ONE SPARK

A Very Cheap Solar Collector

Invention could give homeowners a simpler way to heat water

Donald R. Wicklund (left) explains his solar collector to a One Spark attendee April 17.
Jade Douso
Donald R. Wicklund's solar collector
Jade Douso
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Donald R. Wicklund

No. 292

Quiznos

Inventor Donald R. Wicklund’s hot water solar collector, if picked up by a manufacturer, could be a cheaper and simpler way for homeowners to heat their water.

Unlike the solar hot water heaters used in homes now, Wicklund’s hot water solar collector doesn’t use anti-freeze, making it environmentally friendly. It also doesn’t require an added heat exchanger or solar pump for installation, which can cost a homeowner anywhere from $300 to $700.

Instead, Wicklund’s solar collector has a vacuum that allows the sun’s radiation to heat the water pipes, and, in return, there is no heat loss because of convection. The vacuum also prevents the pipes from freezing during the winter.

Another plus, Wicklund’s solar collector can be easily installed into existing furnaces and pool pumps. 

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