Different Ways To Make A Diy Pool Heater
Heating water with the sun isnt rocket science. We all know that water will naturally absorb some of the energy from sunlight, and any pool will eventually get warmer as the outside temperature rises and we start to get more sunny days.
The problem is that your pool has a LOT of water in it, and the sun only warms the surface water of the pool. What we need is a way to take some of the water out of the pool, heat it up, and then dump it back in so that the entire pool starts to get a little warmer. We also want to do this as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
Please note that, in regards to speed and convenience, none of these methods can replace a dedicated heater powered by fossil fuels. However, if given a little more time you should be able to enjoy similar results at a tiny fraction of the cost and carbon footprint. Lets figure out what will work best for you!
Homemade Solar Water Heaters
Building a solar water heater isn’t exactly for beginners. It requires installing pipes, glass and, preferably, insulation. But for a do-it-yourself type, it’s an ideal money- and planet-saving project. You can build a batch water heater for less than $100.
A batch heater is also called an integral passive solar water heater — “integral” because the solar collector and storage tank are combined. It’s the simplest system to build at home, and it really only requires a few basic parts.
- Electric water heater tank
- Black paint
- Plywood box
- Sheets of glass
- Hinged lid for the box
- Insulation material
Construction is pretty straightforward:
- Paint the water tank black.
- Secure glass to the top of the box.
- Insulate the box and the additional lid and cut holes in the box for inflow and outflow pipes.
- Secure the water tank inside the box.
- Route incoming cold water into the bottom of the tank, and outgoing hot water from the top of the tank to the home’s water-heater tank
- Mount unit in desired location .
If you’re not comfortable making these determinations, you might want to shell out the cash for a professionally built setup.
Either way, there are some general pros and cons associated with solar water heaters. We’ll start with the upside.
Construction Of The Solar Collector Housing
The pipework needs to be completely enclosed in an insulated box to maximum efficiency. An example of such a box is pictured above. It is simply a wooden frame screwed onto a backing sheet of , or any other material you can find which is strong and can be treated or painted to keep out the rain.
Treat or paint all of the timber now while it is all accessible and easy, and then fill any gaps with heat resistant silicon sealant so that the finished box will be air-tight . Hammerite make some good long lasting products for painting and treating exterior woodwork.
The box must now be lined with insulation. Any heat resistant insulation will do, but the cheaper it is, the more space it will take up and therefore the deeper the box you will need to make. Therefore we suggest you use multi-foil insulation which is designed for use by roofers . This offers excellent insulation qualities, the foil reflects heat back into the panel really well, and it is very thin and easy to use.
Don’t Miss: What Can You Run Off A 100 Watt Solar Panel
Build A Solar Water Heater Method
Plastic Bottles Water Heater
Ever wonder what to do with your plastic bottles once you empty them?
One thing you can do is set up a water heater. Three people can comfortably use this water heater to shower.
What you need:
- 20 plastic beer bottles
- Hose pipes
How does it work? The beer bottles are joined to hose pipes. The sun heats the water from the hose pipes as it passes through the bottles into the shower.
Why Build Your Own Solar Pool Heater
The better question is, why not? They tend to be inexpensive, even more so if you build your own. You can find the materials at a local hardware store for less than half the price of a high-quality solar pool heater. This guy made one for just $25 bucks.
It doesnt take much time either. Two to three people can build one in a matter of hours. Even if you make some blunders, which you will, youll have yours DIY setup up and running within a day. While it can be done alone, its recommended to have at least one other person there to lend a hand.
While its nice to order a premade solar pool heater from the internet, building your own gives you the freedom to create your own design. Theres also no warranties to worry about, so you can modify it as much as you want. If it breaks or malfunctions, you dont have to put the blame on the manufacturer, since you made it yourself. You know how it was built, so you know exactly how to fix it.
Thermosyphon Water Heating System
For this water heating system, all you need is the sun and gravity. It works without a pump.
What youll need:
- Aluminum roll
- Insulation sheet
Once youve built the collector, make sure its connected to the storage tank in a sloping direction for efficiency.
As the sun rays hit the solar panel, the water in there heats up.
Now dense, the water rises to the storage tank.
Cool water then moves from the storage tank to the panel through the collector.
The upside of this option is that the water flow stops when the temperature in the collector is lower than in the tank.
The disadvantage of this water heater is that you can only use it in areas that do not freeze. Why? It doesnt have freeze protection.
