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Old 29-02-2016, 21:14   #16
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Re: Hot water

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Excellent for cockpit shower
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:34   #17
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Re: Hot water

Contemplating whether solar hot water might be a good idea, I searched and found a blog describing a complicated and challenging install. Then saw PaulinOz's posting. We have solar panels, and this sounds like a much easier way to get hot water! Maybe just have to remember to heat up the water once during the day when the sun in shining. This seems so obvious now, don't know why we didn't think of it!

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Does the heater not have an AC heater element in it to heat water when on shore power. If so you just use inverter supplied AC to heat water, that is how we do it. Have a 1 hour timer switch that is operated when Batteries are up to 100 % SOC and Solar panels are still able to supply power, this will heat up a 60 lt tank to a satisfactory temp. That way drain on Battery is only Heater load less the supplied current from solar panels.

eg: heater on inverter draws 125 amps for 1 hour, solar can supply 90 amps so only draw 35 from batteries for 1 hour which will be replaced easily in the following 1/2 hour.

This IMO is a lot easier than having dedicated Solar hot water, because you can never have to much power available.
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Old 14-08-2016, 07:14   #18
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Re: Hot water

I am not a water heater specialist; however, we have Helia #4 and I, as in DIY, had to replace the hot water heater 30 months after delivery. When our Helia was delivered, the hot water heater did obtain power through the inverter. Yes, I am sure about it; no, you definitely don't want your WH powered through the inverter.

We replaced the water heater because there was a very small leak in the engine/WH heat exchanger that allowed pressurized fresh water from the tank to come into the coolant side of the engine. The symptom was a very slow leak from the engine coolant reservoir. We thought at first it was an engine heat exchanger problem, wrong. The water heater was still under warranty; however, Indel will not honor the warranty until you ship in your old heater. Not worth it from most places we go cruising.

We find the hot water to be quite sufficient for all our hot water needs. I have never contemplated adding a second. Between engine time and generator time for charging or Aircon, we very seldom start the engine for hot water. There is an adjustable valve on the WH that mixes cold water with the hot water in the tank when dispensed. I would suggest adjusting this otherwise the water coming out of the tank could easily burn someone if you accidently bump the shower faucet to full hot. This happens in small showers.

The last thing I'll discuss is we have had 3 leaks in the red flex fresh water water pipe all within 1 foot of the hot water heater. The problem is that every time this has happened; the engine has been running, we are motoring and the bilge pump alarm is the alert method. The leaks are all tiny pin holes. The first time 1 inch away from the WH; fixed with just cutting off an inch. The second time again 1 inch from the WH; I added a 4 inch repair piece. The third was 1 inch onto the original red flex pipe; this time I cut out a 6 foot piece. The original red flex has a larger ID than the flex pipe I have found in any chandlery. This means that a repair piece will not work with the fitting from FP that comes on the tank. I would suggest everyone buy the Whale type fitting that will allow you to use any 15 mm OD pipe coming out of the WH.

Sorry about the long post. Thought I would share some of my WH stories.
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Old 14-08-2016, 16:33   #19
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Re: Hot water

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Originally Posted by Chat de Mer View Post
Contemplating whether solar hot water might be a good idea, I searched and found a blog describing a complicated and challenging install. Then saw PaulinOz's posting. We have solar panels, and this sounds like a much easier way to get hot water! Maybe just have to remember to heat up the water once during the day when the sun in shining. This seems so obvious now, don't know why we didn't think of it!
The system that PaulinOz describes works a treat. But remember that his boat has "solar to spare", so using PV solar input that would otherwise go to waste is a great idea. Paul has (if I remember correctly ) 2000W of solar panels, we have 1100W and similar appliances but we cannot reliably use excess solar power for hotwater. Even in the sunny tropics, cloudy days see us needing our solar for battery charging with little to spare. This is real world experience, not based on theoretical calculations.

I'm privileged to not only know PaulinOz, but also Dod42. The solar water heater system ( as opposited to solar photo voltaic electrical panels ) that he has installed is dedicated to only making hot water. It works independently and doesn't require a "switch over". It will produce hot water even on moderately cloudy days. It's probably a more reliable way of getting hot water unless you have a large solar array. On the downside, it may not be easy to route pipes to and from the water heater tank and the solar hot water panel.

Isn't it good to have a couple of good options for "free" hotwater?
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Old 14-08-2016, 18:39   #20
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Re: Hot water

One small note. Solar PV panels are 13-18 percent efficient. A typical solar hot water flat plate panel would be roughly 60% efficient. Figure 1 SF per gallon heated as a average ballpark number. A bit more in higher latitudes. Of course you need a small 12V pump and a differential controller, probably 10mm pipe.
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