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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    I would like advice on how to build a water heating system that can work all year round and be powered by renewables as much as possible.
    I have an off-grid house- at the moment there is an old (and unfunctioning) gas water heater and central heating system, and a wood burning pot. The house is a south facing stone building in the South of France- loads of sunshine.
    I don't need the central heating system- but rather than rip it out I would like to just disconnect it from the system- the next owner may not be so hardy and may want to re-connect it.
    The thoughts that have been rattling round my brain is- can I install a solar thermal system -panels and tank, which will effectively give me all the hot water I need in the summer, and combine it with a back heater on the stove for heating in the winter?

    If I do this would it be wise to update the gas system so that in times of little overcast but warm days when niether the solar nor the wood burner is on i can feed the water over through the gas system to give me the heat I need?

    I have been told that if you pass pre heated water through a gas heater it uses less power to get the water to the desired temperature- is this true?

    Last but not least where can i find information on this?

    thanks in advance for any advice

    • CommentAuthorJohan
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2007

    Yes, they can. You need an accumulator tank. There are several threads on the forum discussing how to connect it up, the Navitron forum also has a lot of info on how to do it.
    • CommentAuthorhowdytom
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2007
    just a comment, if you leave your radiators empty they will rapidly rust away, if you must leave them then fill them with a rust inhibitor and seal them.

    • CommentAuthorpatrick
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2007
    Avoid pre heating it sounds simple but in practice you need a computer to manage the system.

    The simplest way is to use a hot water accumulator tank with a coil for each heat source solar, boiler, back boiler etc. In the UK there are several bespoke tank makers (Newark Copper Cylinder is just one) on a new tank adding an extra coil is a relatively small extra cost for many years of much simplified operation. This can be managed with standatd cheap controle systens.

    You can achieve a similar but less efficient result by using an off the shelf twin coil solar tank and another tank above it plumed to work as one tank.

    That only leaves you the problem of funding a bespoke tank maker in Europe. If any body knows of one in Spain can you let me know!
    Thanks for the pointers- also the advice about the radiators.
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