Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Experience with non-PV solar technology?

Does anyone out there have experience working with non-photovoltaic solar technology? Anything from the theoretical to building your own solar hot-water heater? I've got a writer friend who is working on an article on solar thermal technology. She's especially interested in talking to people who have experience with small-scale projects (like a water system for a home), but she's interested to talking to anyone who can help her understand the background, too.

I vaguely remember talking about semi-off-the-grid ideas when I was in high school. (A friend had an indoor swimming pool that may have been partly solar, but I think it was also heated by a wood stove. That was Maine, and the sun doesn't shine as much there as it does in Colorado.) But although I know people from grad school who rebuilt diesel engines to run on used cooking oil, it's been a long time since I've talked to anyone who does their own passive solar. (Beyond south-facing windows, that is.)

If you've got experience or know people who do, could you e-mail me (shearsensibility AT gmail DOT com), so I can pass contact information along to my friend?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi - there was a tv series in the UK called 'It's not easy being green' about a guy turning his home into a self sufficient one - he built a solar water heater amongst other things. His name is Dick Strawbridge - he probably has a website or something. Might be interesting for your friend? All the best, Maz

Chuck said...

Solar hot water heaters are common in Australia- the main difference is that here winter temperatures in most places aren't going to freeze pipes as long as they have a little bit of insulation on them.

I think some of the companies are starting to retail to the US.

Chuck said...

A random selection of retailers:
http://www.rinnai.com.au/solar/?whs=home&pg=0
http://www.solahart.com.au/
http://www.earthutility.com.au/residential.html
http://www.edwards.com.au/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=776

Note that it is a statutory requirement for solar hot water operators to have attractive, wet, naked models in their advertising material.

ScienceWoman said...

I passed your request along to my brother who works in "green technology." He may be able to help your friend out.