How to make solar powered heaters

In this era it is necessary to adapt unconventional and renewable energy sources. We are running short of the existing fossil fuels and hence solar power can be economical as well as ecofriendly. It is an easy task to install your own appliances which work with the solar power. This never ending source of energy can save electricity and fuel.

Here are some tips which can help you in constructing your personal solar water heater.

Difficulty level: Moderate


1. Solar heater should be placed where it can find maximum sunlight, and to increase the piping distance try and keep it close to the back up heater. Then you have to choose a place where you want to set up your heater. You can choose ground, roof, wall, or a platform.

2. Panels should be made water tight by sealing it with plexi-glass and to make it water proof it should be endorsed with black pond liner, which is an excellent solar absorber.

3. Panels are generally made of thin cylinders because of their greater efficiency. Plywood tank is a substitute for the thin cylinder, which is a shallow box with the plywood bottom and four walls used for the water tank.

4. Pipes are connected at the bottom of the panel using connectors. Water is carried by these pipes from the house to solar heater. Another set of pipes are connected at the top of this heater to carry warm water back to the house.

5. The inner side of the panel should be painted entirely black. Black paint is used because it absorbs light rays better than any other color and hence stores heat energy efficiently and conducts it to the copper pipes immediately. Make sure that the paint dries completely.

6. Panel should be covered with a part of plexi-glass acrylic plastic. Small holes should be drilled at the boundary of the plastic. Make sure that the holes you drill are bigger than the screw as acrylic is fragile. Holes should be mounted with narrow wood varnishing the pipes inside. As soon as the plastic is connected the panel is prepared for installation. Top pipe is for input and the lower is for output.

7. For home made heaters, glass is most appropriate for the purpose of glazing. Glazing should be done carefully to avoid leaks and glue the panes perfectly to avoid condensation.

Things to watch out for

1. Panel should be placed on roof facing southward for maximum exposure to the sunlight.

2. The panel should not be touched for an hour after sunset, as it is extremely hot and takes time to cool down.

3. This system does not need a pump, as the water pressure from the house will let it flow into the solar heater when water is used.

Source: ecofriend

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