Hussein Farag’s home made version of a solar water heater is not as sophisticated as these made in Israel, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.
Although solar water heaters are now becoming popular in Egypt, pay the equivalent of US $ 600 or more to purchase them is still out of reach to many poor Egyptians reports in Cairo’s English language news media Daily News Egypt. In this article, Cairo resident Hussein Soliman Farag has installed solar collectors he made himself; and as a result, is able to have hot water from the collectors at a fraction of the cost that he would have had to pay, if he bought a commercially made or imported one.
Solar water heating from metal and glass collectors has become one of the most economical and environmentally means for “capturing” the sun’s rays to produce hot water during daytime hours. Originally invented and developed in Israel during the early to mid 1950s, the concept which involves hooking up the collector plates to water storage tanks or heaters uses virtually no electricity since the water flowing through pipes in the collector plates is fed immediately into the storage tank by the heat created when the sun’s rays strike the collector plates.
For a person like Farag, whose monthly income is probably a fraction of the cost of “store bought” solar collectors, being mechanically inclined enables him to save a considerable amount of the money. He is also resourceful in finding used pieces of pipe, sheet metal and plate glass. And when one is watching every piaster, being resourceful helps to survive. What parts cannot be found this way, can be purchased from representatives of solar energy equipment companies like the American company, Solar City, which is based in the USA, but sells worldwide.
A number of companies dealing with solar water collectors are now doing business in Egypt, as we explored in a previous article on solar hot water heaters.
Due to the “cold peace” between Egypt and Israel much less business in this field is presently occurring. As a result, most of the equipment needed for these “sun boilers” is imported from countries much farther away than neighboring Israel. Israeli sun boiler companies, on the other hand, export their products all over the world, and are now making inroads into the very big and lucrative American market.
For poor people like Hussein Farag, being creative and good with tinkering can be rewarding when one is a bit light in the pocketbook. It’s also good to hear about his concern for the environment.
Photo clip credit: Daily News Egypt
Read more on solar water heating and purification ideas: