Construction manual solar water heater

We proudly present the construction manual for our solar thermal water heater Lucy Caliente. It is open source / published under a creative common license in order to make it available for everybody on this planet. If everybody would use a system like this instead of burning oil, gas, wood or using electricity to heat up his water to take a hot shower we could lower the carbon emissions footprint drastically.
This document is free for distribution. If you don’t have money just download it and build it for you or your community. If you got a little bit of cash I would appreciate a little present because all work was done voluntarily (more than 50 hours writing and making images + 2 month developing different systems)

I tried to write it as simple as possible but I could not stop myself from explaining the physics working in the backgrounds ;). If you don’t understand something feel free to contact me.

If somebody feels the urge to translate it into a different language like Spanish, German, French please let me know 🙂

And now enjoy the construction manual and build your own water heating system:
Download: Solar water heater / shower Lucy Caliente v.1.6

More informations: Practical Action: Solar Thermal Energy
Practical Action: Solar Water Heating

Creative Commons License
Solar thermal collector Lucy Caliente by Aurèle Haupt. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
Based on a work at


  1. I like your construction, using easy to find, and use, materials. Just a word about your storage tank. Polyethylene only supports temperatures up to 130°F (55°C), I have a system running in Mexico city and it reach temps. up to 74°C. So if you dont use the shower or hot water tap connected, for a couple of days, you will reach these temps. Over heating plastics may also release chemicals not suited for consumption.

    • thanks for your comment. actually PE will start melting between 130–145 °C and not Fahrenheit. This temperature you definitely cannot reach using water :). Therefore it’s perfectly fine to use a PE storage tank.

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