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Benny Marcel's Solar Hot Water System
Lafayette, LA

Benny installed his own solar hot water system.  Here's how he did it.

As Submitted from Benny Marcel:

I went to the meeting last September Baton Rouge and I have been all stoked up about this ever since, but I had to wait until the 1st of January to get my system in order to take advantage of all the tax credits.

The system was purchased from  Its is a 1 1/2 kW equivalent force fed open loop system with 2 layers of freeze protection, a 45 degree dribble valve and a 40 degree and lower re-circulator that is good down to 20 degrees.  The motor is a 16.5v Ecocirc D5 and it is powered by a 10 watt PV panel.  The re-circulation is powered by a AC/DC transformer and is controlled by a snap switch attached to the collector. There is a small control box that includes a diode that manages the flow from the panel or the transformer.  All this is tied into my original 65 gallon Rheem tank via a neat manifold that attaches to the drain hole at the bottom of the tank. I bought a USDT2004A computer differential controller separately from that operates the pump via a 115v relay switch purchased at Radio Shack.  The controller monitors the system and gives me kWh captured as well as the temperatures of the collector, upper and lower tank areas.  I am looking forward to many years of service  and my tax rebates!

If you would like to get in touch with him you can email him at

Photos courtesy of Benny Marcel