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Publication Title | Economy SolarShower

Organic Rankine Cycle

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Homebrew

Economy

Solar

Shower

Bob Battagin

©1994 Bob Battagin After a hard day’s work, I look

forward to a warm wash-down in

my backyard solar shower. I get a special feeling from using water heated by the sun and recycling it directly to the grasses and native plants in my yard while standing (dare I say it?) buck- naked in Nature’s glorious outdoors. The fresh evening air, solar-warmed water, singing birds and sweet-smelling garden soothe away the day’s cares and concerns.

Here’s a solar shower that uses simple, inexpensive components for a low-impact, relaxing wash.

Technical matters

A re-used water heater and a plexiglas greenhouse are at the heart of the shower. I painted the 15 gallon tank flat black to optimize heat absorption and mounted it on the edge of my garage roof (see photo). I recommend a squat tank to lower the center of gravity of this heavy component. I positioned the tank for adequate support and good solar exposure.

Since my system is fed by a public water main, the tank could have been located above or below the shower-head. For a gravity-fed or low-pressure source, I would need to mount the tank above the shower- head.

The hothouse is made of rigid plexiglas attached to a simple wooden framework enclosing the water tank. My original design had 3 mm. polypropylene covering the frame, but sun-induced deterioration and wayward basketballs precluded its long-term use. I use the handle on top to lift the hothouse off the tank when I clean the inside of the plastic once a year.

Homebrew

30 Home Power #43 • October / November 1994

Image | Economy SolarShower



economy-solarshower
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