|Nearly Free energy!|
We like to apply ecology to our daily lives, we don’t waste resources and are born and bred to the idea of doing for ourselves. We take particular pleasure in adapting accessible inventions like this tidy insitu construction on our visitors ‘bush hut’. Everyone loves the hot shower and the running costs of this solar hot water heater are nil. Inventor Dr R. Mann (an applied ecology guru who also invented Solar-assisted Air Conditioning) points out;
1)Several kW of useful energy and other benefits not available nearly so cheaply by any other known technology are provided safely.
2)This is mature solar-thermal technology and been tested for 12 y.
3)Current commercial SWH e.g Thermocell are economic, but this is more so because it's built in situ, obviating the factory and much freight & packaging, but needing little more labour than the mere installation of factory-made panels. Also it is particularly cheap at the margin of a given installation, whereas panels made overseas cost more before installation than this whole system up & running. 6-8 sq m of SWH will deliver 2-3kW of water-heating during much of the day. Official economic analyses 2 decade ago showed SWH to be a good investment. This cheaper type makes it yet more attractive.
The copper sheet is old hot water cylinders, the pipes 20mm and 200 mm apart
A special feature of this design is the pipe is glued with Araldite epoxy mixed with black sand to the backing, eliminating the need for the more difficult brazing.
We used a clear roofing product to glaze making a tidy job along with the rest of the deck. Sure lots of improvements may make it go better but with a set up of this size there is no need, the water gets hot enough and more in spite of all its inefficiencies and if you needed more hot water be easy and cheap to make it a bit bigger.
This is the 3 old 30gal cylinder size and ample for a standard 180litre hot water tank. Brilliant!