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Paul Wood's Solar Hot Water System
Houma, LA

Paul with the help of Benny Marcel, another member of LSES, installed Paul's solar hot water system.  Here's how they did it.

As Submitted from Benny Marcel:

We bought the system from  Its a system3 which is a DC pump driven open loop system with 2 layers of freeze protection.  The pump is an ECOCIRC.  There is a dole valve that starts dripping when temps are in the mid 40s. There is also a more robust re circulation setup which drives the pump when temps get below 40 using a DC transformer.   This is will protect the system for 8 hours with temps to the mid 20's.  Normally the pump is powered by a 21 watt PV panel.  We added a really nice differential controller from Thermo Technologies.  This controller  manages the solar collectors and also will turn on the electricity to the tank should the hot water demand be greater than the sun creates.  It also collects information on energy collected and used to heat the tank.  An ISTEC 1700 flow meter is used to collect the BTUs collected. Since we are using a DC pump and the controller is 110v AC we use a small relay to control the pump.  The elements in the tank are controlled by a 240v 30amp relay.  The system includes 3 20-1 skyline panels and it attached to a new 80 gal. high efficiency tank.
If anyone has questions you can contact with Paul at, or Benny at


Photos courtesy of Benny Marcel