One of the best things about a solar water heater panel is that it fails to present the owner with an electricity bill at the end of each month. Thus building a solar water heater panel is one of the best ways to effectively reduce electricity bills. A solar water heater panel can be utilized for heating a hothouse or simply to provide hot water.
The materials that one needs to build a solar water heater panel are as follows -
• A sheet of foam insulation with thickness of one-fourth inch.
• Expanded metal mesh measuring 24 X 36 inches in dimensions.
• A vinyl pond tubing which is 69 feet long and with a diameter of one-fourth inch.
• A wire cutter with two wire hangers meant for clothes.
• A box of Ziploc containers, extra large size.
• Insulator, spray foam variety
• A one-fourth inch size drill bit along with a drill.
• A bucket with the capacity of five gallons.
• Glue which is non toxic in nature.
The following instructions would help one to build a solar water heater step by step -
• Twist the edge of the sheet of metal upwards for about one and one-fourth inches around all sides. Be careful while doing so by wearing leather gloves as a form of protection to your hands.
• Cut the foam insulation sheet in such a manner so as it hardly covers the interior of the mesh and forms the inner frame of the solar panel. You must keep the shiny side of the sheet of foam at a little distance from the mesh.
• Lay the vinyl pond tubing on the surface of the foam in such a way that a foot of the tubing is left hanging over the edge towards the far end.
• Join the tubing and the wire which is on the shiny face of the foam sheet. Use twist ties to keep the tubing in place by boring a hole through the sheet and fixing the tubing with zip ties at regular intervals of about six inches till you are just short of the last one inch.
• Cut a hole at the tube’s mouth that is large enough to accommodate the hose.
• Turn around the hose ensuring that it does not pinch shut.
• Pull the tube to the other extreme in a parallel manner while zip tying it down at regular intervals of six inches.
• Repeat the above mentioned process by placing the tubes an inch apart in form of a column at a distance of one inch apart. Finish off each column at a distance of two inches from the edge.
• Make a hole in the other end and run the tube through it. Ensure that the hose does not come in contact with the metal by using the insulation of the spray foam variety around the hoses.
• Cut open the zip lock bag at the sides so as to make the sheet flat. Next zip-tie the plastic zipper with its ends to the mesh and ensure that the plastic remains straight and tight in its place.
• Straighten out the clothes hangers and roll plastic around them. Poke holes on the surface of the plastic at a distance of two inches and zip tie the hangers on the mesh on either side to reinforce the edges.
• Fill all the gaps with insulation.
• Make holes that are just big enough for facilitating the sliding in of the tubes into the bucket.
• Drill holes around the level of water in the bucket so that while one is above the other is placed low into the bucket.
• Seal the edges around the tube with non- toxic PVC glue.
• Shield the bucket using the remaining foam sheet and glue.
Your solar water heater panel is ready for use.