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Solar collector

  1. Mar 3, 2009 #1
    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…
    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

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2009 #2


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    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.
  4. Mar 4, 2009 #3

    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??

    i had been to that website, in fact to many others, but i couldnt find that detail i want to make the panel
  5. Mar 4, 2009 #4


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    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
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