DIY Plastic Bottle Solar Water Heater

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Every now and again I run into something that really impresses me. Today that ‘thing’ was this diy homemade plastic bottle solar water heater, which is now very popular in southern Brazil.

This is the ingenious design of a retired Brazilian mechanic, who goes by the name Jose Alano. Not only does his design help re-use plastic bottles, it also harnesses the sun’s energy to heat water.

DIY Plastic Bottle Solar Water Heater
Photo Credit:
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Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 2L plastic bottles
  • milk cartons
  • 100mm PVC pipe
  • 20mm PVC pipe
  • 90-degree 20 mm PVC elbows
  • 20mm PVC T-connectors
  • 20 mm PVC end caps
  • PVC glue
  • black matt paint and roller
  • sand paper
  • self-amalgamating tape
  • rubber hammer
  • hand saw
  • wood
  • storage tank or reservoir

Alano’s design does not require and pumps or electricity to circulate the water. It is based on the commonly used thermosiphon principle. The less dense hot water will tend to move upwards and the cold denser water downwards, this circulates the water.

Make sure to place the panels at least one foot under the tank, preferably on a wall or roof that faces south. It is also recommended that the plastic bottles are replaced every 5 years. You can download the Portuguese  DIY leaflet guide here

You can follow step by step instructions on the Ecologist blog, here…

DIY Plastic Bottle Solar Water Heater

You can watch the video below, for an overview of Jose’s system

You can see more pictures of this diy solar water heater on the Themas blog here


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