Welcome to the website of Denis Croombs

I have been very busy with my full time job so I have not been updating the site too much recently.

But I have been very busy, I have now designed and built the solar shed with approx 10.5sq mt of solar panels built into one face.

http://deniscroombs.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=97 for more photos.

 Solar shed frame

The shed is 4.88mt (approx 16ft) long x 2.75mt wide and is build to last becuase we have lost a pollytunnel twice in our garden (have given up now) and so this MUST not move, and the inside will house the hot water system control system and the wind turbine control/hot water heating system.

The frame is 15cm x 4.5cm (6" x 1 3/8") treated timber and is clad in 20mm (3/4") external ply.

This has 25mm of insulation on all sides and 4 copper manifolds to collect the heat, the aluminium plates I had shaped by a company here in Ireland but the shape was basic and so I had to make a basic jig to wrap the plates around the copper tube better the jig is made from scrap 20mm marine ply & a pair of pliers and some scrap very hard plastic (from a old pallet) to get the shape I wanted.

The jig is http://deniscroombs.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=107

and the shape I wanted is http://deniscroombs.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=103 this also shows the 75mm aluminium plate behind the copper tube to help gain more energy, and also shows the 30mm wide 20mm thick wood that I have placed behind each tube assembly to allow the hot air in the panel to heat up the back of the aluminium plates adding to the energy gain (well that is my reasoning anyway) the clamp in the photo has distorted the shape and when I screw the plates to the wood I put the screws in at approx 45deg pointing towards the center of the support beam so as much of the aluminium is in direct and secure contact with the copper tube.

The panel side is 4.88 mt wide x 2.44mt high and has 4 manifolds (2 of 7 risers, 2 of 8 risers) these manifolds are using 1/2" copper tube and I only had one leaking joint when I pressure tested them.

Each manifold is connected to a 3/4" manifold inside the shed, the feed to each manifold has a isolator valve in its feed to allow me to isolate any mainfold that I need to do some work on, each manifold has it own air bleed value at the top.

I have now fitted most of the aluminium plates and have painted some black, this has shown some issues with paints and so I now have to use one of the 3 types of paints because the others flaked off in a few days (they were made for 200deg C) but did not adhere to the bare metal and adding a primer makes the paint act like insulation if too thick.