BYOWater solar shower design

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
Post Reply
User avatar
sparr
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:01 am
Burning Since: 2015

BYOWater solar shower design

Post by sparr » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:22 am

Image

The goal here is to provide a shower where a person can bring their own cold water to the shower, as much or little as they want, and immediately get access to that same amount of solar heated water, without needing any fuel or power. There are plenty of other options for showering with hot or cold water, but most of them require fuel or power or planning ahead for each hot shower.

The drawing is simplified to make everything 2-dimensional and without drawing various additional fittings and valves that would be in place for assembly/repair. 150ft of 3/4" hose should hold about 3 gallons of water, and with a clear cover over the hose to make a little greenhouse it should get hot enough in an hour or so that users will want to mix some cold water with it. Obviously this would only work during the day, but at night people would be welcome to preheat their own water to dump into the bucket.

The major downside here is that in order to avoid using a pump, the bucket has to be up high, which means climbing a ladder to dump your water into the bucket prior to showering. I might add a second bucket at ground level with a bilge-style pump to move the water up.
Last edited by sparr on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

User avatar
Popeye
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:39 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Beaverton
Location: Where the east wind blows

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Popeye » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:53 am

If the hose is in a tight spiral the diameter of the spiral will be just under 4 feet leaving an allowance for wall thickness. However if the spiral is that tight you will lose about 3/4 of your absorbtion area. If you lay your hose on top of a bus or conex in an open spiral it will absorb better.
The next step would be to lay aluminum foil on the roof with 2x lumber or whatever on top of the foil and the spiral on top of the lumber. This will greatly decrease heating time.
However wind moving across the hose will steal a lot of your heat so you should build a frame around the spiral. A glass top on the frame would be nice.
nobody wants to live in a world with only one flavor...

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 1870
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Jackass » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:34 pm

Or you can simplify things and just use one of these. Works all of the time and offers an especially luxurious shower after dark...
Image
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
Just_Joe
Posts: 959
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:04 pm
Burning Since: 2020
Camp Name: Black Rock Weather
Location: Nevada

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Just_Joe » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:15 pm

...or you can simplify things even more by not providing hot water.
A cold shower in the heat of the day keeps you cool and tends to self limit water waste.

asr9754
Posts: 593
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by asr9754 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 pm

Right, or 3 of these in rotation: 1 full heating up on top of the car, 1 in the shower being used, 1 empty ready to be refilled.
sshr.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Sham
Moderator
Posts: 8131
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:10 am
Location: The hidden mythical place.....

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Sham » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:58 pm

asr9754 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 pm
Right, or 3 of these in rotation: 1 full heating up on top of the car, 1 in the shower being used, 1 empty ready to be refilled.
sshr.jpg
After nearly 2 decades on the playa, I have come to the indisputable conclusion that this is the only way to go.
We have had new camp mates come in with drawings like sparr has done, and they simply don't work out. Scalding hot water needs to be run until it becomes usable. Complex valves and storage buckets confuse people and they are left on to drain on their own.
One well meaning camper brought a large drum of water and a propane heater. We ended up with a evap pond with 150 gallons of water to dispose of. Every issue was predictable, but for some reason hot water from a tank was a priority. Over thinking and OVER engineering will come along again.

User avatar
sparr
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:01 am
Burning Since: 2015

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by sparr » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:45 pm

Sham wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:58 pm
Scalding hot water needs to be run until it becomes usable.
Hence the hot/cold (or hose/bucket) faucet, so it can be mixed for comfort like in a house.
Sham wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:58 pm
they are left on to drain on their own
This system won't let a user drain the hot water, even if they leave the faucets on. A user can only use (or waste) as much water as they put in, always leaving a hose full of hot-or-heating water for the next person to use when they put in more cold water. That was the major motivation behind this idea.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

User avatar
sparr
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:01 am
Burning Since: 2015

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by sparr » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:48 pm

asr9754 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:18 pm
1 full heating up on top of the car
This is how I baked the paint off part of my vehicle last year. I strongly recommend against putting a solar shower bag on top of a car.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5533
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Ratty » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:31 pm

Did you take a look at the old threads offered at the bottom of the page. I like the solar shower for 120 people
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2742
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:20 pm

Hey OP,
Appreciate you undertaking complex playa missions and doing them!

Have you considered the advantages of bring your own solar shower (BYOS)?

Participants manage their own inexpensive and usable year around and for disaster, survival and camping prep, water supply, manage their own heating, mange their own shower head flows. You still have a formidable challenge managing the grey water!

Grey water can always use more smart innovation.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Canoe » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:58 pm

Concept sounds interesting: you only get what you bring, and you're limited to what's already heated.

Thoughts

Two feeds to shower head. User chooses between:
  • cold water only (at the temperature they brought)
  • warm mix of hot/heated & cold, through an auto (no electricity) temperature mixing valve to prevent scalding and overuse of the heated water
  • with a low enough set point, the water is warm enough for a shower, but limits how much of the heated water is usable by one person
User brings both:
  • their own container with potable water, and
  • their own container to catch and take away their grey water.
Overflow catch tray, capacity, spill risk, consequences (BLM), mitigation plan.

Solar hose can get very very hot. Perhaps too hot. Have a way to shade the hose if necessary.

Solar hose in frame with reflector behind the hose:
  • have the frame aimable at the sun - one edge can sit on ground plus some inches against flood; has to be idiot proof - or policed - to prevent someone pulling the hoses out of the shower|frame when re-positioning
  • frame with reflector inside on back and wind shield in front means it collects heat even on a cool day, dependent on cloud cover
  • glass works well as wind shield - wicked moop issue
  • teflon sheet works great as wind shield - costs tons
  • plastic sheet also works to keep the wind off of the framed in hose - need sufficient space between hose and sheet to prevent melting
This could/would be a disaster if offering to the public.
If carefully and robustly engineered with paying attention to all possible failure modes (how?), I could see this working with a limited size camp.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
Token
Posts: 3781
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: BYOWater solar shower design

Post by Token » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:09 am

The most important design decisions for a BM shower:

1. Finding a palet or other surface to stand on while showering that is splinter-free.

2. Taking the first step out of the shower with a wet foot and not landing on playa.

3. Designing the shower so it can accommodate friends helping you scrub the booty-dust out of all the mystery spots on your person.

4. Deciding where to put the bleachers so you can heckle the prudes as they scub their private bits.

The best part of showering at BM is stretching them boundaries!

Make it fun.

Post Reply

Return to “Building Camps & Villages”