Step 4: Spiral construction at a snails pace.

Photos don't show the first stages of construction as the idea to create an instructable from this project came slightly later in the project.

The hose was spun on to the frame starting at the middle and working outwards. We took a lead of around 6ft and attached to one leg of the frame, then we guided it in to the middle to begin the spiral. There were issues with kinks and worked out that at around 5in from the lip of the fitting the curve was easy enough that we could form the shape without kinking the hose. I marked out this 5 in using a marker and fastened the hose to the frame to begin the spiral. Working in chunks of around 4 to 5 rotations seems to work well until the later stages of construction. After each set of rotations you loosely fasten the hose using zip ties. Working from the last tightened point you guide the coil so that the hose sits evenly next to the previous loop. Too tight and it will overlap, too loose and it will cause grief on the next loop.
<p>thanks for sharing your projet, I did the same in Quebec, Canada. Today it's my first test, I hope this will works great! Thanks again!</p><p>By the way, I used electrical PVC for the structure, it also works great.</p>
<p>I want to say thank you to you and other great insctructable who make me <br> very happy. See my photo. Thank you so much, Elio from Italy</p>
Hallo, <br> <br>Nice reading your project. I have question regarding on this solar water heater. I live in Indonesia and have a project to build swimming pool with area 10X8 meter and the deep is 1,5 meter. The volume is 120 meter cubic. The water temperture average in Indonesia is 25 C. I want to increase the temperature around 33 C. My question is how long the tube ? do you have any suggestion to run this project ? Thank you
I have made one of these but used a small 12 volt water pump and small 12 volt solar PV panel to run it. that way it doesnt cost anything at all to run and the pump only runs when there is sun! (both purchased on eBay for about $70 combined)
Could you send some links to the things you have purchased? Thanks!
Hi! Really cool idea! Could you please give some hints about the pump that would be required to push the water through the system? Thanks!
very cool, wish my pool and or spa were a little closer to the south side of my house. i would really like to try this with my 16ft round above ground pool and maybe just lay the spiral on some corregated sheet metal roof piece or somthing because my pool is just too far from my house . what was the ambient temps on the days you took those readings? im wondering if the sun up here in MN will not work so well, also we just plain dont have as many sunny days so im not sure its worth building
I have built this solar spa heater, and it works even better then I thought it would. I have also add a timer to turn the pump on and off daily, The thing that is not working well is each morning before the pump comes on I have to go out and prime the heater. Both the intake and discharge lines are under water so that air can not enter the system, but each day when running the garden hose into the system theres air. the pump I have can push up to 9' and the solar heater is only at 8' or less. <br>what size pump do you have? <br>why or how does the air get in the lines?
I live in East Texas- Beacoup sunshine but still need a heater for early spring and fall's shorter sun hours. This (very nice instructable, thanks!) gives me an idea but I would like to trot it through here. I have one of those old humungous satellite antennas of years past, right behind the pool as it happens. <br>What if I took that dish, painted it black then wound your hose round and round in that? Our pool area gets full sun most of the day (in high summer it's more like a hot tub!) so I wouldn't have to mount it far from the pool pump at all. <br>What do y'all think of that?
According to your data at peak output which is a spa temp of 93.9F (can be used as an input temp), an output temp of 104.3F and a flow rate of 1GPM, you were raising the temp of 3.79 kilograms of water by 5.78C every minute. That would be a total energy increase (using q=mc(delta t)) of 91 509 joules to your spa every minute. Divide that by 60 seconds you get a power output of 1525 watts. Very impressive.
Did anyone consider the &quot;unbreakable&quot; PEX for hydronic systems? the best of plastic and metal And cost yay! I saw it at the hardware store and in the farmtek catalog. <br>anxious... <br>
PEX is a great type of plumbing. The only problem with it is its susceptibility to breakdown due to UV. Anytime PEX is run, it should be run where sunlight can't affect it. <br> <br>One suggestion would be to wrap the PEX in a pipe insulation of some kind to protect it from UV. PEX is great in areas where freezing temperatures are an issue and is extremely flexible.
I've had mild success running a PEX line inside of a slightly larger schedule 10 PVC pipe (used for low pressure drains) when it has to be in a UV exposed area
comment on ganaanaq2 post: <br> <br>you missed the mention of OUTDOOR zip ties in the parts listing - as they are less UV sensitive, they make a LOT of difference in the life expectancy of the fasteners.
