Homemade solar heating with plastic bottles

A report from the Provincial Engineering Council of Tucumán detailed ways to create, inexpensively and simply, solar heaters.

Building a low cost solar water heater with recycled materials is very simple and useful., especially for those who need to save money on gas jugs or who use firewood to heat water. It is also of interest to those who support ecology, aware of the importance of the implementation of alternative energy sources, and people who enjoy manual work.

Related: 10 proposals for domestic solar heaters.

It’s about taking advantage of free solar energy and using discarded plastic bottles.. The idea, in simple terms, is to create a small greenhouse in each bottle and run an irrigation hose (polyethylene) through it. In this way, the heat which is trapped in the bottle and which is then absorbed by the pipe (which is black) is transferred to the water and thus it can be heated and save fuel like gas, electricity or fuel. firewood.

Renewable energy.

We can say that, in this way, a device is built to heat water, for sanitary use, with totally renewable energy. It is estimated that a typical family of four uses around 80 liters of hot water per day in the kitchen and in the bathroom.. One can build this water heater to any size desired, depending on the hot water capacity required for daily use, as it is assembled with columns of 6 bottles, with 2 meters of pipe each.

As many columns as you want can be coupled in parallel and the roof of the support house is used. Because once built, this ecological radiator is placed on the tin roof of the house, and if it is loaded with 100 liters of water, the weight must be supported by the roof structure.

Homemade solar heating with plastic bottles

How to build a solar home water heater step by step.

The construction procedure of the solar water heater is as follows:

  1. Collect at least 30 bottles Disposable sodas of a liter and a half, all the same (important) and remove the label.
  2. Buy in a hardware store or branch store, 12 meters of black garden hose (It is important that it be this color) and ¾ inch in diameter, 8 “T” unions and two elbows, a roll of Teflon and two ¾ inch ball wrenches.
  3. Have an electric drill and ¾ inch drill bit. If you don’t have this tool, you can patiently use a small kitchen saw knife to pierce the bottles.
  4. A hole is made in the base of each bottle, equal to the diameter of the hole the bottle has in the area where the cork goes. Once the holes have been made in the 30 bottles, five lengths of two meters each must be cut from a black polyethylene pipe. The bottle is then joined to the other, inserting the neck of one into the hole drilled in the base of the other, to form a column of six bottles, and then a 2 meter long pipe is inserted into it. By repeating this step five times, all 30 bottles have been used up and a “grill” is available, which ends with elbows at the ends and “T” joints in the middle. This is how the heater manifold is assembled as shown in the figure.
  5. This grid is placed in the sun, on a tin roof and facing northpreferably, water is then introduced from the bottom. After 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight, water at about 45 or 50 degrees comes out from the top, ready to use. This happens by a physical principle called “thermosiphon”.
  6. Insulated saucepan can be added to store hot water, for which recycled 200 liter cans are used, which have not been used to transport hazardous chemicals. The type used for wholesale marketing of olives is ideal, with which you can build a homemade thermo-tank, so that the water heated by the sun, during the day, can also be used at night.

Low cost.

Finally, it should be noted that this simple device, which the cost can be between 50 and 100 pesosIt can be built by children in schools as a tech work and in clubs or neighborhood centers as a community task, or simply at home, as a job and hobby for the whole family.

There is a lot of information on this topic on the Internet and currently a group of professionals from different entities are giving free courses on this topic and others on socially appropriate technologies in our province.

This group is made up of the Professional Council of Engineering of Tucumán, through its Department of Energy in Community Tasks, of the Faculty of Exact Sciences and Technology of the National University of Tucumán, with its Secretariat of Extension. The provincial state supports this project through the Ministry of Science and Technology and is already implemented by a private company dedicated to renewable energies.