solar hot water -Super Simple, CPVC Solar Hot Water Collector

January 3, 2013 – 6:26 am

A ** very easy to construct, inexpensive, liquid CPVC (hydronic) solar collector of hot water that can be used to heat your home or for the production of hot water. This collector is decidedly superior my manifold pex being tested until now. Enjoy free heat, courtesy of the sun! Video Rating: 4 / 5

** This short video shows you how to select and install a solar hot water system, which maximizes the effectiveness and minimizes running costs and emissions. It ‘was designed specifically for Australian plumbers, apprentices and families. This video is part of “Skills for the Future ‘trade secrets series. For more videos, training resources and links, go to www.tradesecrets.org.au. Video Rating: 4 / 5

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  1. 50 Responses to “solar hot water -Super Simple, CPVC Solar Hot Water Collector”

  2. fancoil of common 2 ton (for chilled water too) at low blower speed.

    Water flowing over 2.2 ft per second eliminates air anywhere but in some T’s corners… and common charts however for low kw pumping should guide designing UNDER 40ft TDH dynamic head in feet of water friction at say 2.5 ft per second inside real pipe diameters at particular gpm shooting for.

    Great geothermal designers of ground loops are under 18 ft water header-header at units (like fancoil) water HX heat exchangers

    By 2Pray4Peace on Jan 3, 2013

  3. I am concerned with the 250 degree F that can be reached in non-flow, steamed out conditions, possibly… unless all poiping is always air-cooled-exposed.
    A simpler device is just windows screening in a 1.1/2″ air-box of iso foam, galv 24 ga or longer lasting AL , 50 cfm per 3000 btuh per ~ 7 x 3 collector from 8×4 ft sheet metal boxed, (any shop)
    2 collectors do well in Dayton Ohio and 4 in Cloudy NW zone 5’s
    and have NO INTERNAL COLLECTOR HIGH HEAT CONTENT like water, so through: fancoil

    By 2Pray4Peace on Jan 3, 2013

  4. Hi Skylos,

    The flow enters the parallel risers in the lower left and exits on the upper right, then looping back around to leave the assembly. That ensures that all paths present an equal distance for the fluid to travel, so the flow shouel be reasonably well balanced for each riser.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  5. I’m concerned with the equalization of flow through your manifold. With 1/2″ manifolds and 1/2″ collectors, and such low pressure, and exit on the same end as the entrance, the furthest tubes will have almost 3 times as much flow resistance as the nearest tubes. That means your far tubes will barely flow at all and your near tubes will flow quickly, risking the far tubes overheating!

    You could fix that effect by exiting on the opposite corner.

    By skylos on Jan 3, 2013

  6. so many thanks for reply

    By Anil Patil on Jan 3, 2013

  7. Hi Sofielua,

    You can store the solar heat that your collector provides for long periods in a thermal storage tank. Please see my thermal storage tank video for details.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  8. I would like to ask: how long will the water be hot after sunset, and how or where can i store the hot water collected during the daytime so we can have continuous hot water even after sunset. Any reply would be very appreciated. Thanks!

    By sofielua on Jan 3, 2013

  9. Thank you for your reply. I was asking because I have seen a video of a smaller system that didn’t use a pump. Apparently the water moves up the pipes because it gets less dense when it heats up.
    I can imagine a massive system like yours needs a pump or two though. :)

    By TheBushdoctor68 on Jan 3, 2013

  10. Yes, I use a Taco 009 to send the fluid out to the collector and back and a smaller Taco pump for under floor radiant heat.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  11. Thanks for your kind words!

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  12. Hi Anil,

    Yes, paint the CPVC black. Black absorbs heat best. To make a storage for hot water, please see my thermal storage tank video.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  13. The heat is collected in a thermal storage tank, which is well insulated, so it stays hot until used. Please see my thermal storage video for details.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  14. Great, let me try. Do I need to paint CPVC with black color? one more and important , How to make storage for hot water that will help to held max temp. for 16 hrs?

    By Anil Patil on Jan 3, 2013

  15. How long will the water stay hot when the sun goes down?

    By bigal25938 on Jan 3, 2013

  16. Great instructional video – thanks for sharing.

    By Stan Gostkowski on Jan 3, 2013

  17. Hi Mark, I think you would have to have a backup means in case you had a prolonged cloudy period. It would depend on how sensitive your fish would be to temperature swings.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  18. I am curious, I have a 40 gal fish tank outside in Virginia, I want to be able to keep fish in it all year long, How can I scale this for such a use, and how would I regulate the temp, I think I need to answer these questions, but if you have guidance, I am thankful.

    By Mark Carroll on Jan 3, 2013

  19. you’de save a ton of time by getting black plastic coils of PVC. Instead of 40 connectors, you only have 2 on the roof

    By weatherbill7 on Jan 3, 2013

  20. can you email me sepfic insrutions etc step by step t o make this for my mobile home terriannsplayplace@gmail.com

    By teresa vaccarino on Jan 3, 2013

  21. Thank you for the video. I’m quite new to this technology, and my question is does it use pumps?

    By TheBushdoctor68 on Jan 3, 2013

  22. Visit the best solar blog for Romania Solar Energy
    romaniasolarenergy.blogspot.ro

    By PVfeasibilitystudy on Jan 3, 2013

  23. Any little pinhole that allows sunlight in can cause failure. Good luck with it. Hopefully you’re good to go. After having to replace all my home plumbing I just stay away from cheap plumbing plastic at all costs…

    By YManCyberDude on Jan 3, 2013

  24. Hi Ironboots123,

    The silicone creates a better thermal bridge than air gaps. That said, as the number of risers increase, it becomes less and less important. With risers spaced closely enough, it may not even be necessary to use the aluminum at all.

