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Thursday, May 1, 2014

2 Solar Water Heater DIY Projects

There are two types of solar water heaters. Passive and forced circulation. In this article I'll show you how to construct one of each. Two simple yet effective solar water heater DIY projects.

I must first say that neither of these heaters will heat your home. You could use similar methods to preheat your water before it flows to your hot water heater. If you live in a freezing climate you should look into a forced circulation system. Both of these heaters are for experimentation. You could use them camping or for small water heating needs around the house.

* The first one is extremely simple. Just a black storage tank exposed to the sun will heat water. If you have ever seen one of those camping shower bags you know what I'm talking about. I've seen some folks heating water in those big blue food grade 55 gallon drums. Just spray paint it flat black. Install a PVC valve. Set it in a nice sunny spot. Fill it with water. Sit Back and watch mother nature work her magic.

* The second takes a little more work. You will need a length of 1/2" or 3/4" Black hose. I would recommend 100 feet in length. The longer the better.

Do this on a large flat area of ground. Unroll the entire hose in a straight line. Starting with the inlet side begin to roll the hose into a flat coil. To make it easier to transport you can tape or zip tie it together as you go. Once you have rolled the entire hose flat your outlet should be on the outside. Your inlet on the inside.
Take your flat rolled hose and place it in full sunlight. Connect the inlet to your water tap or elevated tank. Crack your valve so that the water runs slowly. The water coming out of your coil should be much hotter than the water coming in.

You could couple these heaters together for even better results. Elevate your black tank in an area with full sun. Connect your coil to the tank. Make sure the coil is below the tank, but still in full sunlight. Now you have your first solar water heating system. Perfect for camping or small water heating needs.
You can construct a much more sophisticated system that will supply your home with hot water. This is just a starting point. An experiment to show you some of what solar water heater diy projects can do.
Good luck. Have fun experimenting.

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