Lucy Caliente II – Solar thermal collector – report

“Lucy Caliente II”
Solar thermal collector for domestic hot water heating

Done! I am proud to report that the hot water collector “Lucy Caliente II” went into operation last weekend. It provides now emission-free and hot water for showers for the residents of the community of Omek Ka Ha.

Development & Construction

The challenge was to develop an efficient, effective and easily manufactured system with locally available materials of Chiapas (Mexico). The development and construction took a total of 2 months. In the course some difficulties arose which had to be solved with patience and improvisation. I was able to try myself in the field of organization and project management. I learned a lot about solar hot water systems, from designing through to construction, and exerted myself even more patience.

The system

The collector itself is made of copper pipes soldered together that rest on black painted sheet metal. The pipe system is enclosed by a wooden frame, which is isolated with recycled materials (paper, plastics, …). The frame is covered with glass to reduce heat losses and to protect the collector from rain and hail.
The collector works on the principle of the so-called natural circulation (gravity circulation). In this case, water is heated by solar radiation and stored in a 130 liter tank, which is installed above the collector. Cold water, in contrast to hot water has got a higher density and therefore sinks in the lower part of the tank. From there it flows through the collector and heats up and rises to the top of the tank. From there it supplies the shower. Detailed blueprints and photos of the system are summarized in the coming weeks and made freely available.


The costs of this system are around 4,350 Mexican pesos. Of these, $ 850 for the wood frame with glazing, $ 2,000 for collector and tank, $ 1,000 for the piping and water installations and $ 500 for the construction of the building. This is equivalent to about 280 €, which were advanced by Linaria eV.
We are pleased to receive your donation to balance our budget.

Special thanks go to all the helpers, to Miguel of “Jaguar de Madera”, to Casa Copal, to Chris from Omek Ha Ka and to Jannis and Robin of Linaria e.V.

Entwicklung & Projektleitung: Aurèle Haupt
Author and Fotos: Aurèle Haupt
Ort: Ha Omek Ka, Chiapas Mexico

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