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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
close this folderPhase IV: Solar water heaters
View the documentPhase IV Calendar
View the documentSession 1. The role of the volunteer in development: international development part 2: the green revolution: successes and failures
View the documentSession 2. Introduction to solar water heaters
View the documentSession 3. Assessing community water needs and uses
View the documentSession 4. Introduction to solar water heating: determining hot water demand
View the documentSession 5. Plumbing a solar water heater
View the documentSession 6. Sizing a solar water heater
View the documentSession 7. Demonstrating a technical concept
View the documentSession 8. Shade mapping and solar siting
View the documentSession 9. Design of solar water heaters.
View the documentSession 10. Construction of solar water heaters
View the documentSession 11. Multi-media standard first aid
View the documentSession 12. Wind technology
View the documentSession 13. Volunteer in development part 2: women in development
View the documentSession 14. House design in four climates
View the documentSession 15. Presentation of solar water heaters
Open this folder and view contentsPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 9. Design of solar water heaters.

Total time:

4 hours


* To design a solar water heater


* To examine group dynamics and discuss decision-making styles


* Burton, "Vertical and Horizontal Passive Solar Water Heater Plans"


* Baer, "Pro and Breadbox Solar Water Heater Plans"

Trainer Notes

The above resources should be available for use in this session.


Notebooks, pens, pencils, newsprint, felt-tip pens, drawing paper, T-squares, rulers, etc.


Step 1. (5 minutes)
Present the objectives and describe the session activities.

Step 2. (3 hours)
Have the participants form work groups, decide on a solar water heater design and develop a complete set of plans.

Trainer Notes

* Explain that each group should begin the design process by identifying criteria for their solar water heaters. Criteria could be: low cost, simplicity, use of available materials, use of hand tools, durability (5 years), easily built and understood by non-technical people, etc.

* Explain that their plans should include: a materials list, a tools list, an estimated cost and a design drawing.

* Explain that one way for the group to decide on a design is to have each member of the group sketch as many solar water heaters as possible on notebook paper, then pick one sketch from the pile that best fits the group's criteria.

* Remind the participants that they will have only 20 hours to build and test their solar water heater, so the design should not be too complex.

* Mention that before construction can begin, each design must be checked for completeness and simplicity by the trainer and that the plans should include materials and tools lists.

* Explain that during this process, the group members should observe the group's decision-making styles since it will be discussed later in this session.

* Circulate among the small groups and offer your assistance. Do not force your ideas on the group. Encourage and support their design.

* An option here is to show the groups the copies of the solar water heater plans (from the Resources) to serve as a reference to the work they have done.

Step 3. (30 minutes)
Reconvene the groups and have them present their design criteria and their plans. Encourage questions, comments and discussion.

Trainer Notes

* As the groups are presenting their designs, provide any necessary suggestions for improving feasibility, complete ness and simplicity.

* Remind the groups that you will be reviewing their plans in more detail before they begin construction.

Step 4. (20 minutes)
Review and discuss the dynamics of each construction group.

Trainer Notes

The following questions will stimulate and focus the discussion of each group:

* Who did what in the group during the design portion of the session?
* How were decisions made?
* How well did the group function?
* How were problems resolved?

For more detailed information regarding group decision-making styles, refer to Phase I: Session 12, "Earthen Block Molds."

Step 5. (5 minutes)
Briefly review the session and conclude by explaining that the next session will involve the construction of solar water heaters using the plans developed during this session.

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