Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hot Weather Solar Water Experiment

Solar Hot Water Experiment
Have you ever noticed how hot water can get in a garden hose that has been lying in the sun? There have been times when we have almost burned ourselves (or killed innocent plants) from just such a thing. This inspired us to do our hot weather solar water experiment.

Here is the list of our materials:

100’ of 1 ½” black plastic water pipe
4 12’ 2 x 8s painted black
8 90° elbows
2 garden hose adapters
16 pipe clamps
Plumbing strap to hold pipes to 2 x 8s
2 garden hoses
Miscellaneous screws

Our wood shed roof is about 30 feet long, so cutting the 100 feet of plastic into 4 pieces, each 25’ long, worked well for us.

We secured the 2 x 8s to the roof, two of them end to end to give us 24’. We made 2 rows, with about 6” in between the rows.

Next, we cut the pipe into 25’ sections, laid them flat and attached them to the lumber; each board has two rows of pipe. We then attached the elbows and pipe clamps.

The cold water goes into the bottom piece of pipe from a garden hose that is connected to our outside water faucet. The system fills from the bottom up to the top pipe. The other garden hose is connected to the top for the hot water to come out. This hose we have connected to a separate faucet at our kitchen sink.

It takes a little time for the hot water to get to the sink, but has worked out great for doing dishes and cleaning up.

Next summer we will try adding some wooden sides around the pipes to help hold in more heat. We can not enclose the pipes because the pipe will only withstand temperatures of about 160° to 180°

This photo shows where the two garden hoses will be connected.
Solar Hot Water