Seeker's Survival Prep
The Basics
Solar Hot water heater

This is an experimental solar hot water heater design I ran across that appears to function well: a 500 gallon round double wall tank was used; the interstitial area between the inner and outer tank was filled with polystyrene expandable foam for insulation and the outer shell was over-coated with bentonite, a clay that is mixed with water and once applied and allowed to dry, forms a non-permeable (waterproof) membrane; the tank was then buried. The incoming water was attached to a pipe that feeds into the bottom of the tank, the outlet drawing directly from the top of the tank. An additional hole at the top was connected to a black solar panel bank and the return line from the bank was connected to another opening on the bottom.

The water in the solar panel would cycle from the panel to the tank as a passive thermal loop, actually heating the water in the tank (over a period of several days once it was filled) to roughly 140 degrees and would maintain it during normal use, providing all the hot water needs for the household of 5 that used it.

The home owner did install instant on demand water heaters in the bathrooms and kitchen, set to come on if the water temperature dropped below 90 degrees; according to the owner, the back up system rarely had to be used.

500 gallons of stored hot water available at anytime, with no associated heating cost, would be a welcome supplement to any preppers' budget.

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