Mark built his
own solar hot water system. Here's how he did it.
As Submitted from
made the panel years ago. The panel backing is corrugated metal roofing.
I placed 1/2 copper pipes in each valley, a total of 10 pipes. This year I
remade the box for it. The box is made of 2x4s and the double insulated
glass comes from a used French door. The box is approximately 5' by 3'.
I insulated the
box with blue foam and painted the entire collector flat black. The panel
is connected directly to my hot water heater in a loop. The connection
starts at the bottom of the tank, then through a solar water pump, and next to
the collector. From the collector, the water travels back to the top of
the tank to the connection for the cold water. The pump is powered by a 10
watts solar PV panel. I also purchased a solar powered differential
temperature sensor. It will turn on the pump when the temperature to the
water coming out of the panel is hotter than the water in the middle of the
tank. I tested the panel in July before installing it. I laid it in
the sun for 45 minutes, and it heated the water to 190 degrees! I then
connected it, and it heats my 30 gallons of water 130 degrees on a typical sunny