batch solar water heater -DIY Homemade Batch Solar Water Heater

January 17, 2013 – 6:28 am

** A video that describes a solar hot water heater in the batch I made. The water heater is currently supplying the house as a preheater for heating domestic hot water. Max water temperature observed: 165F.

My design ** Indicates container simply by using a glass storm door for access Video Rating: 5 / 5

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  1. 19 Responses to “batch solar water heater -DIY Homemade Batch Solar Water Heater”

  2. If you do this again consider using cement board siding and rest it on a bed of gravel that will allow water drainage. I built a batch heater for my home and it is the sole source of hot water. There are a few days when I can’t get enough to take a shower but it is free. Parts cost about $100 but I could have done it for less. I’ll be posting a vid about a solar air heater I use to provide 75% of my space heat that costs about $40. It’s a shame more people don’t do this.

    By baddoggie101 on Jan 17, 2013

  3. I see it took quite a bit of to build this unit. I like your idea of using radiator thermometer. Didn’t think of that. My friend did the same style of build and is very happy with it. I decided to try something different with mine. I left it upright and in the open so that it will receive direct sunlight the entire day.. The walls of your batch box will only allow sun to shine on it for a short time during the day. My hope was to give it more sunlight thereby gaining more benefit.

    By wlomond on Jan 17, 2013

  4. You gave me an idea. I think I’ll bury mine also but I’m going to make the box out of concrete pavers & paint them black. I might even just form it up & pour a monolithic case. Since it’s such a small structure I can afford to pour it thick. Thicker concrete will take longer to release the latent heat throughout the night. I will encase the exposed exterior with several inches of PU & to force more of the heat into the case. Such is my plan anyway. Thanks for the idea.

    By kevjay777 on Jan 17, 2013

  5. Sorry for the poor response time, guess I missed this comment. The heater in the video is covered with marine grade exterior plywood that has had several coats of exterior latex paint, just as you suggested. This should provide years of service. Most Importantly, being able to bury the unit made it less unsightly while easily giving it the tilt it needed.

    By KyleBostic on Jan 17, 2013

  6. – P.S. Another slight problem is that your plywood is going to degrade over time from moisture infiltration. I understand why you buried it (a cool idea), but even just wood setting on the ground will rot eventually. My only suggestion is to do what a lot of boating enthusiasts do… 100% acrylic latex house paint over a smooth surface, 3 coats (at least). It will still degrade over time and require repainting, but should last much longer if you want to bother with it. As always, YMMV

    By cantecleer on Jan 17, 2013

  7. – Cool, man. I can only hope to do half as good a job whenever I managed to build one. One suggestion is to paint that CPVC w/ standard grade exterior latex paint. I’ve read some places that say UV light exposure isn’t a huge issue with CPVC, but other places say stuff like “If CPVC is used in above-ground, outdoor applications, protection from ultraviolet attack can be achieved by shielding or by painting the system with an exterior-grade latex paint” so it’s up to you. It might help though.

    By cantecleer on Jan 17, 2013

  8. im working on a solar water heater like yours except im going to use an old refrigerator because it is already insulated. Ill line it with aluminum bubble paper and paint the tank black… glad you posted this video…!

    By centervilletn on Jan 17, 2013

  9. My thoughts exactly.

    By KyleBostic on Jan 17, 2013

  10. Very nice job! I don’t know why everyone in the south does not have one.

    By boat6868 on Jan 17, 2013

  11. In this part of Texas it rarely gets below freezing. When it does, insulation in the box combined with the fact that the box is partially buried should prevent freezing. When the temperature of the water is less coming through the system than coming straight from the well, I do have shut off valves to bypass it. It has not yet experienced a winter, so we will see.

    By KyleBostic on Jan 17, 2013

  12. nice Kyle, i’m buildin one also, do u drain it in winter to prevent freezing the pipes?thanks….check out my pop can fin pool heater.peace

    By britepipe on Jan 17, 2013

  13. Your friend was generous to give you all the foam insulation. My batch system has no backup. The tank is a used 50 gal electric I bought for $5

    By baddoggie101 on Jan 17, 2013

  14. its better to be all black to absorb the most heat and cook the tank in the box

    By poiterism on Jan 17, 2013

  15. wow, you’re quite a scrounger (great find with the glass and foam!). Nice looking batch heater too! Cool!

    By cantecleer on Jan 17, 2013

  16. I’m with you on the water vs air approach. This is a nice design so far. You usually see a collector to heat the water and then send it to holding tank. I wouldn’t have thought about heating the tank directly.

    By ScalerWave on Jan 17, 2013

  17. My solar water heater is working great, as long as I have a good sunny day I can expect temps over 140F. Yesterday afternoon I took a long hot shower and checked the temp right afterwards. I had 108F entering the primary water heater and it had not fired up. I still need to seal up some air leaks though as I’m losing too much heat during the night. Morning temps vary depending on how cold it was during the night its at 83F now but its a 63F morning.

    By Alvin Shepherd on Jan 17, 2013

  18. I saw another video where they thought so too. They tested both with and without the backs and sides being reflective. And found that the box actually performed better with it being black.

    By Alvin Shepherd on Jan 17, 2013

  19. Wouldn’t you want the inside of the box to be silver, or reflective, to reflect as much sunlight as possible back on to the tank?

    By GoatHollow on Jan 17, 2013

  20. I’m very interested in this…will be looking forward to the updates.

    By boat6868 on Jan 17, 2013

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