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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 10. Construction of solar water heaters

Total time:

20 hours


* To use various tools in the construction of solar water heaters


* To build, monitor and assess a solar water heater


* To recognize and solve problems within the construction group


* To develop and present a complete explanation of the solar water heater


Attachment IV-10-A, "Monitoring and Assessing a Solar Water Heater"


Various size and shape water containers, from 4 liters (1 gallon) to 64 liters (16 gallons), flat black paint, sheet metal (aluminum, steel), wood (various sizes and lengths of dimensional lumber, plywood, etc.), sheet plastic, sheet vinyl, glass panes, insulation materials (straw, newspaper, cardboard, etc.), assorted and various tools (saws, shears, paint brushes, hammers, screwdrivers, putty knives, pencils, squares, nails, screws, bolts, pipe wrenches, pipe cutter, pipe vise, pipe threader, thread-sealing compound, pipe-threading oil, various lengths of pipe (12 and 18 mm I.D. galvanized and PVC plastic) and fittings (elbows, tees, couplings, valves, lock nuts, etc.).


Trainer Notes

This 20-hour session allows much latitude for individual trainer styles. It follows a format similar to the construction session for pedal/treadle power in Phase III. The following notes are here to give you some guidance and share some experiences that have worked well during past training programs.

The session does not have to happen all at once. Since it is a 20 hour session, it should be complimented with other sessions, such as Health and Nutrition, the Role of the Volunteer in Development and other Core Technology sessions (See Phase calendar).It is helpful, in fact, to spread the construction time over as many days as possible, because the participants will then have more "spare time" to discuss their projects and their problems outside of session time. A four-hour session, however, should be considered a minimum, since tools and materials have to be set up and cleaned up. Six or eight hours of the day gives the participants plenty of time.

Construction naturally follows design. Those groups with complete water heater plans (design drawings, materials lists, tool lists, etc.) should proceed with construction without waiting for the other groups. Therefore, some groups may begin slightly sooner than other groups.

Step 1. (Approximately 16 hours)
Have participants form construction groups and construct, test, modify and evaluate their solar water heater. Distribute and explain Attachment IV-10-A to help the participants with their assessment.

Trainer Notes

At the beginning of each construction period, have the participants discuss the events of the preceding day. Focus the discussions on the group dynamics and problem-solving methods that are being used by each group, what's working and what's not working, etc. This should take 15-25 minutes, depending on how many issues need to be brought up.

Remind the participants of how many hours remain in the construction part of the phase and that some time near the end of the phase should be spent on the development of a presentation for their device. When time begins to get short, encourage the participants to focus on the essential tasks only and to split them among group members to help speed up the process.

During the construction periods, you should keep in touch with how the groups are proceeding, taking time when necessary to show people how to properly use and care for tools.

Don't intervene every time the group or an individual makes a mistake. Mistakes are an important part of the learning process. Intervene only if the safety of the group is in danger or if a certain decision will prove fruitless and take a large amount of time away from the group.

Explain that any group that finishes one project may go on with another small project or begin preparations for the presentation of their device or do research on other types of solar construction.

Allow 10-20 minutes at the end of each construction period for cleanup of the work site and shop area.

At the end of the final construction session, plan about a halfan-hour for a thorough cleanup of the work site and shop area.

Step 2. (Approximately 4 hours)
Have the participants prepare for the final presentation of their solar water heaters. Provide them with relevant hints or guidelines.

Trainer Notes

The final presentation of the solar water heater should be given by the participants as if they were presenting their solar device to their in-country counterparts or a group of villagers.

It should be thorough and not too technical.

The participants should be encouraged to be creative in their final presentations. Encourage them to use such non-formal education techniques as posters, puppets, diagrams, drawings and discussions.

The presentation does not have to be a straight lecture presentation, although this is always an option. Explain that they should try to think of ways to involve the people watching the presentation, to get their participation. Above all, stress the need for creativity, experimentation and various communication techniques.


Each group should establish procedures to measure the amount and temperature of water. You will need a thermometer and a pre-measured container for the water and a pen and paper to record the data each time the water is used.

Be sure to include the time of day the water was taken, the amount, the temperature and any relevant comments.

Plot a graph that illustrates water quantity vs. temperature.

From the graph and the data collected, determine how much water was available above the temperature stated in the heater design specifications.

Please answer the following questions:

* Was the water heater properly sized for the volume and temperature required during the activities?

* Does the system provide the volume and temperature to meet the design specifications?

* If your yearly income was less than $5,000 per year, would you invest in this water heater? ($100 per year?)

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