The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-Yourselfers
Heated Water Trough for Livestock -- Using the Sun
Here's an interesting project that I took on this month. With winter coming, and water troughs needing heat to stay thawed, I've put up with exposed steel troughs long enough. Why these things don't just come from the manufacturer with insulation wraps is a mystery to me. Three years ago, I built an insulated box for a water trough, and it is still effective. Now that we have more horses, we need more water troughs. Into the old water trough, I never built into it provisions for putting in insulation. I decided that the second cover would be better and have insulation.
To insulate mine, I had plenty of particle-board and 2x4's lying around, so building a box to cover the trough was easy. I built this carefully, however, to ensure room for the insulation and not much wasted space around the trough walls.
To capture some heat from the sun, I found a great idea from Build-It-Solar, and added a solar collector to one side. In that design, the water was held in by walls of plywood, lined with plastic pool-wrap. It is very efficient from the point of view of insulation, but it wouldn't survive the rigors of Alberta's winters. I needed a different way to build this water trough. Ruggedness is essential, because horses are like little bulldozers with teeth. Leaving a solar collector within reach of their hooves invites disaster. And if it isn't possible to throw in a floating water heater on seriously cold days, then there's no point in doing this project. A solar collector will not melt water when it's -30 overnight! Using a metal trough to hold the water was essential. Here is the steel tank, a pretty typical 4' foot long oval trough.
For the solar collector to heat the water, the sunlight must be absorbed efficiently. I painted the water trough black. It turned out that the black paint was glossy, but I had a bit of matte left in a spray can, so I lightly sprayed that on the side that would be in the sun. Sun entering the clear panel hits the black metal water tank and passively warms the water. At the time, I had no idea how strong the effect would be. Now that it's complete, I can feel the effect when putting my hand under the lid.
Tankless water heater2005-03-17 14:59:29 by BerkeleyDave
I'm interested in replacing my old water heater with a tankless water heater.
Couple of questions:
1) can anyone recommend an installer who will install in the Berkeley area? I'm specfically interested in Takagi heaters.
2) what's a reasonable amount to pay? Ball park figure is fine. I found one installer recommented by Takagi but he quoted me $2000 - $2500 for just installation and removal of old heater. This price doesn't include the heater. Does this sound right?
Tankless gas hot water heaters2009-01-06 18:19:09 by Raisinbids
Would like to get some feedback from people that use SPECIFICALLY the Bosch 125 or the Takagi tk Jr tankless hot water heaters. Thinking of getting one for our bathroom. Many complaints about the Bosch not turning on with low flow, i.e. one shower. I experienced this personally... had to turn on the bathroom tap while showering to keep the hot water coming! If you have experience with the Bosch actually working at low flow (maybe you adjusted it...?) or the Takagi please chime in. Thanks.
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