Solar heating element for water heater - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 66 Old 11-26-2017 Thread Starter
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Solar heating element for water heater

Wondering if anyone makes an element that can be added to a water heater to use excess energy from solar to keep water hot. Seems to me it doesn't have to be fast. Often my batteries are topped up with many hours of daylight left. Be nice to use that to heat some water.

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post #2 of 66 Old 11-26-2017
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

https://www.amazon.com/Watt-Submersi.../dp/B00KLKGJ1I

Just pick one that matches the wattage of your solar output.

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post #3 of 66 Old 11-26-2017
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

You could plug that thing into a jerry can or 5 gal bucket.
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post #4 of 66 Old 11-26-2017
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

Many solar (& wind gen) panel controllers will have automatic LOAD switching. Such will auto-disconnect the batts when at FULL charge and will switch the LOAD to a heater tank 12vdc immersion heater. When the batts become at less than full charge, the controller switches back to keep the bank at 'full' charge.

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post #5 of 66 Old 11-26-2017
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Many solar (& wind gen) panel controllers will have automatic LOAD switching. Such will auto-disconnect the batts when at FULL charge and will switch the LOAD to a heater tank 12vdc immersion heater. When the batts become at less than full charge, the controller switches back to keep the bank at 'full' charge.
Can you point to a few examples of those that can do?
Programed?
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

I use an Old Xantrex on my solar panels. Dont have the mod. no. handy

This is what I use on my Wind Gen: http://www.morningstarcorp.com/wp-co...et-English.pdf
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

I'd rather rig a relay off a proper SoC meter, start shedding when bank gets above 85%.

The SC usually has no ideas about what's going on with concurrent loads.

But also needs a time element, want to keep it off if only three hours of sun left and not yet over 90%.

Maybe best to just trip a notification and let the human decide.

Or get into Science Project mode with Arduino coding.
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post #8 of 66 Old 11-26-2017
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

As a full time liveaboard with the normal number of electric/electronic devices in use much of the time, at anchor or underway, I've never seen my batteries with enough charge to want to dump the charging by the solar and/or windgen. The batteries will settle to around 13.85v after the solar charging has ceased and drop to around 12.6/.4v before the sun comes up, if there's not enough wind for the windgen to produce any real power overnight (less than 5 amps total for the whole night).
You might want to be sure you are actually going to be producing enough excess power to need the dump to heat water or a resistive load before you spend the money and time to install something.

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post #9 of 66 Old 11-27-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

Capta...how much battery and solar do you have?

We have 560AH of battery. Since we have an engine driven fridge with a big cold plate and all leds we have very little load on batteries at anchor for 2-3 days at a time. But.....am planning on switching to a 12v fridge for convenience of not running engine every few days and better temp control. Also planning on upgrading solar for 170W of very old panels to 240W of new more efficient cells. In that process am wondering if I should do something about water as well.
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post #10 of 66 Old 11-27-2017
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Re: Solar heating element for water heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadio917 View Post
Wondering if anyone makes an element that can be added to a water heater to use excess energy from solar to keep water hot. Seems to me it doesn't have to be fast. Often my batteries are topped up with many hours of daylight left. Be nice to use that to heat some water.
I have more then enough power to do that. However, I'm a bit more pragmatic and maybe lazy too. I just put a jug on the stove and fire it up. Propane way easier, cheaper and faster.


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