So here’s what I’m thinking for our hot water this winter:
I love the calm, simple way “Hadley” explains his system. For the first couple weeks in our “new” house we will probably be heating water on top of the woodstove, but I hope to graduate to this system once we feel comfortable that we can execute it properly. During the summer I would like to go solar. We would have electric back-up for both of these.
Eventually, we may be able to work in a rocket mass heater as the primary winter hot water source, to save on wood and the environment, but we need to gather more knowledge/experience before we go there. I don’t think our floors can handle three tons of weight without shoring up.