P17484: Solar Water Heater


Project Summary Project Information

In addition to being able to generate electricity, solar energy can also be harnessed to provide hot water for space-heating and washing. This technology is called solar thermal water heating, and is a great way to see how the sun's power can be harnessed. Come check out how you can capture the sun’s energy and use it to heat water without burning coal or natural gas. The advantages of flat plate solar thermal technology is that it is a clean and renewable source of energy. The only thing that needs power is a pump. Come see how we put the sun to work for us!

Problem Statement

Current State: The customer has a hot tub in Pennsylvania that they wish to heat fully or partially without using electricity.

Desired State: The water in the hot tub will be heated by the operation of a solar thermal water heating panel(s).

Project Goals: Implement a solar-thermal water heating system that can provide heated water to the hot tub. This will help to reduce the electric heating load required by the hot tub.

Constraints: The fluid exiting the plate must not exceed 140 degrees for safety purposes.

Click here for the Project Readiness Package.

Project Name
Solar Thermal Water Heater
Project Number
Project Family
Sustainable Technologies
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Charlie Tabb
Primary Customer
  • Richard Stein, RIT FMS (MSD I)
  • Tom Kirk (MSD II)

Team Members

From the left: Deven, Mike, Alex, Sarah, Evan

From the left: Deven, Mike, Alex, Sarah, Evan

Member Team Role Team Dynamic Contact
Evan Baileys Structural Lead Supplier Outreach emb4696@rit.edu
Alex Slabyk Sustainablilty Lead Facilitator ars3784@rit.edu
Sarah Kirk Materials Lead Deliverables sjk6304@rit.edu
Deven Greenawalt Thermodynamics Lead Scribe dag4983@rit.edu
Mike Pastore Project Manager / Communications Lead Scheduling map7428@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation