# Solar collector

also, i am unsure about the units...are the above ones ok??? as in the website had these units [ KWh/m^2/ hello everyone!
i know that solar collectors are commonplace in many parts of the world (tho not mine) so this might sound a bit stupid...

anyway, i wanted to make (actually build) a solar collector and am finding it hard to link theory with practice...anyhow, my dsegin is simple having a copper pipe run through a wooden frame. On top of the base (wooden) lies the absorber (which i hope to make out of a copper sheet 1m x 1m with a semi-circular trough all the way in which would be placed the copper pipe (which if i can, i would attempt to also get welded to the sheet) ). On top of the frame lies a sheet of glass which would, if the theory is right, create a greenhouse effect in the collector for the temperature of the water to rise as much as possible

i am planning to make a 1m x 1m panel. the thickness would depend on the diameter of pipe available to me but i hope to have it around 0.5 inch to 1 inch.
A rough sketch, I am pasting below…
so,
first, i would like someone with expertise to verify if the design is fundamentally sound. My problem is that my budget is limited, so i dont think i would be able to make and then remake, tho minor tweaks should be okay
second, i am assuming that the power/meter the surface of where the collector will function to be around 5 KWh/m^2 (this is based on the arithmetic mean of data for a place near my exact location i found on the internet from that available for each month)
day ]
third, it would really nice if someone helps in getting all the details right by pointing it out here...
[I am looking to heat the water to as high a temp as possible with 1m squre panel, tho a 20 to 70 degree differential would be fantastic…again that would depend on the efficiency of the collector (which I guess can only be calculated after the thing is made), the ambient irradiance, mass flow rate (which I think might depend on the pipe diameter) etc etc]

Thanks in advance

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## Answers and Replies

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mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Not sure 1in copper pipes are the most cost effective, you generally want very thin pipes so that as much water as possible is in contact with the walls.
And a 1m x 1m copper sheet isn't going to be cheap (unless you already have it)

There are a low of solar hot water project sites on the web eg.
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm

Not sure 1in copper pipes are the most cost effective, you generally want very thin pipes so that as much water as possible is in contact with the walls.
Noted

And a 1m x 1m copper sheet isn't going to be cheap (unless you already have it)
hmm...actually i dont have one...can you actually tell what material might be better (cheaper and acceptable) as an absorber??

howtopedia (www.howtopedia.com) mentions copper, aluminum, steel and 'plastics' as potential absorbers. i doubt such plastics would be available over here...but can u mention any other materials??

There are a low of solar hot water project sites on the web eg.
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm
i had been to that website, in fact to many others, but i couldnt find that detail i want to make the panel

mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
I think I would get one of the books suggested on that site (or the ones it links to) before you start buying parts.
Most of the home projects seem fairly cheap/simple.
If you live somewhere that freezes part of the year it might get a bit more complicated