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DIY Solar Water Heater Kit

How To Build a Solar Hot Water Heater

Searching for ways to save money on your energy bill? You can achieve this if you build a solar hot water heater. These water heaters are easy to build and there are even versions that work well in colder climates.

build a solar hot water heater

If you live in a climate where you get a lot of steady sunlight, then it may be a good idea to build a solar hot water heater in order to use that sunlight to your advantage. The biggest question will be: just how much hot water do you need, and which hot water heater project is the best for you? There are several different options out there and the projects are of differing degrees of difficulty. I can give you a general idea of how to build a solar hot water heater, but you’ll need to decide which option is best for you before you can get more specific instructions.

The most common type of solar hot water heater is called a “batch water heater”. This is definitely the easiest way to build a solar hot water heater, which explains how common it is. The basic mechanics of a batch hot water heater is a water tank that is placed outside or in a glass container so that sunlight can heat the container and the water inside.

The best way to make a batch water heater is to paint the water tank with matte black paint so that it absorbs as much sunlight as possible, and then to stick that water tank inside of a glass box. This glass box will trap the heat from any sunlight that is not immediately absorbed by the water tank in a method similar to a greenhouse.

The disadvantage of a batch water heater is that it needs to be emptied in climates where the weather regularly drops below freezing during the winter. Otherwise, freezing pipes are likely to burst.

If you live in a colder climate and still want to build a solar hot water heater, then you should probably try one of the other options, even though they are more difficult to put together.

These hot water heaters are called the “closed loop” and “drainback” systems. These allow you to have a solar powered hot water system in areas where you can expect the weather to drop below freezing during the winter - if you don’t want to go through the trouble of draining your batch water heater each year.

Closed loop or drainback systems are safe in colder climates because the water does not sit outside for long periods of time. Instead, water is circulated through a loop up to the solar collector panels and then back to the hot water heater. Since only a small amount of water is being heated at one time, the water heater can usually stay heated longer than a batch water heater.

Most closed loop systems cost between $900 and $2000 to make. Although some basic carpentry and plumbing experience will be needed to make these solar hot water heaters, there are several different versions out there that can all be made at home. It is estimated that most people will make back the money they spent to make the water heater within the first year of use.

The closed loop system may also require more than one water tank, depending on which kind of loop system you’re thinking about building.

Whether you’re looking to decrease your carbon footprint or you just want to save some money on electricity or gas costs, you should build a solar hot water heater for your home.

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