Author Topic: Cheap DIY solar water heater  (Read 10009 times)

Offline Mr. Blank

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Cheap DIY solar water heater
« on: December 15, 2008, 03:05:43 PM »

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 09:19:55 AM »
Nice!!  I like that a lot!

Offline TXChikk

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 09:56:25 AM »
I like it too! This will be great for the ranch a friend & I plan to own "someday". Thanks for the link and +1!  :)

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 09:31:28 PM »
I just finished a solar box designed to pre-heat the water that goes to my electric water heater.

I made it out of scrap materials, except for the copper pipe & valves, fiberglass insulation, and caulk. I had an old sliding door lying around that provided the glass, and I scrounged an old 40-gallon water tank from someone that had just upgraded their water well. I painted everything flat black inside after reading that tests back in the 1920's showed that to be exactly as efficient as fancy internal reflectors.

I was lucky: I had a South-facing wall close to my electric water heater, so I just went in through the wall and tied in to the existing lines. It was a cramped installation, and I spent a l-o-o-o-ng time figuring out how the pipes and valves could be made to fit, but it worked.  They say short feed lines are important, so I went for the shortest.

The whole project cost about $100.00, and seems to be knocking about $45.00 a month off my electric bill--and it's not even summer yet. That sure beats those projects that promise a hefty payback in only 15 years.

I'll have some pics up in a day or two. Gotta get batteries for the camera.


Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 10:16:33 PM »
Looking forward to those pics.  ;D

Offline archer

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 09:21:14 PM »
The whole project cost about $100.00, and seems to be knocking about $45.00 a month off my electric bill--and it's not even summer yet. That sure beats those projects that promise a hefty payback in only 15 years.

I'll have some pics up in a day or two. Gotta get batteries for the camera.
Oh nice! Looking forward to pics and to see how it does this summer.. +1

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 11:49:04 AM »
Here's pics of the box and the valve setup inside the washroom. Real short pipe runs. I can cut out the tank with the two top valves and work on it without a major flood. While still having water pressure to the house, I mean.

It's all standard 2X4 stud construction, with plywood walls & fiberglass batt insulation. Just a box with an old tank in it.

The glass needs a little cleaning, but it's still workin' fine.






Offline archer

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2009, 12:02:16 PM »
Nice job. I could almost do that... +1

Offline P_Coltrane

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2009, 12:37:49 PM »
And on the plus side, you have an additional 40 gallons of water storage.

Great job!

Offline archer

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2009, 12:42:42 PM »
And on the plus side, you have an additional 40 gallons of water storage.

Great job!
Very good point!

smkymtn

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2009, 06:13:07 AM »
 Thanks Trioxin!

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 07:46:57 PM »
 ;D

Possenti2264

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 10:02:49 AM »
I read somewhere about a DIY parabolic mirror using a curved screen tv (if you can find one, heh).  Of course, it would evaporate the water and fry the container.


Offline frankd4

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2014, 10:46:07 AM »
I run my dump load to DC heating elements in my water heater, once my batteries are charged instead of wasting the power into the dump load I heat my water.

Offline keebler

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2014, 02:11:55 PM »
very nice job---thanks for the write up & pictures..

Offline Beetlebum

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 07:36:01 AM »
This is one I will be building for sure. :)

http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/CopperAlumCollector/Construction.htm

Wow, that looks like a fantastic site! Aaaand... bookmarked. I've already seen great points made for now construction, great DIY projects and the common sense strategy of planning and understanding your upgrades. I hope it continues to impress. Thanks!

Offline Perfesser

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Re: Cheap DIY solar water heater
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 04:23:16 PM »
The connection between the absorber plate and pipes is the key to this kind of heater and eventually with expansion forces it will corrode and degrade . I was able to solder narrow copper sheets to the pipes (at a much closer spacing) for a better, longer lasting connection.