Thermosyphon solar water heater
Landry designed and installed a solar hot water system for our shower, which is perfectly situated on the south side of the house with the blazing afternoon sun exposure. We wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing, so designed v1.0 with the pipes hidden between the two layers of the turquoise siding of our shower.
However, it was not hot enough, so came v2.0.
Landry found a lovely frame at the wood recycling shop, painted it with a clear varnish, and put reflective metal sheeting on the back side.
The pipes then went inside the box. We're happy to report warm water by about 11am, hot water all afternoon, and then lukewarm water by 9-10pm.
He also built the storage tank for the solar heated water, but we mistakenly thought that since we're living in the tropics, it would not have to be insulated. Insulation will be part of v3.0 -- we're losing too much of the heat by nightfall.
He painted the tank and pipes black to make it gentler on the eyes.
And after this pic, he pieced the shower back together, so this water storage tank is hidden behind the wooden shower box again.
The whole project was cheap and simple (so says the wife), and Landry says he'll post plans online soon. I fail to understand why so few homes in tropical Thailand use solar hot water systems. Go solar!