Yes, we did use Outdoor zip ties. We will be updating the list as well as pictures for all the work we have done to it since the original posting.
Figures after we build this solar project the sun goes in to hiding for a week and a half. Anyhow today looks like it will be clear yet busy for us. I'll take a new sample set tomorrow if the sun stays out! <br> <br>Cheers
We had a good week of sun this week, we were able to raise the Spa temp from ground temp of around 72 degrees fahrenheit to a peak of 106 degrees fahrenheit over a 3 day period. Not bad :) <br> <br>Note: Still working on the SpaDuino project and instructable to match...
Do you turn the heaters on at night and use this as a supplement heat during the day?
If you want hotter water than the sun can provide at any given time, just boost with the electric heater. <br>Any amount you heat the water without electricity is money saved. <br>It would be a good Idea to bypass this system at night or on cloudy days because it will radiate heat into the air/space when the sun isn't shining.
We plan on only using the heater as a last resort, our target temp is around 102 degrees fahrenhieht in the spa.
i like the project ideea , simple and practical. I see only a hidden mistake, from the fixing the plastic tube. You used plastic self locking clips and from my experience this after a few years of beeing kept on the sun , the plastic become very hard and fragile ... so i sugest to put a metalic wire between the pipe and the metalic cross. Otherwise it is possible to se one time a big black flower in the roof :)) <br>
Very nice! <br> <br>Perhaps you could hook up a power measuring device (e.g., Kill-A-Watt) to your pump to indicate the energy use? Maybe compare with the energy consumption of the spa without solar warming? <br> <br>Also, maybe put some reflective insulation panels underneath the coil on the roof to further heat them as well as isolate the heat from the roof?
NIce job!<br> I made something very similar for my <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-a-wood-fired-hot-tub/" rel="nofollow">wood fired hot tub</a>.&nbsp; I was using it on the ground so that the warm water could passively thermosiphon into the tub. I found that I needed to insulate it from the ground as it would loose too much heat from conduction.&nbsp; In terms of pay off however the gains were pretty small. What I got from a days worth of solar heating could be achieved with an armload of wood in an hour.
&quot;09:32am - (82.2 - 93.9)? <br>11:11am - (85.8 - 93.9)? <br>01:03pm - (91.0 - 101.1)? <br>01:57pm - (93.9 - 104.3)? * Peak reading <br>03:37pm - (96.8 - 106.8)? <br>04:18pm - (98.6 - 103.8&quot;)? <br>Scales in celsius?
<br>Total increase over the time we monitored: 16.4 degrees fahrenheit
But what was the final temperature?
In our initial set of readings all values are in fahrenheit and the final reading of the day was 98.6 in the spa with water coming from the coil at 103.8. I am currently working on the Netduino based project that will log this information to an SD card for analysis. If anyone is interested there is some initial hack code up at <a href="https://github.com/petastream/SpaDuino" rel="nofollow">GitHub</a>. I will be posting a follow up instructable regarding this project in the near future.<br> <br> Cheers
Wonder. I await the final results!
We are waiting for a good sunny day here. Now that the project is ready the clouds moved in. Inevitable I suppose.
That si pretty cool
Oops I mean &quot;That is preety cool&quot;
good instructable! <br> <br>I built a pool heater using basically the same idea a long time ago - I put 5 expanded 100' coils of 1/2&quot; PVC (500 feet of it in total) into five 2'x8' wooden boxes connected in series, with glass 1 side mounted on backyard shed roof. The pool pump (3/4 hp 300 GPM) drove water through a controllable 'Y&quot; connection (restrictor) - flow required regulation so that water would heat up sufficiently else it acted as radiator - the exact opposite of what was desired. This could have been a function of ambient temperature at my location (43 degrees N) <br> <br>It worked reasonably well however its demise as Duplo above mentioned was UV from the sun - even with the piping behind glass it started to break down (became brittle and developed pinhole leaks) after 5 or 6 years and requiring many patches, too many :-), and I scrapped it. <br> <br>I'd strongly suggest using UV stabilzed PVC pipe - much more expensive though
The tubing we are using for the coil is <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Garden-Center-Watering-Irrigation-Drip-Irrigation/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbx57/R-100137979/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051" rel="nofollow">this</a>&nbsp;I used it once before for a drip system at my parents home about 3 years ago and that system seems to be doing fine. We are also pushing very low volume through this system, using the new magnetic pump the flow is around 1GPM which allows us to cycle 3/4 of entire spa through the system during the sunny hours of the day.
