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DIY Projects Warmth / Shelter / Cooling

DIY Solar Water Heater Using Glow Plugs?

Although there’s no verbal explanation given as the video plays, I think I generally get the idea: Use two glow plugs like a hot water heating element to generate a constant current using a small solar panel and battery. And, while it’s a relatively small water barrel–I’m guessing 15 gallons–he was able to get the temperature up to about 61 degrees Celsius which is over 140 degrees Fahrenheit and plenty hot for showers or cleaning dishes. Who long did it take is another matter, perhaps all day for all I know.

Also, some of the comments in the video pointed out that the battery is likely too small for such an application. Plus, there’s no charge controller involved which is usually a bad idea assuming you’re concerned about safety. Another comment also mentioned that he should paint the barrel black which will help speed up heating. In fact, the water may heat up relatively well sitting in the direct sunlight enclosed in a black barrel without aid of a solar setup whatsoever.

While I really enjoy watching DIY projects like this, many of which are truly useful for preparedness purposes, I’m hesitant to say that this is a good use of precious solar power in an off-grid scenario. Take this for what it is: a neat DIY idea that’s more for show than truly of use…

By Damian Brindle

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