Tropical DIY thermosyphon solar water rig

Discussion in 'Solar and Geothermal Water Heating Forum' started by Dalrock, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Dalrock

    Dalrock New Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    I'm building a house on an island in the Bahamas and last month my propane instahot developed an internal gas leak. I sent it back to the US for replacement and the small airline lost it, refusing to pay for its replacement. So. When my DH came for a visit, he threw together a slapdash sun shower for me. About 200 feet of 3/4" soft copper, painted black, affixed to a tarpaper covered sheet of 4x8 ply IN A RACETRACK CONFIGURATION, plumbed inline to our pressurized cistern system. I threw a sheet polyiso under it for giggles. As the sun drops in the afternoon, I toss another sheet on top so I have some tepid water in the evening. Obviously, this is temporary until we decide on what we want as a permanent solution. Now that the propane instahot has disappeared and won't be replaced gratis, we don't think we want another. We have purchased a cycle stop valve to deal with the vagaries of our cistern/pump/accumulator tank configuration but still feel that the instahot's performance was less than satisfactory for a variety of reasons. So my question is can/how to adapt my racetrack of copper tube into a thermosyphon system. I'm hoping that I can mount a 20 gallon electric water heater pressurized inline, above the collector, and utilize that as our storage tank and backup, also giving me pressure relief valvage. Will this work? Will the racetrack pipe configuration siphon? MUST the cold water inflow be at the very bottom of the collector and the output be at the very top? It's Feb now and I already get water that's teakettle hot. Ain't no freeze problems HERE ladies! Bottom line is that I am close to the salt water and I've spent enough time here to know that simple is best so I would like to avoid a pump and controller. And, of course, the simplest of parts are impossible to get here. A roof mount was the original plan but I like this new direction and think it may be better for hurricane season as well . And yes, the collector will get framed and glazed with polycarbonate. Many thanks for any input and advice. Or even guffaws of incredulity.....
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
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