A $2K Solar Water Heating System for an Apartment Building

Micah gives a good detailed description of the solar water heating system he built for a 7 unit apartment building in southwestern Iowa. 

DIY solar water heating system for apartment
Nice looking DIY collectors on sturdy ground mount structure.


At a total cost of $2300 the system provides a portion of the water heating for the 7 unit apartment building. 

Its a simple drain back system that is modeled after our $2K system with a few refinements to suit the situation.


DIY collector finish
A very nice job of finishing the collectors.
solar collector ground mount
Good sturdy collector mounts using treated lumber.

Lots of detail on the design and build is provided in the pdf below.  

While a system this size is probably not going to provide 100% of the hot water for 7 units to often, this kind of moderate size system operates more efficiently than a system sized to meet all of the hot water needs, and will have a shorter payback period.

Micah notes that if the ground mount system were built a little further off the ground it could serve as an shading structure for an outdoor patio or seating area -- a very nice dual use idea.  A similar idea would be to build a storage or garden shed using the ground mount structure.

Also note the interesting comments on solar in Nepal where Micah works -- we have a lot of catching up to do!

Download all the Details

Full details on the design and construction of this solar water heating system for an apartment...   (10 page pdf)



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