What are potential problems with a black hose solar collector? The obvious advantage is no freeze-up problems. Otherwise it seems cost-effective and reliable.
My first black hose collector was laid out on the lawn and connected via closed loop to my hot water storage tank inside the house 2nd floor. Thermal syphon did the work, and my storage tank stayed between 80 and 90F all summer, adequate to preheat my copper coil inside the tank for domestic hot water via my 30F rise in-line heater. Now I have two collectors in operation with a fountain pump (increases efficiency), glazing, insulation, and old aluminum siding with the raw side sanded to retain highly elective solar collector surface black paint. Now all my pipes are pex, the tank is cheap poly, and I use a fountain pump 120v controlled by a simple air conditioner T-stat placed in a window directly in the sun. The hose is coiled inside the collector, on top of the black aluminum, and under glazing.
When I lived in a small off-grid cabin in GA, I just had a coil of black plastic irrigation hose on the roof, under a piece of clear plastic held down with bricks. This received water from the tank on top of the hill which ran water over the whole site by gravity, and was connected directly to the shower, along with a cold water feed, through a hose "Y" set backwards so as to mix hot and cold as needed. Fifty feet would provide an average shower or two short ones. Run completely cold, on a sunny day it would take less than an hour to be shower hot again. During the thirty or so scattered days in the winter when it was either too cloudy or frozen to work, a big pot on top of the woodstove was the backup.
Alder Burns (adiantum)
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