jamoni wrote:I propose a challenge! Let's see who can build a solar powered water heater from scrap, found materials, etc. Your budget is exactly $0.
DevastatorIIC wrote:Dad made a hot water heater for our outdoor pool (no joke, Alaska doesn't get that hot even in the summer), so he rigged an electric motor to a hose, then fed it up to a few coils of black plastic piping on the roof, then to a hose back down to the pool. Worked perfectly.
Actually, we've done the same thing. Instead of hose ON the roof, it was inside the attic, pressed against the steel roof. Dark-colored steel, black plastic tubing (~500 feet, looped back and forth) and then insulation sealing it in. Provides hot water for the house, and lowered the attic's temperature by ~12 deg. C (around a 22 degree spread in Fahrenheit). Very basic, very effective in the summer. Wood heat for cooking, water, and everything else all winter (350 acres, farm, woodlot) as well as late fall and early spring. So it's covered. Looks like we'll be installing a solar thermal system (flat-plate collectors) instead, though. Stepping upwards. Point of my post is that I've already done it. Can provide pix if you want. What's the prize?
Also, to clarify, by "we", I mean "my family". I'm 21 - this is my parents' place I'm talking about. I'm now an urbanite now - my "bug out plan" consists primarily of getting the hell outta Dodge and heading back home (~200miles). To this end, I keep some diesel around (4-5 gallons is more than sufficient to get me home) and know several routes back, mostly avoiding major highways, some avoiding paved areas almost entirely. In the handful of cases I can imagine that would keep me from making it back there... well, I'd likely be fucked anyway. I keep a BOB around and try to stay stocked anyway, but Plan A is to get back there where 90-95%self-sufficiency is already a way of life (and the other 5% is luxury anyhow). I'll eventually be moving back there and either building another house or building an attachment onto the existing houses (parents or grandparents, both within the farm range). Just for a bunch of detail nobody may want anyhow.