CAT 1999

The (CAT) Centre for Alternative Technology clip fin solar water heating panel is a simple collector using an aluminium extrusion. Other components used are timber and copper plumbing, easily available from DIY stores and builders merchants. 

The plans for this system are available from the CATs mail order service.

One of the best ways to ensure success is to attend one of the residential training courses run by CAT.

Jenny Bailey, Dave Brooke, Bernie Wright and I subscribe to CAT's residential training course on solar heated water in June 1999.

Frame, insulation and foilThe timber frame is constructed, then filled with insulation and covered in foil.
Solering22mm and 15mm copper pipe is soldered together.
fixing the fins to the pipework, with a dab of silicone rubberBlack aluminium fins are clipped to the pipe work. A dab of silicone rubber secures the fin. 

The silicone also assists with coupling the heat from the fin to the pipe. Silicone rubber conducts heat better than air. 

fin array in frameThe array is inserted into the frame.
almost completeA transparent plastic sheet is fitted.
testingA panel is tested during an overcast afternoon. A simple thermo siphon is set up with some pipe and a bucket. There is some heat collected - the water temperature creeps up from 11C to 28C after 15 minutes!
roofWe are shown several techniques for fixing the panel to a roof.

Here we try one technique: holding it.

groupThe group looks on.
PV ArrayA serious PV Array

Some of us are to meet again in 2002, doing something very similar!