DIY Solar Thermal Water Heater! – COPPER PIPE Solar Water Heater! – Easy DIY (full Instr.) 150F+

DIY Solar Thermal Water Heater. Homemade “COPPER PIPE” Solar Water Heater! Easy DIY. video includes full instructions on how to build it (w/materials list). super hot water fast. reaches temps at or above 150F with air temps from high 40’s to low 50’s. a few features of the panel: full 1/2″ hard copper pipe (type L). hooks to a standard water tap/garden hose. slim portable design (at only 2″ thick) and is very rugged and durable (built with 2×2’s and 1/2″ plywood). multiple panels can be hooked together for additional capacity and extras can be easily added; water flow valves, temp sensors, timers etc… couple of final thoughts. make sure to use type L copper (rated 0-400F 986psi). other choice is type M (only rated 100-150F) and will not hold up to temperature extremes. the smaller “internal board” is very important to the design – for a few reasons. 1.) it allows for the pipe to lay essentially flat inside of collector (because all the connection points are up in the air). 2.) it holds the pipe at the right height so it enters and exits thru the 3/4″ hole in the 2×2. 3.) it allows for the pipe to easily be removed from the collector (if extra work needs to be done on any of the solder joints – re-solder etc.) btw if you’ve never soldered pipe before – it’s very easy to learn. just watch a couple of youtube vids on it and practice a few connections on a small or scrap piece before starting project. lastly, to secure the glass into the frame, just use a bead of silicone caulk around the edge and drop the glass in. songs are from youtubes “copyright free” library. song titles…hemispheres and mumbai effect

19 thoughts on “DIY Solar Thermal Water Heater! – COPPER PIPE Solar Water Heater! – Easy DIY (full Instr.) 150F+”

  1. I would like to utilize this type of system to heat the ground in my greenhouse. I live in CO at 9000' and have a simple 12 X 7 space that requires heat at night/early AM as we have only 26 frost free days. I use a ceramic space heater, but it's expensive. I am thinking about putting in a few hundred feet of 1/2" pex water tubing under the beds, but think I will need a slow inline pump that I can put on a timer to turn off at night. Heat the ground during the day and let that carry some heat over thru the night. I'm thinking 2'-6" pipe length in the solar box and a pump inside the greenhouse. Any thoughts or suggestions for info or materials? I can only find 3/4" ac pumps that are more than I want to pay. Thanks

  2. That is about 2/3 of a square meter. Solar energy in summer at noon is about 1000watts per square meter. There are 3400 Btu in a kWh. So even if this was 100% efficient it's putting out 2000Btu an hour. 1 Btu per degree per pound of water 8 pounds per gallon. To heat 10 gallons of water from 50degrees to 120 would take 5600Btu.
    In the summer you could fill a small water heater tank with this ( 20 gallons ).
    Cool project.
    If you built one of these with valves and no safety pressure relief it could explode with boiling water.

  3. Nice work. Very clean looking. Try a pipe bender to reduce some of your soldering. The bends will be wider so overlap two systems in a taller box. Add a dual connector on your external pipe ends. Thanks for the upload. Good job.

  4. So help me out here. If I had two of these, how long would it take to heat a 10,000 gallon pool that starts out at 70 degrees and get it up to 80 degrees?

  5. this would work better if you just had black pipes with a half round mirror behind them? also ad in a mirror satellite dish or a fresnel lense? 😉 pump this into your house and or Beyond… make steam power generation?? let me know when you complete that build 😉

  6. It's crossed my mind to build something like this but larger scale, wonder if it would get hot enough in winter to help heat the house. Would be kinda a pain having to keep taking the snow off it though.

  7. Good project with very good construction but, no real performance data. If you were to circulate the heated water in a 5 litre (1 gall) container and measure the temperature over time this would allow a closer idea of efficiency.

    I have 22 panels built very similar to yours but much larger each 60" by 18" and connected through 12 volt solenoid valves to allow any combination of series or parallel connection depending on the time of year (angle of the sun)
    My panels have the tubes soldered onto a copper sheet backing made from old copper water cylinders, cut and flattened then blackened and these sit on 4 inch fibreglass insulation all around.
    The choice of glass is also an important point but I think I've said enough !!
    Thanks for the posting and thanks to all those who have added comments
    Solar saves money.


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