Solar (Thermal)

Simple Pipe Solar Water Heater

a short video showing the small solar water heater i designed a couple of days ago. it consists of 136 feet of 1/2" black tubing. internal diameter is actually 3/5" (cost approx $10.00), 4 connector pieces (to connect the various pieces together and to connect it to the house (cost approx. $5.00)), and finally the 'y connector' so i could have the garden hose hooked up at the same time (cost approx $5.00). all purchased from home depot. total cost was approx. $20.00. all i did was coil 100 feet of the hose and attach it to a piece of plywood. after 30 minutes of sun the water temperature is about 130-133 degrees and after 60 to 90 minutes it can reach 150 degrees. the tubing can hold about 2 gallons of water at a time. if you drain and refill several times throughout the day you could easity get 10-15 gallons of hot water a day. of note: they call the tubing 1/2" but the actual internal diameter of the tubing is 3/5" (.6 inches). 100 feet of tubing holds 1.47 gallons and 136 feet of tubing holds approx. 2 gallons. home depot sells a 500 foot roll for about $35.00. that would hold 7.36 gallons of water. For extra pics and info. - click on the website link from my youtube channel page.

Batch solar collector twin tanks

Tubing makes the heating quicker, but for storing the water later, or heating it up slower, some tanks can be used directly. 

Water Heater using Plastic Bottles & Tin Cans

Avoid using (especially buying) PVC if you can, but this shows good experimental methodology 

Trade Secrets - Solar Hot Water Systems

This short videos shows you how to select and install a solar hot water system which maximises effectiveness and minimises running costs and emissions. It has been designed especially for Australian plumbers, apprentices and householders.

This video is part of the Trade Secrets 'Skills for the Future' series. For more videos, resources and training links, go to

Solar Air Heating from Pop Cans

Jim Meaney, owner of Cansolair Inc. displays how he converts pop cans into a powerful solar heating panel.

make Cheap Air Heat Solar Panels

Simply Solar Projects, Big and Small

A variety of home built, solar heat and solar hot water, DIY projects. These are projects built by members of our Simply Solar e-mail group.

There are lots of great reasons to pursue solar, but, among the very best reasons, building solar projects is very interesting and really fun!

There are lots of folks who are excited about solar, enjoy sharing their projects, learning, brainstorming, experimenting and they love to help anyone new to solar get started. That shared enthusiasm led to the creation of our e-mail group - SimplySolar. You are welcome to join!

I'd like to share with you some of the projects that our SimplySolar group members have built themselves.

We hope this video will help you to generate ideas for ways that you can enjoy solar at your home.

So sit back, relax and see what we've been up to. We hope that you'll be inspired!

Concentrated Solar

From towers to dishes to linear mirrors to troughs, concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar heat to generate electricity. A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 90,000 homes. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and how systems like parabolic troughs produce renewable power.

For more information on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's CSP research, see the Solar Energy Technology Program's Concentrating Solar Power Web page at

Solar Plant to Generate Power After Sundown

Rebecca Smith looks at solar power plants that can make electricity whether or not the sun is shining, including one scheduled to be built in Arizona in mid-2011.


Solar Islands

Video of Solar Islands -- a concept by CSEM, Switzerland (