DIY Solar Water Heater

Welcome to DIY Solar water Heater. No matter where you live, you would have by now felt the effects of climate changes and global warming in some way or another.

The answer to this problem by no means is simple, but it is clear. We have to use energy that is sustainable, meeting our needs in the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Solar energy is a renewable energy source and is among the technologies that promote sustainable energy and can be designed to improve energy efficiency.

Solar water heating and solar hot water systems embrace the various innovations and renewable energy technologies that have been established over past decades.

Solar Water Heater on house in Belgium

A solar hot water heater installed on a house in Belgium

In order to heat water using solar energy, a collector, often fastened to a roof or a wall facing the sun, heats working fluid that is either pumped (active system) or driven by natural convection (passive system) through it. The collector could be made of a simple glass-topped insulated box with a flat solar absorber made of sheet metal, attached to copper pipes and dark-colored, or a set of metal tubes surrounded by an evacuated (near vacuum) glass cylinder.

Hot water heated by the sun is used in many ways. While perhaps best known in a residential setting to provide domestic hot water, solar hot water also has industrial applications, e.g. to generate electricity.[1] Designs suitable for hot climates can be much simpler and cheaper, and can be considered an appropriate technology for these places. The global solar thermal market is dominated by China, Europe, Japan and India.

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Thermosyphon Solar Water Heater Systems

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There are a number of solar water heaters one could choose from, but for the DIY purpose, the Thermosyphon Solar Water Heater would be the simplest. They can be very effective, cost very little to build, and nothing to maintain.

Thermosyphon Systems employ the natural tendency of the heated water to rise, forcing the cooler water to fall back into the collector tray, to be reheated.

As the rays of the sun shine on the surface of the collector, the water inside the flow tubes of the collector get heated. As the water in the collector tubes get hot, it expands and becomes lighter than the colder water in the storage tank mounted above the collector. Gravitational force comes into play and pulls the heavier, cold water down from the storage tank, via the collector inlet tube into the collector tray, pushing the hotter water, via the collector outlet tube, into the storage tank, causing only hot water to be in the storage tank.

Thermosyphon system solar water heaters do not require any pumps or controllers. Cold water flows directly into the tank on the roof via the normal municipal water supply line. Solar heated water flows from the rooftop tank directly to an outlet for use in the residence below, or replenishes the heated water stored in an insulated auxiliary storage tank installed at ground level, whenever hot water from it is used by the occupants of the house.

To make the system more efficient ,thermally operated valves can be installed. Valves to protect the collector from freezing, and isolation valves to allow for a total system bypass or the manual draining of the system in freezing conditions.

Solar Water Heaters built in the late eighteenth-and nineteenth-century were bare metal tanks painted black and tilted to face the sun to absorb heat. These early solar water heaters took a long time to heat water on a hot sunny day and quickly lost the heat at night. Later on they improved on these solar water heaters by putting the tank in an insulated box. Still most of the heat gained was lost at night.

DIY Thermosyphon Solar Water Heater

DIY Day and Night Thermosyphon Solar Water Heater

The Romans invented glass and this trapped the solar energy as heat inside their houses. When glass was applied between the black tank and the sun on these early solar water heaters they were much more efficient.

In 1909, William J. Bailey patented a solar water heater that took advantage of the fact that when water is heated it becomes less dence or lighter. His idea was to improve on the solar collector (black tank) and have a seperate insulated hot water storage tank. He rebuilt the solar collector (black tank) and made it very thin.

I understand he used a system of black riser pipes that rose up to a header pipe, they were attached onto a black metal plate where the sun rays were absorbed as heat. An Insulated header tank for the solar heated water was installed above the solar collector. Two pipes connected this tank to the solar collector, one from the bottom of the tank to the bottom of the collector and one from the top of the tank to the top of the solar collector.


People in the developed and developing countries have begun building their own solar water heaters from scratch or putting them together from kits available on the market. Solar water heating systems plans can be found on the internet and many people have set about using these plans to build water heaters to meet their own domestic requirements. DIY Solar Water Heating  Systems turn out to be much cheaper their commercial counterparts.

Build Your Own Solar Panels

Break Free From The Big Electric Companies

Start your DIY Solar Project to-day and build a solar panel. With the step by step instructions and tutorial videos found on the internet in general, but especially on YouTube.  You can teach yourself how to make a solar panel and solar hot water panels and will easily discover how to build solar panels for as little as two hundred dollars.

More images for DIY Solar water heater kits ON WIKIPEDIA

Apart from GOOGLE, where most data and info may be subject to copyright, WIKIPEDIA publishes a lot of information on DIY SOLAR WATER HEATERS for those wanting to do their part for the environment and save money at the same time.

Posted under Thermosyphon Solar Water Heater System

This post was written by Noel D'Costa on April 15, 2011

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