From Earlham Cluster Department
Solar Hot Water Panel Test Goal
We want to determine the viability of reusing a salvaged solar hot water unit. To accomplish our goal, we will build a basic heat bank and closed loop system with the salvaged panel, and then determine whether we are gathering sufficient thermal energy.
Experimental Solar Hot Water System Supplies
- 12v Ag Sprayer Pump Product Information
- 2 Red River 50ft. farm hoses guarentteed up to 180F
- Teflon Pipe Tape
- lots of pipe/hose connectors
- 25 ft 10-2# outdoor electrical wire
- 30ft. soft copper tubing
- nails and bolts for PV stand
- self-liting butane torch
- 12v connection cable for pump
- metal juction box and wire nuts
- scrap lumber
- duct tape
- 30 gallon black plastic barrell
- various tools
- 64 Watt solar panel
- solar hot water heating unit
Salvaging The Solar Hot Water Heater
- The solar hot water unit was acquired from its secret hiding place at Charlie's ranch. After giving it a good power washing, we transported the 14 foot panel to Miller Farm in the back of the truck. More pictures can be found in the [Salvage and Cleaning Photo Album]
Heat Exchanger Construction
- To test the effectiveness of the solar hot water heater we set up a lab that would allow us to measure the effectiveness of the solar hot water heater in converting solar energy into a rise in water temperature. We decided to construct a closed-loop heat bank system consisting of a copper pipe heat exchanger and a large water heat bank.
- We used a large black barrel to hold the copper coil that will transfer the heat from the water running through the solar hot water heater to the water that would normally be used in the household.
- With the ends of the loop coming out of barrel, we sweat on two garden hose connectors.
- We used a solar panel to power a water pump for circulation.