Step 1: Kids Solar Water Heater
This is an excellent way for kids to learn about the power of the sun. By adding water through the tubes the black tubes absorbs energy from the sun and heats up the water. We wanted a cost efficient way to demonstrate this so we used black garden tubing, scrape cardboard, some glue, and a template. The template was necessary for the age group we were work with. Add water and the sun = hot water!
Step 2: Materials
The materials you will need are
- Zip Ties
- Glue or Tape
- 3Ft Black Gardening Tube
- Sharp Pencil
- Water Dropper or Pipet
- Water Collector - We used a Pringles can lid
- Thick Cardboard
- Optional Template
Step 3: Step 1 Glue
Add glue to back of template and stick on to cardboard.
Step 4: Step 2 Holes
Poke holes to get the zip ties through easily.
Step 5: Step 3 Zip Ties!
Add zip ties through the holes and tighten down the tube.
Do not over tighten. Over tightening rips the cardboard
Zip ties need to be connected on the top or the heater will not sit flat on the ground
Step 6: Step 4 Add Water
Using the pipet, slowly add water to tube.
Step 7: Step 5 Add Sun
Place in direct sun light. Angle cardboard so that there are no shadows.
Step 8: Step 6 Collect Water
Allow time for the water to sit in the tube. After 5 min in direct sun the water will be hot (be careful). Lift the heater up and allow gravity to force the water out the bottom or force water out using the pipet. Collect water but be careful, hot water can burn.
Use a thermometer to measure the before and after temperature of the water.
Step 9: What If?
I am sure many of you have great suggestions on making this better. We would love to hear form you!
We thought about painting the cardboard black, we also thought about black aluminum for the backing. We chose not to use these for time and cost purposes. A class could experiment with different colored backgrounds to see what and if there were any differences.
We also tried a coil but the age group we were working with had a very hard time with keeping the coil in place.