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DIY Hot Water

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DIY Solar Heating

Solar HeatingIf you've ever felt the heat of a wall or roof in the height of summer, then you'll realise that it's ability to boil water is immense. Deriving heat from the sun is incredibly low-tech, and can be achieved by simply having water running down a metal surface (painted black) and then collecting heated water at the bottom. Whilst this is a very cheap option it will be of little use on less sunny days. The black reflective tubes of a solar heat collector are so effective at turning any solar energy into a small amount of heat, then compounding more solar energy to increase that heat, that they are by far the more cost effective option when connected to a mains water system. Daytime temperatures can be low, but the solar collector will store heat anytime the sunlight is upon it.

Modern eco buildings capture energy from the sun with much simpler technologies. Large south facing windows fill rooms with heat, while thick insulation on the adjacent wall can store the excess heat, releasing it slowly over the colder months. This can be simplified to a south facing conservatory, which can have a similar effect on a smaller scale.If you can gain access to some free fuel a wood burner can be extremely efficient at heating the room it's in as well as heating water for a boiler, reducing heating costs up to 80% in a small home.

Other methods can also be employed to capture some of the sun's energy (read "The Book" for more details) applying simple principles of heat transfer and evaporation, but these have less impact on our usage, and therefore offer little reduction to our bills.

DIY Hot Water


Solar Heating.pdf - Basic guide to heating your home with Solar Energy.

Other Resources

Act on CO2 - Renewable Energy

Build Your Own - Solar Heating Panel

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