Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel building?

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blockislandguy
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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by blockislandguy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:40 am

NIck,

Thanks. AXE is a good brand. But we're looking for a jet spray one level down and with a smaller tank to heat up.

The nat gas equipped jet sprays add to the cost because the manufacturer has to add a burner to it and the owner has to build a stack through the roof. As a result, I don't see any entry level jet sprays offering a nat gas option. Moreover, I think that the reason why the smaller, lower priced jet sprays are single phase, relatively low voltage is because the prospective customers don't have the higher volt service in his building.

You mentioned insulation. There is a firm in CA that insulates all their jet spray machines and almost alone among jet spray manufacturers talks about total cost of use. When all is said and done we will probably buy one of their units.

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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by nickmckinney » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:12 am

Last jet wash I got I traded a port job for so I have no idea if this is overpriced, AXE 440V 3 phase with 152hrs:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/301211748484

To insulate a jet wash means a double wall build which adds dramatically to the costs for a manufacturer.

Most smaller shops are lucky to get 220V 3 phase around here.

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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by ijames » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:58 pm

I know this is further hijacking the thread, but has anyone ever tried solar heating for their hot tank or jet washer? The simplest idea would be to piggyback it on a standard solar hot water system. Use a tank 2-4x bigger than the hot tank or jet washer tank, and use a circulating pump between that tank and a heat exchanger built into the jet washer or hot tank. Run the pump whenever the storage tank is hotter than the jet washer tank so long as the washer isn't too hot already, and leave the electrical heater thermostat on the washer set to maybe 5 degrees cooler than you get out of the solar system so it only kicks on when the solar lags. The extra size on the storage tank is so that you start with pretty hot water in the morning. Given how tall most shops are, to handle vehicle lifts, you could put the panels vertically on a south facing wall and not even touch the roof if the landlord objected or you wanted to be able to easily take it all down if/when you move. Solar hot water has the lowest cost and fastest payback of any of the solar energy systems, and of course you would use the solar hot water for your regular hot water as well for more savings. There are lots of plans for home-built collector panels, too, if you wanted to diy. Of course, this would be easier in Florida than NY - ever looked into it, Nick? Build one for yourself and then start selling them :lol: .

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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by blockislandguy » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:41 pm

Nice idea. I've always dismissed the idea of solar panels because we don't use much hot water. I never thought about solar heated hot water for a jet spray.

From what I've read the Harvard Business School's gym heats their hot water for their showers from a roof top solar system. In cloudy, snowy Boston, no less.

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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by ijames » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:10 pm

Direct thermal collection is a lot more forgiving about clouds and scattered light than photovoltaics, you just have to be practical about what peak temperature you want to get. Somewhere online is a photo of a solar house, heated only by solar, close to the Canadian border. Maybe in New Hampshire? I forget. They covered the entire south facing roof with clear lexan sheets, dribbled water onto the shingles from a perforated pipe running along the peak, and collected the hot water in the gutter. If you want to go all the way, put in radiators and use the hot water for heating, too.

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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by nickmckinney » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:55 am

Jet wash water is some nasty stuff, I don't know how much life you would get out of the solar stuff since you are recirculating rather than always using fresh.

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Re: Anyone ever built a shop/apartment out of a steel buildi

Post by ijames » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:21 am

nickmckinney wrote:Jet wash water is some nasty stuff, I don't know how much life you would get out of the solar stuff since you are recirculating rather than always using fresh.
My suggestion is to install a regular solar hot water heater, then put in a closed loop between a heat exchanger in the hot water tank and a heat exchanger in the jet washer tank that circulates water to heat the washer tank, without ever mixing that water with the water in the hot water tank or the washer. This way you never circulate the jet washer fluid into the solar system at all, and many installation codes require an isolation loop between water that can be used for drinking and any other functions anyway (like combined baseboard heating and hot water). The heat exchanger at each end could be as simple as a u-loop or coil of stainless steel tubing that dips into the tank but that might be a bit weak on efficiency, have to see. Thinking about it a bit more, actually, the simplest installation would be to buy a solar setup that already combines hot water and baseboard/radiator heating so you get the tank heat exchanger and pump and thermostat controls as part of the package. Anyway, I just thought you might be intrigued because of the variety of other enterprises you already have going, and how far south you live so solar would work well.

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