In this guide you will learn how to make your own solar panel for hot water. It will allow you to see the principles of solar water heating and is quite adaptable. This is a great way to learn about renewable energy of the sun and its practical application, in this case for heating water. You can use this guide for making a device that gets hot enough water for camping. Also this device can satisfy the needs of a home, but you need to make some changes.
Step 1 – Materials
- 2 buckets (or reservoir for fully functional system)
- Grille from the refrigerator
- 4 meters plastic hose or pipe
- Material for base (rubber)
- adhesive tape
- aluminum foil
Step 2 – Collection of materials
In order to make cheaper solar panel as a water tank can be used old water heater which already is designed for storing large amounts of hot water. As the heat collector can be used something that is made for distribution of heat, and is made of metal. It is a pipe system for cooling from refrigerator. As a covering material of the frame is better to use the glass instead of Plexiglas.
Step 3 – Preparation of the collector
After removing the pipe system from the refrigerator, note the two pipes – make sure you leave both to connect on them pipes for drain and water supply.
Step 4 – Other parts
If you have an old couch then internal wooden parts are ideal material for frame. Glass and rubber are a great choice for materials that represent the surface and cover of the collector. The glass for the window may be the only material that you have to buy it if you do not have available. Make sure to be big enough to cover the entire collector and have enough space to be able to connect to the frame.
Step 5 – Making of the frame
Once you have all the materials in number, it is time to start making the frame. Because the collector (pipes from the refrigerator) can not be changed, it is best to build a frame around it, or be sized according to its size. Thus you have to make front and rear frame and among them sets the rubber surface. Then the two frameworks merge with large screws.
Then over the rubber surface sets aluminum foil. The reason for this is that it should not be heated the background and all heat should be directed to the collector pipes. The foil will reject any ray of light which is not absorbed by the collector at the first passage and gives a chance to re-hit the collector. The glass cover preserves the heat inside the panel for further warming. The light easily passes through the glass, but not the heat as greenhouse. If you decide to make the background of metal instead of rubber, then you do not need foil. In that case, the collector will have to be physically attached to the surface (which is painted black) because metal is a good conductor of heat and rapidly heated, so that heat the surface will transfer to the collector. In case you decide to use a metal background, you will need to put some insulation on the back of the panel, in order to keep the heat as many as possible.
Step 6 – Connecting the collector with the frame
Next, you need to make notches of the frame, for drain and water supply parts of the collector. You can use the adhesive tape to cover the recesses.