Joel's $1K Solar Water Heater

This is Joel's $1K solar water heating system.


Thanks very much to Joel for sending this in!



 For the past couple months I have been building my solar hot water heater. I live in Canada in Cornwall, near Montreal.




I started with used solar panels and modified them for my needs. I have 3 panels on the roof.



I used treaded wood for the framing and painted it black. The glazing is glass that I took from the used panels that I used for parts.


The size of the collectors is approx 7ftx3ft. Return tubing runs across the top and comes out at the last panel. I tried to work it out so that I get even flow across all 3 panels.


I used I inch foam board behind the panels for insulation.


Click on pictures for full size

Treated wood rack to support panels.





Tank and Plumbing

I tried a Taco 007 pump but it couldn't lift the water to the roof to get the loop going. I replaced it with Taco 0013 with bronze housing and had to take the new pump apart to remove the check valve for the open loop system. I didn't go with a submersible pump because I was worried about the temperature of the motor. My pump sits outside the tank and I had to prime the line to get it started.



The EPDM lined plywood with tank with 2 inch foam insulation.





Click on pictures for full size


>> Joel:

These are the pictures and text I have in hand.   Its easy to add more pictures -- they could be smaller than the ones you sent originally, if that's easy to do, but no problem either way.
It would be good to get captions for each picture.
And, any other description you can add would be good.

since its been operating a while, maybe you could provide some info on how its been doing.  Since you are wanting to add another panel, I'd guess its not been meeting all your hot water needs :)

It looked like from one of the emails that the copper riser tubes are only thermally bonded to the fins with an adhesive?
I'm wondering if you are satisfied with the performance of this arrangement?



Gary July 27, 2010