 13

A Brief History of Fossil Fuels 15

Life-Cycle Costing 17

Chapter 3 Types of Solar Collectors 23

Flat Plate Collectors 24

Evacuated Tube Collectors 26

ICS Collectors 30

Concentrating Collectors 32

Pool Collectors 33

Comparing Solar Water Heating Collectors 34

Air Collectors 39

Chapter 4 Other System Components 41

Storage Tanks 41

Heat Exchangers 46

Pumps 47

Piping and Pipe Insulation 49

Solar Fluids 51

Other System Components 53

Chapter 5 Solar Water Heating Systems 65

Introduction 65

Pressurized Antifreeze Systems 68

Drainback Systems 77

Integral Collector Storage Systems 82

Thermosiphon Systems 84

Open-Loop Systems 86

Draindown Systems 87

Refrigerant Solar Water Heaters 89

Solar Heated Pools 90

Solar Heated Hot Tubs and Spas 94

Chapter 6 Solar Space Heating Systems 97

Liquid-Type Solar Heating Systems 99

Liquid-Type Systems without Storage 99

Liquid-Type Systems with Storage 101

Heat Delivery Methods 110

High-Mass Systems 119

Air-Type Solar Heating Systems 124

Chapter 7 Choosing the Right System for Your Needs 129

Siting a Solar Energy System 130

Sizing a Solar Water Heating System 137

Sizing a Solar Space Heating System 143

Sizing Components 150

Sizing Expansion Tanks 156

Sizing Air Heating Systems 157

Chapter 8 System Installation 159

Installing Solar Water Heating Systems 159

Handling Solar Collectors 161

Mounting Solar Collectors 165

Mounting the Heat Exchanger 181

Plumbing the System 184

Testing the System 192

Installing Solar Pool Heating Systems 193

Installing Radiant Floor Tubing 194

Chapter 9 System Operation and Maintenance 203

Charging a Pressurized System 203

Charging a High-Mass System 209

Finishing Up 209

Controls and Power Sources 210

Maintenance 218

Appendix A Wire Sizing Chart 225

Appendix B Metric Conversions 227

Appendix C Temperature and Resistance Conversion Chart for 10K Thermistors 229

Glossary 231

Index 235

About the Authors 245

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 30, 2012

    Very Highly Recommended

    I became interested in installing a solar heater and considered taking an online course to learn about it. One of the online courses stated they use this book as their primary source of information, so I decided to check it out first. I am glad I did. It is very easy to understand and informative about different types of solar heat. It has several diagrams and illustrations to help out. I consider this a must read even if you are purchasing a complete system and hiring a contractor to install.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012


    This is very easy to understand and gives pretty much everything on what you need to know about solar hot water systems. Worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    never received the book!

    How dare you ask for a review of a "book" that was not made clear that I would not get a physical copy of it. Not every one knows what a "nook book" or a (ebook) I feel cheated, and mislead. If I could give you zero stars I would. Shame on you Barns and Noble, your a rip off!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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