Maybe you’re interested in this system because of it’s automated features or because of the free hot water it provides. Whichever reason yours is, this instructable is worth your consideration. The maker used a couple of used black pipes and a pump system to build this…
Here’s what Tecywn (the creator of this system and the instructable) has to say about it:
Black ABS 50mm pipes filled with water are arranged in a herring bone pattern on a roof to pick up heat from the sun for a nice warm shower. The features of this design are as follows:
- Batch process so never goes from hot to cold
- Easy to build
- Self draining – no frost damage in winter
- No complicated plumbing
- Open vented system with no pressure in the pipes
- Durable and robust against wind damage
- Non destructive tappings for level sensors and thermometers
- No special tools or skills required
- 30 litres gives 5 minutes of power shower
- Pipes withstand temperatures up to 80 °C
- High temperature pump lockout for prevention of scolding
The pipes are mounted on a roof facing to the south west with an elevation of about 30 degrees and supply a 350 watt electric pump for a proper ‘power’ shower.
Heating water is a great way of using solar energy and water needs lot of energy to make it hotter and we all need a shower every now and again, right?
If this system takes 2 hours to warm up from 15 °C to 35 °C then, because it contains 30 litres of water, the power works out as 350 watts.
Here’s A diagram summarising how this works:
How it works:
The fresh water comes in when the automatic solenoid valve opens and it travels from very close to the pump inlet up into the 38 mm black pipe and up into the bottom of the central spine in the 50 mm pipe array. It then spreads freely to the left and to the right and fills all the pipework simultaneously due to the large and non restrictive pipe internal cross sectional area.
Eventually, the float switch at the top detects that water has reached the very top of the pipe array and the solenoid valve closes. When the pump is switched on, it draws the warm water back in exactly the opposite way and water travels freely down and across all the pipework into the bottom of the central spine
See A Short Video Of The System At Work And How Much Cost You Can Save On The Next Page…