Strange how the temperature getting down to zero Fahrenheit motivates me to go work in the basement. So today I started to build my first full sized prototype. I hacked apart the remains of the window mounted air conditioners so that I could place the radiators inside the two 100 gallon steel containers. The tub on the left is the hot water tank and will be eventually surrounded by insulation to minimize heat loss. The tub on the right is in direct contact with the concrete which will passively warm up the water to 55 degrees. Alert viewers will notice that the copper tubing is held in place with duct tape– I assure you this is temporary until my plumber friend is available to finish the connections. Currently he is too busy repairing frozen pipes to help with my crazy water heating experiment. (see the first sentence in the paragraph)
Once I finish the tubing and insulation I will put refrigerant in the system, fill up both tanks and run the compressor. Unless something unexpected occurs, I should get the same results as in version 1.0 that I ran upstairs in the garage. After that I’m going to put together a raspberry pi to monitor the temperature of the tanks and turn the compressor on and off as needed and measure power consumption. Finally I’ll connect it to the internet so I can check the temperature of the water on my smart phone while I’m at work. No, I’m not serious about that last part. I mean really, who ever cares about her water heater until she has to take a cold shower in the morning?