No solar energy education is complete without a thorough knowlege of what is possible with solar thermal science. The power of the sun to heat objects here on earth are well understood by most everyone one earth but do you know how to tap that power?
It is so easy to capture the power of the sun with using any special materials or processes. If you have ever left a dark colored water hose in the sun and run the water on your hand you have felt the power of solar thermal. Transfering the suns power to a working fluid such as water and using that warm fluid to heat a home or provide hot water for washing is easy.
Here is a very popular video, that shows how to make a solar hot water collector system that is durable enough to survive the elements for years. Learn from his experience of building a large personal system.
Good Advice For Solar Hotwater System Design.
Here is what he says off camera about the system he designed and built.
My current system of twenty panels have the capability to collect 500,000 BTU per sunny day. typically I collect about 300,000 BTU, Still that is enough to easily heat our house for a day. The panels cost about $450 to $500 each to build. Still that is much cheeper than buying them off the open market.
He has some advice for anyone that wants to follow his design as an update to the original video.
The second set of solar panels has been plagued with leaks. The joints between the header and the 1/4 I/D tubing keeps springing leaks. I do not know why this set keeps leaking, and the first set (after three years of use), has not. For a DESIGN IMPROVEMENT I now wrap rings of 8 or 10 guage copper house wire around the joints before soldering. This holds a fillet of solder at each of the joints and dramatically decreases the leakage opportunity. I plan to make a video of this improvment when I get time.
Enjoy the video. Let us know if you give it a try.
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