How to Make Solar Water Heater Panels for Thermosiphon Outdoor Shower

Reader Contribution by Kyle Chandler-Isacksen
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Kyle Chandler Isacksen
When you know how to make solar water heater panels, you can build this thermosiphon off-grid solar shower system to reduce energy consumption while watering your greenhouse.

A few years back, a friend donated a Sunvelope solar hot water panel. We were just about to expand our greenhouse, so the timing was perfect to incorporate a solar shower.

The system is pretty basic, with a panel mounted south and tilted to catch more rays just outside of our greenhouse and an old water heater tank positioned higher than the panel. Ours is a thermosiphon: Water circulates simply because of temperature differences with no need for electricity. It is also not plumbed to our house water source but instead is an isolated system, which we have to fill after about seven showers (more on that below).

How To Make Solar Water Heater Panels

Used water heaters can be found on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, no problem. It doesn’t matter if they work or not — just make sure they have no leaks. The heater has a cold and hot water port and a drain. For our purposes, it didn’t matter which port we used, because the water will circulate throughout the tank and to and from the panel.

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