    Your second question depends on a number of factors (whether you want to heat 100% by solar on the coldest day of the year, resulting in a surplus otherwise, etc.) If you join us on SimplySolar we can talke about it more.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  25. Hi YManCyberDude,

    The CPVC is protected from UV in two ways. First, it is under Suntuf glazing, which is UV protected and blocks the UV rays from hitting the CPVC. Second, the CPVC itself is painted, which provides a secondary layer of protection.

    By G. Scott Davis on Jan 3, 2013

  26. Too bad these plastics don’t hold up well under sunlight…

    By YManCyberDude on Jan 3, 2013

  27. air collectors need venting as they can hit 300+ deg, air stopped (bi-metal flap at 200, works)

    By 2Pray4Peace on Jan 3, 2013

  28. SOOO
    use 1978 technology still running today:
    in over 30 homes alone I did 1980, WINDOW SCREENS bajed 500 deg from OEM; 1.1/2″ iso=ureth insul boxing. 1″ sides touching other collectors, though; – all 3/4″ spaced layers of 3 screens, clear PTFE layer (teflon) and to sundev, low iron glass, or a flexible “equal”; ~ 300 btuh Dayton oh 2 works fine/ and cloudy OH north: 4 collectors. 2ton fancoils at low speed for HW and hi for space heating. flush vinegar 1/yr; and preheat HW from attic air 2!

    By 2Pray4Peace on Jan 3, 2013

  29. these are nice ideas but anything that has antifreeze in it even ones for heating systems will rot any valve you have and also you have heat loss with antifreeze, so if your in warm climate its ok, but for me it gets below zero on occasions you need all the heat you can get

    By dericcormier38 on Jan 3, 2013

  30. What’s with the tariff? Is that carbon taxes?

    By Hobbit997 on Jan 3, 2013

  31. Visit the best solar blog for Romania Solar Energy
    romaniasolarenergy.blogspot.ro

    By PVfeasibilitystudy on Jan 3, 2013

  32. Visit the best solar blog for Romania Solar Energy
    romaniasolarenergy.blogspot.ro

    By PVfeasibilitystudy on Jan 3, 2013

  33. I thought that for a moment and then realized this is for Australia. The equator is north of them. If you are in the northern hemisphere, then you should point your collector towards the south/sun

    By fred stevens on Jan 3, 2013

  34. What’s this “summer” he speaks of?
    I don’t think we get that this close to the Arctic.

    By Cocotte123321 on Jan 3, 2013

  35. how an you compute for the heat transfer of the solar water heater I was told that heat was transferred thru convection and radiation. I think radiation is due to the collector but what about the convection? do you need to combine the equations?

    By lordknighteliwood on Jan 4, 2013

  36. Thanks Chazzangenio, you’re right I didn’t pay attention that this video was for the south.

    By MrSwissfrank on Jan 4, 2013

  37. No prestaste atención, en el hemisferio sur, el sol recorre el cielo por el norte, por eso los colectores solares deben dar la cara al norte, mientra que en el hemisferio norte, los colectores solares dan la cara al sur.
    También recomiendan el ángulo de inclinación optimo según la latitud de tu ciudad para mejorar la eficiencia del colector.

    By Chazzangenio on Jan 4, 2013

  38. they are from Australia

    By MrFiskofake on Jan 4, 2013

  39. Facing due North????? Should be due South? Cheers!

    By MrSwissfrank on Jan 4, 2013

  40. just made my day .

    By 64Francene906 on Jan 4, 2013

  41. Excellent and very informative..

    By Ali ihsan on Jan 4, 2013

  42. Nice and informative video

    By SauryaEnerTech on Jan 4, 2013

  43. ok

    By Vlado šimac on Jan 4, 2013

  44. I like the way it was explained. The graphics are simple but it was delivered clearly and easy to understand.

    By chesterherran on Jan 4, 2013

  45. Excellent Video explaining detail…,
    Eion

    By Eionful on Jan 4, 2013

  46. Manual boosting is fine in accordance with AS 3498 which specifies the length of time required to suppress bacteria growth at various temperatures. Therefore the tank temperature can drop below 60C. Clause 1.9.1 in As 3500.4 updates the existing Australian standard to allow for AS 3498 and manual booster switches for solar hot water.

    By tradesecrets2009 on Jan 4, 2013

  47. In Ohio U.S.A., the collectors must face South. Most in the Northern Hemisphere should to achieve optimum efficiency. Good video.

    By TheDigitalWeb on Jan 4, 2013

  48. I invent the Future of Solar Light technology! There is nothing worldwide even come close to my Products! It saved 80%-90% of Material and Costs! It also can be used to grow up Foot! Full Waterproof, also and a complete Solar Revolution! SEE ALSO THE FIRST SOLAR LED FOOTBALL STADIUM LIGHTS! Have a look on my Chanel, if you like my Products! It is already Patent Pending! With my Invent its first Time possible to use Solar technology in Areas where they now Solar only from TV!

    By solarpanellights on Jan 4, 2013

  49. My unckle has that in Poland and even on cloudy days the water gets hot enough to take a hot shover.

    By patrq on Jan 4, 2013

  50. Using a solar water heater is good in basically any clyment that you may live in connect the outlet of the solar water heater to a tempering tank then use the water straight from the tempering tank during the wormer months and in the colder months turn on a tankless hot water heater they come in either propane, electric only heat the water your using at that moment and not 24 hours a day

    By 1969626 on Jan 4, 2013

  51. Great learning for new installers and householders. Thanks for the resource

    By powtrekker85 on Jan 4, 2013

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