Active Solar Heating

I've installed a residential solar heated water system. I'm interested in what the system's doing. These pages cover my exploits...


Here's an immediate comment for the stray surfer: Don't let these pages put you off installing Solar Panels!

Installations need very little maintenance: you don't have to tinker with them! Once they're up and running - that's it. Forget about it. Enjoy the hot water!

I'm an engineer, so I want to know what's going on. A "touch of a pipe" is not really good enough for me, so I've designed a logger that lets me monitor temperature at key points in the system.

Temperature Logger

These pages describe the complete design of a temperature logger. Several 100 of these loggers have been built. 3 by the author, the rest by people that have stumbled across this site. (There may well be more: the zip download averages three a day; these pages were first posted in July 1999.)

This logger is also the basis of a Solar Heated Water Controller I've designed.  This allows you to continuously monitor a solar heated water system.  

On these pages you will find the complete design: PIC controller (16C84, DS1820) firmware source, hardware schematic, and logging / monitoring applications.

Need help? Visit the Forum

Who owns this page, schematics, code etc.?

I do! You are free to use anything published here, as long as it's for non-commercial purposes.

Windows and PIC Applications

Temperature Logger The logger controller and Windows applications. 
Solar Energy Calculator Calculate the solar energy at your location on the Earth.
Pressure Conversion Pressure conversion utility
Solar Heated Water Controller Enhancements to the logger. (Add a pump relay, and tweak the controller source.)


Solar Panel  Installation
Design Notes
My DIY solar panel installation. This is being controlled by a prototype Solar Heated Water Controller

Solar Heating Links

Commercial Links Links to solar heating sites with pecuniary interest.
Personal Links Links to enthusiasts' solar heating sites.
Other Links Links to news, government,  solar heating sites.


Oxford An eco open-day. People open their houses to the public.
Building Regs Part L - Conservation of fuel and power
Grand Designs My list of exhibitors at the Grand Designs Show 2006.
Green Eco Self Build Green Eco Self Build - some links to UK sites
Navitron Affordable alternative energy solutions - evacuated tube
Hockerton Hockerton November 2004
Nottingham Eco House On my doorstep 2
Broughton Leys On my doorstep
Self Build Self build solar panel
Sun Day An open day at the NEF 
Background What led me to produce this site.
Book references Relevant texts.
Flow rate in a solar panel How fast should the water flow in circulating loop? 
Panel Power Report The solar power received log since November 1999.
Power obtained Some calculations of the power I expect to receive.
PV Evaluation Photo Voltaic - evaluation of 4 panels
PV Research Photo Voltaic - some research
RS232 Documentation The logger connects to the PC using RS232.
Snaps of the Solar Panel. Installing the solar panel.
Weather. Animation of UK weather. (Work in progress!)

Updates and History

All updates and changes to this site / project are here.

This page was last updated on the 11th September 2010