Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Solar Water Heater - The Cover Part 1

This is the second part of my solar water heater project for horse tanks. The other parts are:
To build the heater cover, I used the rough plans and adapted them. I put the base down, and then measured from there, taking into account the height of the tank. I had it just about an inch above the tank, which I realize now is too low. I should have allowed 2” and kept it low to the ground. We have a few ponies and they’re short, but lesson learned for v2.
Photo Dec 15, 2 04 49 PM
The first measurements helped me get the sizes.
Photo Dec 17, 7 32 01 PM
I started by cutting sides, slanting the front about 10 degrees and attaching a board along the top and bottom. These are bracing and give the cover the structural integrity. I used a 2x4 on top and a 2x6 on the bottom.
Photo Dec 17, 7 31 55 PM
I also added an interior board, which will brace against the back. I allowed for the sides to stick out far enough to cover the back OSB, but that’s a mistake. I should have either set them flush, or allowed to cover the 2x6 with the upper and lower boards. It works, but looks funny.
Photo Dec 17, 7 36 47 PM
I screwed this much together on the first day, with the rest of my wood buried in snow in the back of the truck. However I had a little more time, so I added some insulation. It was cut to fit with a utility knife. This isn’t the final size, but it gave me an idea of how it would look.
Photo Dec 17, 7 45 34 PM
I started with the foil out, but I want to minimize heat reflection, so I turned things around as shown above.
Photo Dec 17, 7 41 41 PM
A little paint to see how it took convinced me that I’d need real paint, as well as some other thermal mass.
Photo Dec 17, 7 48 51 PM
I could probably have finished most of this in a day, but with other circumstances, this is where I stopped as we left for vacation.

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