Here is all you need to know about this DIY hack.
Recommended Reading: What’s Bad About Solar Energy
Pvc Tubing Versus Pex For Diy Solar Pool Heater Projects
Weve made a couple of references to the choice of using conventional drip irrigation and PEX tubing for solar heater installations. Lets consider the issues surrounding the use of PEX tubing in more detail here.
PEX, or crosslinked polyethylene, tubing is extensively used for indoor open plumbing in homes. It has some particular characteristics that both lend and limit its use to solar pool heater installations.
Required Improvements To This Design
- Snake the cans together so the air travels farther and has more opportunity to take the heat from the aluminum cans.
- Add a fan to both the intake and output sides of the unit, to move more air.
- Insulate the box – bottom, sides and ends. One inch rigid foam is easy to work with.
- Keep the input and output pipes short and super insulated.
You May Like: How Many Solar Panels Would I Need
Low Cost Camping Solar Water Heater Bags
One cheap and easy on the go option for hot water is simply a dark colored back or bucket. Installing cheap shower head on a black 5 gallon bucket in direct Sun works great to shower a few people at the end of a sunny day.
Online, they sell camping showers which work absolutely phenomenally. And this RISEPRO solar shower works absolutely phenomenally, holding up to 10 gallons and heating up to 113 degrees in less than 3 hours of direct sunlight. And, it includes a built in temperature gauge for safety and the convenience of knowing if the water is ready or not.
I have a friend in Colorado who uses this method to take showers all year long, by hanging the bag inside a sunny window in the winter.
Simple and cheap, camping showers should not be overlooked as a portable, all-in-one option for off grid showering.
Sizing Modelling And Designing
This step is crucial. The results you will get will depend on how seriously you performed the sizing and the design.
This design presents some drawbacks and advantages but it’s particularly adapted to the climate in the region I live.
First thing: the 3D model. It is important to have an idea of the material that you can find locally in order to create your 3D model. I used Sketchup to create it . This way I can compute some of the data requested below.
To size this design I found some good information and a very helpful spreadsheet on Hervé Silve’s website. I built my spreadsheet around it .
Here is how to fill it: *fill only clear-blue cells*
- In the “INSTALLATION” tab:
- Column B: enter the average need of hot water per person and per day in litter
- C: the average number of person
- D: the average hot water storage temperature you need
- E: the diameter of the pipes you chose to use for this project
- F: the pipe material you chose to use for your collector
- H: the total pipe length used
- Check that columns I and J are green at all time
Diy Simple Solar Water Heater
His is a simple solar water heater with different parts water collector, tank, frame, and tools. You will need a Coroplast plastic sheet, ABS tubing, ABS caps, threaded ½ hose nipples, a cartridge of silicone adhesive/sealant suitable for plastic, and a can of flat black spray paint.
You will also need a sheet of plywood, a sheet of polystyrene, 2×3 x 8, a transparent plastic sheet, and misc screws and staples.
The making process is pretty much basic.
How To Heat Your Pool Easy:
View in gallery
Of course, making only one heater can be more efficient and would make more sense in certain cases. We really like the design featured on manomano because its simple and the project is easy to follow. You can find here the complete list of all the materials and tools needed for the project and then everything is split into steps. Its all straightforward and that makes the project very manageable.
Also Check: What Is A Solar Heated Pool
Do Solar Water Heaters Work On Cloudy Days
Since solar energy systems require sunlight, most production will take place in sunny conditions. Under bright cloudy conditions, the system can produce 50-70% of the typical output. When rainwater or excessive cloudy conditions exist, the auxiliary backup will use conventional energy to heat water.
Set The Barrel And Connect The Hose
Position the barrel on a sturdy stand that is tall enough so that the faucets on the barrel are higher than their corresponding hoses mounted on the collector. Position the collector close to the barrel. Extend the lower end of the hose to the lower faucet, and cut the hose to length so it makes a smooth upward arch toward the faucet. Make sure the hose doesnt sag, which can trap air or create a heat trap, stopping the thermosiphon action. Cut the upper hose end to connect to the upper faucet.
Install a tubing-to-faucet adapter on each end of the hose, securing it with a hose clamp. Thread the hoses onto the faucets. Tighten the cable ties on the collector panel so they hold the hose securely in place. Put a piece of foam pipe insulation on the hot water hose to help reduce heat loss and increase the effectiveness of the thermosiphon.
