HeatingFor a typical family of water can to account for approximately 20% of their annual utility bills. If you have two daughters taking long showers, yours may be somewhat higher.
Before considering the use of solar energy or any other efficient methods of heating water, install showers low flow lockable Tickle (foaming) valves. Also talk to your family about taking shorter showers. This not only reduces water heating costs, but it also preserves our fresh water supply.
Unless you are a consummate craftsman, I suggest having a solar water heater a simple batch. This is known as a passive system because the water moves through it due to input line or only the differences in temperature, pressure, however, can be very efficient and effective.
Trying to build a system active, with collectors in roof systems, plumbing and control, and storage tanks is beyond the skill level of most homeowners. I am a design engineer, and I don't think you can build a system from scratch.
A solar system of lots is used as a pre-heater for the existing water heater. The incoming cold water flows through the solar preheater before going to your water heater. Each grade heats the water in the preheater reduces the amount of electricity or gas used by the water heater.
The system more simple solar batch is called a design panera. Using a water tank of horizontal metal inside a box with a transparent lid. The sun shines through the transparent cover to heat the water. Another slightly more efficient option uses a box of high inclined at an angle to face the Sun. This allows you to more hot water to extract first from the top of the tank.
You can buy a water tank of stainless steel specially designed for this application with the entry and exit of water accessories. If you can find an old water heater that is not permeable, Peel the metal skin and insulation using the internal tank. The painting is Matt Black to absorb more heat from the Sun.
Helps to isolate the closed walls and the bottom of the box, especially if you plan to use most of the year. Heavy insulation is not necessary because the tank will not extremely hot, especially if you are using hot water throughout the day. One inch thick, with foil face rigid foam sheets should be well. Connect them inside the box so that it reflects the Sun's heat in the tank.
Install water valves and piping to the solar tank can be drained and voided during cold weather. Install insulation heavy around pipes to the view and bury underground as much as possible.