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Old 09-17-2012
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solar hot water

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Has anyone out there in sailing land seen, or built a sloar hot water system for their sailboat? I'm looking around for a design to roof mount on Clarity, but if it's been done successfully I'd appresiate hearing about it. Cheers. Bill
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: solar hot water

These work really well, stow well when not in use and are reasonably priced.

Sometimes simple is good.

Rik
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: solar hot water

How about one of those non marking black hoses.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: solar hot water

I haven't, but I've thought about it. Because I have four separate water tanks, I've thought of insulating one, and using a solar pump and vacuum tubes to make it a hot water tank. Haven't even experimented yet, but I would mock it up first with a five gallon bucket before I altered the plumbing.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: solar hot water

My boat has never had a hot water heater installed. I have no interest in a shower in the head, but would like to have it readily available in the galley. My plan is to get a 6 gallon marine hot water heater and run it on electric when on shorepower but not hook it up to the engine cooling system as per usual for use when off the grid. I don't want to run the engine just to heat water. My thought is to circulate (with a low-volume solar-powered pump) warm/hot water through the heater through a modest-sized cabintop collector when not on shorepower. I'm going to experiment with it before next season to see if it's feasible before trying it on the boat.

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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: solar hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
These work really well, stow well when not in use and are reasonably priced.

Sometimes simple is good.

Rik
Really, they are awesome. Even in the PNW where sun is scarce they are good. If you can't get the water quite hot enough, a kettle of warmed or boiling water will get it to the right temp. Also, buy the biggest one they make. Even if you don't need all the capacity the extra surface area will help it get hot faster.

My two "Sun Shower" brand showers (now owned by Stearns) are still going strong after 10 years of abuse and neglect. They also have a temperature indicator on them (think forehead thermometer) which is nice as well.

MedSailor
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: solar hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenflash35 View Post
How about one of those non marking black hoses.
I had a friend who tried that in Eastern Washington (where it is very sunny and hot in the summer) and it ended up not working. Apparently there was a lot of heat loss in all the surface area of the tubing and the tubing of large enough diameter (1/2") that the middle never got very warm.

On the other hand our swimming pool in Australia has a system that used a very small pump and a bunch of very thin rubber tubing (1/8" diameter probably) that had flanges on it to make the black rubber surface area larger. It added quite a few degrees (maybe 10?) to our outdoor pool.

It was something like this:
Hot Sun Flexible Solar Swimming Pool Heating Collector Panels

It seems that the solar pool heating industry has quite a few offerings that would fit the bill. There are even good instruction manuals and diagrams that show how to make the system.
Hot Sun Flexible Solar Swimming Pool Heating Collector Panels

Just substitute your "tank" for their "pool" and you should be good to go. This one in particular (linked above) looks good because the rubber is flexible and can be run anywhere that is convenient on the boat.


Nice idea BTW. Let us know how it turns out!
MedSailor
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: solar hot water

Sunshower more then enough for our needs. When we were in mexico we had to put a T-shirt around the thing as the water was way TOO hot for showering.....
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Re: solar hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
These work really well, stow well when not in use and are reasonably priced.

Sometimes simple is good.

Rik
Yes, Rik has it right. I have one of those and it works pretty well. You get enough to do a Navy shower with warmish water after you put it in the sun for two or three hours. That's great for warm weather but I want something hotter when it is cool. That's the time to pull up to a dock, plug in the electric, and use the hot water heater and electric heater.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: solar hot water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobnets View Post
My boat has never had a hot water heater installed. I have no interest in a shower in the head, but would like to have it readily available in the galley. My plan is to get a 6 gallon marine hot water heater and run it on electric when on shorepower but not hook it up to the engine cooling system as per usual for use when off the grid. I don't want to run the engine just to heat water. My thought is to circulate (with a low-volume solar-powered pump) warm/hot water through the heater through a modest-sized cabintop collector when not on shorepower. I'm going to experiment with it before next season to see if it's feasible before trying it on the boat.

Mobnets
1973 Chance 32/28 "Westwind"
Will you not need to run your engine to charge batteries? Wouldn't it be a good idea to plumb the engine cooling to the WH so you can get hot water if needed or as a by product of running the engine for some other purpose?
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