I was surprised to find an e-mail about the Cricket the morning after I activated this web site, and from Bulgaria. The next day, another from a man in Bend. In addition to these two, several people in Eugene have asked me about building their own.
At first I thought this might be a pretty arduous task, but then I remembered that we built all of the prototypes in Eldon’s and my backyards. I think it shouldn’t be too hard to write a set of plans for do-it-yourselfers. I have seen a lot of plans and instructions online for building fin-tubes or attaching copper plates to copper tubing. There are also some good instructions on building insulated boxes.
I suppose just giving a set of parameters for sizing and our reasons for choosing what we did would be a good start.
. . . after writing this I thought about sourcing some components to start building prototypes for do-it-yourself geyser pump plans. I sent a request to Sun Ray Solar, manufacturer of solar collector fin tubes. It seems to me that the trickiest part of building solar panels is bonding the tubes to the plates. Sun Ray Solar’s tubes use a unique way of physically clamping the fin to the tube, by doing so they can use aluminum fins and copper tubes. If they send me some samples I intend to build a 2-tube collector to test the pump function using the 1/2″O.D. tubes.