Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
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Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Follow along as we share our experiences building our own home. We are neither builders nor architects so we get a lot of help along the way!
 

Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Rural Ozarks
Madison County
Northwest, Arkansas 72632

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(479) 555-5555

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The mis-adventures of the Bailey family building their own home Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
More Photos From Our Project.

My First Solar Water Heater

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Date: December 19, 2003

I created my first solar water heater today. I got the design for this heater from the e-Book Sunshine to Dollars by Steve E. Harris. He has done some consulting with government groups to determine what to di if we sufffer from some catastrophic disaster leaving us without heated or clean water. I modified his design ever so slightly. I hope he doesn't mind.

The idea is to create a rudementary solar collector from the ruble left from the disaster. We had a storm last September that left my garage in shambles. It destroyed it. I used some left over parts to create the collector.

I first made an air space below the colector to act as a bit of insulation. It could have been sealed up better, but it servered it's purpose for now. I will leave it set up for a couple days to test is well.

Then I put ply wood and plastic under that. Filled it with water and covered it with 2 more layers of clear plastic with air space between. It was not sealed very well, either. You can see wads of paper between the layers of clear plastice that serve to create a bit of air space/chill buffer between the two layers.

I then found some left over mirrors and increased the energy focused on the water.

The air is 56 degrees today. The water started out at abour 58 degrees from the hose. In 1 hour it raised to nearly 70 degrees and in 2 hours it reached 84 degrees befor the shade caught up to it. It is really set up for morning heating. 26 degree raise... good deal. I will try for higher temps in the next two days.

The design principle here is the same as in the "real" thing. The solar water heater that will be used at the cabin will be glazed instead of plasticked. Also, the water will flow through the space in coper pipes with fins that are painted black to heat the water. That will come in the next experiment.

Update: December 22, 2003

I got around to making a new experiment of the water heater. I had left it set up for 3 days. The sun rose this morning, shining on the heater. Same as before, the shade hit it about 1:30 pm. I went out and measured the temp of the water and the ambient temp. Today, it did not quite get to 70 degrees and the water measured in at a strong 105 degrees. I stuck my hand in while dismantling it and found it to be a VERY comfortable bath temp. I consider this experiment a great success, even thought it only reached a low temp. The design was poor and leaky. If it was sealed and glazed, it would do much better.

Building Photos

Click to enlarge image  - My First Solar Water Heater -
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Click to enlarge image  - My First Solar Water Heater -
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Click to enlarge image  - My First Solar Water Heater -
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Click to enlarge image  - My First Solar Water Heater -
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Click to enlarge image  - My First Solar Water Heater -
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