Read Also: Is Home Solar Cost Effective
Diy Solar Pool Heater 30 Degrees Temperature Increase In 3 Steps
View in gallery
We also recommend checking out this video by TheGamerVillage which offers lots of useful information about solar heating in general, pool covers, prefabricated solar heaters, copper heating and also offers actual before and after results which give you a better idea of what can be achieved. This can also help you decide whether or not a solar pool heater is the way to go and what type would work best in your case.
Posted in Outdoor on
Diy Solar Hot Water Heater
Do you know black is a good absorber of heat? That is why it is important to paint most parts of your solar water heater in black, to enhance the heat absorption capacity.
The first step you need to take before this solar water heater can be yours is to get a black poor, plywood sheet, and strips of wood. Make a frame from the plywood and strips. Paint the surface of the frame in black, then attach the black like on it.
You May Like: How To Make A Solar Panel With Cd
Get Started Making Hot Water
Open the faucet valves, and fill the barrel to the top, leaving 1? or 2? of air space for expansion. You want to be sure that there is no air in the collector loop. Tilt the collector back and forth after the barrel is filled to be sure that all the air is out of the hose.
Youll start making hot water as soon as the sun comes out. Cold water sinks to the bottom of the barrel and continues down the hose to the bottom of the collector. As the water is heated it rises up through the hose, through the top faucet, and into the barrel, where it rises to the top. There will be a noticeable temperature stratification within the barrel until the water is completely heated.
As an example, on a sunny 45F day, I achieved a 40F temperature rise through the collector loop using about 75 feet of 3/4? hose laid out on the collector, plus another 8 feet leading to and from the storage barrel. This was at a fairly low flow rate, and resulted in a 10F per hour temperature rise within the stored water during the hours just before and just after noon.
Batch Solar Water Heater Plan
This solar water heater looks like a giant bathtub, and it does the job.
What youll need:
Make a frame inside the trough.
Place the core inside the frame so that it does not touch the sides of the trough. Drill three holes through which the pipes will run.
Fasten a big mirror onto the side of the trough so that it can reflect light as necessary. You can attach the mirror to plywood. However, handle the mirror carefully to avoid cracks.
To get maximum sunlight, you can tilt the whole heater and support it underneath with a car jack.
If you want to increase the temperatures to about 210 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cover the trough with foil paper.
The batch option is a passive water heater. Passive water heaters are cheaper than most conventional types.
The only downside to a passive water heater is that it might not be as efficient as an active one. However, a passive heater is more reliable.
Check out the plan here.
Read Also: Does Pine Sol Repel Ants
Diy Pool Heater Solar Panels
The DIY version of ready-made solar panels involves constructing a panel using the same basic idea as the small tubes from commercial versions. There are lots of ways to accomplish this goal. Here are a couple Average Joe builds:
- PEX piping under aluminum fins Using PEX tubing to create a system sandwiched between aluminum fins, these panels produce about 22,750 BTUs per DAY. With eight of the panels strung together, the system pumped 182,000 BTUs into the pool, which raises the temperature of a 10,000-gallon pool about 2 degrees per day in ideal conditions.
- Piping grid inside a wooden frame This builder made a wooden frame into which he placed a 2-inch header and footer made from PVC along with about 250 feet of tubing running between the two. He piped it into his pool filter pump with a Y-joint so that he can turn it off and on quickly. Below is a video of it in action.
How To Install A Water Heater
- Written by Justin Stewart on Aug 13, 2009To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
Learning to install a water heater can save you a great deal of money. Instead of calling a plumber and spending a large sum, install it yourself. The plumber will not only charge you for the installation labor, but will tack on a nice profit when charging you for the new heater. With the proper tools, an afternoon set aside for the project, and the proper guidance, you can install a water heater when the old one finally no longer runs.
Step 1 – Select a Water Heater
If you are installing a new water heater, you have a number of choices for type, size, and power source. Depending upon the area where you live, your power options may be limited to either gas or electric heaters, if youre looking to go green, you might wish to consider a solar heater. Do a little research by surfing the net so you can gain a little self-education and the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision. Also, be sure to check your local building codes for any regulations or needed permits before purchasing a new water heater.
Step 2 – Prepare
Step 3 – Place the New Tank
Step 4 – PRV and Water
Step 5 – Connect Electric, Set Thermostat
Tips to Remember