Sun Bandit solar water heater
Hello. I was reading the article by Martin Holladay entitled “Solar Thermal is Really, Really Dead” and enjoyed the discussions going back and forth on the topic of solar water heating methods. I am planning on building a small 600sq’ SIP cabin in the area of Nelson BC (climate zone 6) next year and I found this product listed as being one of the most efficient for heating domestic hot water on the Canada Energy Guide site. It says it can also be used for space heating via a radiant floor system or perhaps radiators.
My cabin is going to be totally off grid. It is a simple rectangle measuring 34′ wide by 16′ deep with a small 8′ x 10′ air lock mudroom on the west side and a 3.5:12 pitch shed roof angled up to the north. The cabin is made out of Insulspan 12 1/4″ SIPs for the floors and roof and 8 1/4″ SIPs for the walls. The cabin will be built on helical screw piers since a concrete truck can’t get into the site. I’ve been going back and forth on various methods of heating the cabin and providing domestic hot water. At one time it was going to have an outdoor furnace and a radiant floor heating system but that seems overkill. I’d like to avoid having a wood fire indoors since most wood stoves seem to be much too powerful but I do plan on using propane for cooking.
The south windows are about 7.5% of the square footage, the west window is less than 2% and the north and east windows are less than 4%. All the windows are fiberglass framed, triple pane, argon with HSHG glass on the south side. The front mudroom door is solid and faces south into an enclosed screen porch which protects both the door and the west living room window from hot summer sun. The south overhang is 4′ deep and shades the south glass from May until September.
With such a small foot print my main concerns are efficiently heating the cabin but also providing hot water. As I’m the only occupant year round I am considering using a mini split for the heating but what to do about hot water? A PV array will provide all the electricity for a fridge, freezer and lighting. There is also an HRV located in an enclosed loft.
Any suggestion of products, combinations of systems or review of the Sun Bandit would be appreciated. Thanks.
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