The background: We know a solar water heater can be made, but making it work everyday without requiring constant adjustment and fiddling is the tricky part. I'm lucky, my mother owns a hardware store (awesome place to grow up) and she decided to fund the project. She let me build it at the store and agreed to deal with the ridiculous time line I often fall into on pet projects like this. This will be installed to provide warmer than ice cold water to the hardware store bathroom and will only really be used for washing hands and cleaning etc...
I've broken the project into three phases:
1- The Collector: A heat exchanger that will collect the sun heat energy and efficiently transfer it to whatever fluid media we end up using to carry the heat to our desired location.
2- The Emitter: Yet another heat exchanger that will deliver the heat from my carry fluid to the water the end user will come into contact with.
3- The Install: making it all work as maintenance free as possible... probably the hardest part.
This 'ible covers Phase 1. I will not be as long winded in the steps as I was here.
Step 1: The Box
A picture speaks a 1000 words, so I'm not going to step by step the box construction. I've opted not to go into great detail about quantities and sizes because I think those metrics would be governed by the specific application. There is so much to say about each picture that this 'ible could end up being a royal pain to read; so I'll keep it nice and general for the sake of easy reading. Hopefully the photos do the talking.