Would spraying the pipe/hose with UV protectant spray keep it from breaking down? Would it cut heat absorption? <br>How hot did the water get &amp; other stats?
no idea if UV protectant would help - build one, treat it and wait 5-6 years :-) <br> <br>it would be easier just use the UV stabilzed PVC if you are going build one - either that or make the PVC pipe easily replaceable - my design did not allow for this - live and learn - Petastream's design would be better suited to periodic replacement IMO <br> <br>as to heat added - I'd guess delta between inflow and outflow was about 7 degrees C - not huge but noticeable considering my pool is heated only by the sun. <br> <br>the roof temperature (under the shingles) hit ~80 C on a nice sunny day
Seems like you could use the water pressure in the system (plus gravity) to fill hottub with hot water as you push in cold water for the next time you want some hot. OR are you re-heating what has already been heated? I just know if I turn on my garden hose, first flow would kill my plants it's so hot. <br>
We run the water through the system when we first fill the spa up, after that we use the system to recirculate the water during the day. If we leave the water stagnate on the roof for a few hours then turn the system on the water coming from the return line is around 150 fahrenheit.
Have you had any problems with vapor lock in your heating coil? <br> <br>Also, how strong in the pump you used? (GPM)
Looks like his pump is inside the hot tub pushing rather than above it pulling; I think that means that there shouldn't be any vapor lock problems at all. If you wanted to put the pump up on the roof so you didn't have it kicking around inside the tub you might run into some trouble.
The initial run we used the submersible pump to help the water cycle through the system. That pump was pumping at around 1.25 GPM which yielded the results seen on the last step of the instructable. We have since moved to a lighter duty pump and have tied the solar system in to the internal spa plumbing. This part of the project was completed today and I will be appending that process to this instructable.
i dont have a pool but will try it anyway.. for one of the bathrooms
As good as this is about 20 yrs ago, I built a system quite similar with the pvc and glass and it worked great for about 3-4 yrs and then we went to a change and used a old hot water heater stripped down without the jacket and we put tha into a box with mirrors inside to reflect the heat onto the tank and we had this for about 7yrs after that we incorporated the whole system together and we now have way more HOT WATER than we ever can use so just keep up the great work and continue on the joirney towards an ALL GREEN ENVIROMENT.......
love it when I see posts like this! Good for you! And your Wife and child!!! ;0]
I would love to pre -heat my hot water for showers &amp; sinks! Most hot water is used for these two uses. My oil furnace is a full time /always on system! It wastes a lot oil oil! Do you think i could rig up a coil for a pre-heater? It woul really save a lot of oil! The cost of home heating oil is never going to go down! My roof slope looks just like yours! I just personally put new shingles up there! That goodness for compressor powered nail guns!
polycarbonate will last 1-2 years in the sun then disintegrate , rather use 4mm perspex , that has +- 10 years life span in the sun , or best to use 10 mm glass , life span will be 20 -30 years. <br>I have a very similar system running for 2 years now , I use 1/4 inch garden irrigation hose to heat water for the washing machine , basically push cold water from the tap into the pipes and return it to the inlet of the washing machine , best temperature Ive got is 55 deg cel. <br>After much r&amp;d , the problem is pressure , combined with heat it easily bursts the pipes or connection so a pressure relief valve is mandatory. <br> <br>Well done , and lets all keep up the green movement. <br> <br>
By going to yard sales one can pick up two 52&quot; patio tables one can disassemble for the glass. Using this glass one can make one's own trapped air space for this assembly cheaply and easily. The pvc pipe and cable ties are not necessary in that the black piping can be laid directly on the glass and glued to it and the return hose can be taken directly out of the umbrella hole. <br>A note of caution: the trick to working with tempered glass is that while one can almost beat on the face of the glass with a hammer the edges are especially tender. Protecting the edges until the assembly is placed on the roof requires attention. <br>Also, there are table tops with holes in the center and those without. One without a hole would probably be best for the lower glass. <br>Just an idea. Used to wholesale shaped glass most of which was tempered glass table tops for patio tables.
Nice work. Comment about the polycarbonate. Glass has an unbeatable weather resistance, poly does not. My experience is that the more expensive weather resistance poly will empty your wallet. Poly is definitely more convenient, but if your lucky you might come by a big round glass table, which most likely is made by tempered glass. Safe and durable!

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Bio: I'm a software developer and systems analyst for a small company in Southern California. I have a loving wife and wonderful son that are ... More »
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