Hot water heating element

55 Posts
Feb 17, 2011 04:19 pm
Hot water heating element

I have a C35 controller switched to diversion. A single 60w solar panel. With a air heating element load. I have an opportunity to get a 6g electric water heater and I was thinking of year round pre heating the water that goes to my water heater.1st question is is it worth my time? 2nd is what REALLY is the difference between the 120v heating element and a 12v element? 3rd would I be doing anything with only 60w of power?
97 Posts
Feb 18, 2011 09:41 am
Re: Hot water heating element

Hi Max.  I think that heating water with alternative energy is definitely a worthwhile endeavor, since up to a quarter of household electrical power is devoted to this task.  The only real difference between a 120v and a 12v heater element is the resistance of the element and the number of electrical connections within the element.  The lower voltage elements often use multiple heaters &  connections so that they are adaptable to different low voltages....12, 24, 48.  I am currently heating domestic water, using wind, solar, and battery power......avoiding the inefficiency of conversion to AC with an inverter. I use a 1440W/120v element, which has a resistance of 10 ohms.  When powered by 48vdc, it generates a heating power of 230 watts and is sufficient to heat a 30 gallon water tank to 120 degrees.  If you are using a diverted 60 watt source of power you will be using less than 1/4 of that power level and will not achieve very much heating effect compared to what is required for hot water supply in the household.  But, you have a good starting point for a system design.  I wish you good fortune.  Jon C.
99 Posts
Feb 18, 2011 01:05 pm
Re: Hot water heating element

I'm not going to say it's completely worthless to do it, but it would take 18.5 days for a 60 Watt element to heat as much water as one gallon of propane could within minutes.  Running for one hour, the 60 Watt element could heat 1.5 liters of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.  It really depends upon how much effort it would take to set it up to determine if it's worth it.  And also how insulated your water tank is.
462 Posts
Feb 19, 2011 11:42 am
Re: Hot water heating element

Max, as Thomas figured, the 60 W isn't that much power when heating water. If you had a greater power source it would make more sense.
  The air heater that you have now is probably the better option. If the heater is located in the same room as the water heater, that may heat the water just as much. Or, you could even put a coil of tubing inside a piece of ductwork to preheat ,or the whole tank in an insulated box, along with the resistive air heater.
« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2011 11:44 am by Tom Mayrand »
7 Posts
Jan 29, 2012 02:28 am
Re: Hot water heating element

Hey I want to install the solar water heater system at my home. Please suggest me some views regarding it.

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