Solar water heater.. 

Instructions on building a solar water heater... 

Video 1 title

This is an example of a Vimeo video, just edit the change the video link, edit the title and this description and if you like, you can also link the continue button to a web page....

Video 2 title

This is an example of a Vimeo video, just edit the change the video link, edit the title and this description and if you like, you can also link the continue button to a web page....

Video 3 title

This is an example of a Vimeo video, just edit the change the video link, edit the title and this description and if you like, you can also link the continue button to a web page....

Video 4 title

This is an example of a Vimeo video, just edit the change the video link, edit the title and this description and if you like, you can also link the continue button to a web page....

Heading 1

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

Heading 2

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

Heading 3

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

Heading 4

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

 
Bookmark and Share
get in touch

Header Content Region

Insert text, image or banner ads here, or just delete this text and leave this area blank!

Pine Paneling Installation

Tongue and groove pine offers a warm, attractive finish that’s especially suited for walls and vaulted ceilings. Pine is the most common material for tongue and groove paneling.

Bathroom Faucet Installation

One piece bathroom faucets, with either one or two handles are the most popular fixtures. Step by step instructions on installing bathroom faucets

 

Granite Tile Countertops

The hottest countertop material for kitchens, bathrooms, and patios today is natural stone. Step by step instructions on installing granite tile.

 

 

Main Menu:

 

Wood Decks

How to build a deck.

A deck may be one of the best single investments you can make in your house. It gives you added space, opens the house up to the yard, and ties indoor activities with outdoor activities. You can entertain on it, eat on it cook on it or just lounge around on it. Start planning your deck today. Its a great do-it-yourself project.

Log Homes

Modular Log Home

Pictures of a Blue Ridge Modular log home being install by a large crane. This modular log home sets on a full basement and was install in a day

        Outdoor lighting

Installing low voltage lighting.

Here is a way to provide pleasant illumination to outdoor areas for a small amount of money. You can purchase most of the components in a kit. Some kits come with a timer or a photovoltaic sensor to turn lights on at night and off during the day. Installing low voltage lighting is a good do-it-yourself project.

 

Solar water heater

 

The basic of a solar water heater is simple. Water or antifreeze solution flows through pipes in a large flat, enclosed box known as a flat plate collector, or through a series of vacuum tubes in an array known as an evacuated tube collector. As the liquid moves through the system, solar heat is transferred to it. In a thermosyphon system, the solar heated water flows into a storage tank and is used directly. In a drain back system, the solar heated liquid which can be water or antifreeze solution, flows into a heat exchanger inside a water storage tank, where it heats potable water, the solar heated liquid is not used directly.

Storing the hot water in a separate tank is necessary because it takes longer for the water to heat up, and because a large supply is needed to last through the nights and early morning. Solar water heaters are usually paired with a conventional gas or electric water heater, either a tank or a tank less, point of use type, to ensure uninterrupted hot water during cloudy periods or times of heavy use, but the conventional heater won’t turn on unless it’s needed, which saves considerable money. And solar hot water heaters work anytime the sun is out, even in winter.

A number of different manufactured hot water collectors are available, but you can build your own for a fraction of the cost using wood, copper pipe and polycarbonate glazing, all materials available at home centers.  The concept is simple, and can be modified to fit your house and needs. There are also many alternative designs available on the internet.

Hot water collectors can serve a number of different purpose. If you have enough sun, they can provide all the hot water for your household, but even on cloudy days the water will warm up enough to reduce the amount of energy you need. Using them with tank less heaters saves more money, eliminating the need to keep a conventional water tank full of expensively heated water all day and night. Hot water collectors can also be used to provide heat for pools and hot tubs, and to heat water for use in a heating system.

 

 

 

 

Building a copper water heater panel

 

A flat plate collector can be used with several different types of solar hot water systems. In warm climates it can work with a thermosyphon  storage tank in cooler climates where freezing is a problem it can be used as a rooftop or wall collector with a drain back system or other type of pump controlled system. It’s also possible to use this collector with a system containing antifreeze, but water heaters with antifreeze require special plumbing and safety features to avoid contaminating the water supply, and should be discussed with a plumbing inspector or left to an expert.

