Have You Ever Built a Solar Water Heater?

| 8/10/2009 11:35:05 AM

The idea of heating water with the power of the sun is as old as … the Earth! But capturing that energy to efficiently heat water for domestic use is a more recent innovation. You can purchase and install manufactured solar hot water systems or build one yourself. Beginning in 2010, all new-house construction in Hawaii will be required to have solar water heaters.

Rather than a whole-house system, you can erect a simple outdoor, solar-heated shower.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have been inventing ways to produce solar-heated water for decades. Have you built a solar water heater? If so, in the comments section below, tell us about it and how well it performed.


Greg West_1
8/24/2009 2:16:07 PM

John, I would like to see your project photos also if you don't mind. I live in NW Georgia and have been building solar panels for heating air. But I've been to a lot of places on the net looking at other heaters, water mainly. I would be grateful for your advice and help. I have a new e-mail now. Sincerely, Greg West gwest77@comcast.net

John Mihaloew
8/14/2009 4:35:06 PM

A quick caveat....I didn't develop this type of solar pannel. I back checked my research to find where I got the ideas from. It was John Canivan. The sites I learned this from were jc-solarhomes.com and mandodesigno.com/ben/serpentine.html. I wanted to ensure credit is placed where credit is due. I'm still going to share how I did my pannels and photos. To all who wrote...thanks. Expect something by Saturday night. John

8/14/2009 12:51:29 AM

Yes, I once draped a black heavy duty garden hose across the roof of my mountain cabin. I then hooked it to my gravity feed water supply at one end and to an outdoor shower on the other end. It worked, but i had to add cold water at the start of my short shower and taper the cold water off as I ran out of hot water. On a warm day it would recover in 30-45 minutes. As can be seen it was cheap and easy.

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