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Solar water heating systems have a good economic payoff, and are manageable systems to install or build as a DIY project.
Heat as Something Useful In physics classes, I often catch myself repeating the mantra that heat is a disordered , useless state of energy that is generically the endpoint of an energy flow process. For example, the energy allocated to the fast-spinning wheel of an upside-down bicycle will slowly drain away as the wheel stirs the air, makes sound, and suffers friction at the bearing. Every one of these energy paths results in heat, until 100% of the invested energy is dissipated and the room is a tad warmer as a result. We will never reassemble the lost energy into useful form, once entropy has claimed it. All of this is true enough, but I feel very awkward uttering the words that heat is the graveyard of energy flow, and must place an asterisk on the statement.
For one Florida family, it made more sense to build a homemade solar water heater before they actually had a home. By William J. Weber September/October 1979 Last summer my family and I started digging out the foundation for our new home.
Unless you have a very well insulated tank, the water will slowly lose heat as it sits in the tank. So you will need to determine when you plan to use the water and try to get the temperature to peak out as close as possible to that time. Since there are about 3-6 peak heating hours (depending on the season) during the day there is some flexibility as to when the peak temperature is reached in the tank. If you need the hot water at noon, you should turn your solar water heater towards the east.
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