The collector is constructed of wood with a layer of insulation to help retain heat. The panel covering it is made from polycarbonate, a type of clear acrylic that resists the UV damage that clouds and cracks regular acrylic. Cool water comes in through a ¾ inch pipe at the bottom and is gradually heated as it rises through a manifold of ½ inch copper pipes. Heat is collected and transferred to the pipes by thin aluminum panels lining the box and shaped over the copper. As the water warms in the pipes it rises to the top and flows into the upper part of the storage tank as cool water from the bottom of the storage tank flows in to replace it. This water movement continues until the water in the storage tank is hotter than the water in the collector, at which point the thermosyphon action stops or the thermostatically controlled pump switches off.

The collector can be mounted on the ground or roof, or the side of the building, at an angle base on the latitude. However, these collectors can get quite hot during the summer months and they are often placed at a steeper angle so that they face the low winter sun more directly and deflect some of the intense heat from the high summer sun.

Use polyisocyanurate rigid insulation usually called polyiso for the insulation in a solar collector as it has the highest R valve and is also the most heat resistant type of rigid insulation. Polyiso has a variety of trade names, just look for the insulation with the highest R value.

To simplify construction, the size of this collector is based on a sheet of plywood, but it can be build a different size or orientation or ganged together with other collectors to make a larger array. Deciding how big a collector you need is mostly trial and error based on your usage and climate, but the square footage of a sheet of plywood is a good starting point for an average household. If it’s not enough you can always add another one.

 

 

 

 

Building a solar water heater

 

1.    The Frame that houses the solar water heater is constructed from 2+4 and 2+6 dimensional lumber. Cut the pieces of the frame to length, then join them with 2 ½ inch deck screws driven into pilot holes.

 

2.     The guts of this solar water heater is an array of copper tubing though which the water runs to absorb heat while it resides inside the box. The matrix of copper tubes is assembled using ¾ to ½ reducing T’s connected by short lengths of ¾ inch tubing on the ends and long lengths of ½ tubing filling out the space from end to end. Making this copper manifold requires that you be able to solder copper plumbing pipe. Cut all the copper pieces to length then clean, flux and assemble them. Make the inlet and outlet pipes a few inches longer than you need they’ll be cut shorter after pressure testing the completed manifold.

3.     Solder all the pieces together. Wait at least 5 minutes to touch the copper after soldering it, it will be very hot.

4.     Mark the manifold locations on the plywood, then cut 4 inch wide pieces of aluminum flashing and staple them so they are centered under each length of copper. These will help transfer the heat to the copper pipes. Use stainless steel staples.

5.     There are a few suppliers for preformed aluminum fins, but you can easily make your own using aluminum soffit panels, a plywood jig a hammer. Build a jig to make your aluminum fins using two pieces of 5/8 inch thick plywood or hardwood screwed to a plywood base. Space the gap between the two plywood pieces by using the 5/8 steel rod and two scraps of aluminum soffits as a guide. Buy solid not vented soffit panels with v grooves and then cut the panels using a razor knife and straight edge into 6 ¾ inch strips with the v groove in the center. The v grooves are then formed into round channels that fit tightly over the copper pipe. Form them by pounding a 5/8 inch dia. steel rod down into them with a hammer.

6.     Paint the entire inside of the collector with black, high temperature paint. Place closure strips at the top and bottom and lay the corrugated glazing in place. Calk the overlap between the two panels with a thin bead of clear silicone. Predrill the screw holes on the sides, then enlarge the holes in the glazing with a ¼ inch bit so that the glazing can move with temperature changes. Fasten the glazing with neoprene screws every foot on the sides. Squirt a dab of silicone in and around these holes before tightening the screws to seal the screws.

7.     Solder on the last copper fitting and the PEX cross linked polyethylene adapters. PEX is easier to snake through the house than rigid copper. It also makes it possible to adjust the collector angle if you need to, and will flex easily if the collector move Finally seal the inlet and outlet holes with caulk and paint the exterior of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on solar panels projects

 

Solar panel safety

Installing a low-watt solar panel system

Solar power for off grid system, and on grid system

Batteries for your solar panels

Making your own solar cells

Types of solar panels

Installing solar panels

Solar heat

 

 

 

 

 

 

back to top