Do-It-Yourself Solar Collectors Comparison

Here is a preliminary look at the form and materials of three commercially available hot water solar collectors.



070 solar collector comparison 3 sola roll
A three-pass version of a SolaRoll unit.
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070 solar collector comparison - mother's collector
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS flat plate collector, which will help establish a baseline for our comparison of solar collectors. 
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
070 solar collector comparison - BTU bucket
The BTU Bucket, without glazing.
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070 solar collector comparison 5 btu bucket housing
The BTU Bucket's housing is fiberglass.
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070 solar collector comparison - suntree
Suntree's kit collector has 17 tubes.
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070 solar collector comparison - sola roll rubber framing
SolaRoll has rubber framing strips to cover the wood.
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070 solar collector comparison 8 soldering BTU bucket
The BTU Bucket's tubes must be joined to its headers with solder.
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070 solar collector comparison - sola roll tubes
Bottom right: SolaRoll's 36 fluid-carrying passages are sealed to the headers by pressing the rubber tubes—with Teflon jam sleeves inside—into preformed openings.
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070 solar collector comparison 7 suntree collector box
Suntree's collector box is now made of aluminum. 
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