P17484: Solar Water Heater

Integrated System Build & Test

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Integrated System Build & Test Phase

The goal for this phase was to completely build the stand for our solar plate collector, machine removable plumbing adapters, test the plumbing system, and finally integrate all of the components together. With the help of KGCOE’s Brinkman Lab, we were able to create plumbing adapters that fit perfectly with our flat plate. The team worked together to design and erect a wooden stand that supported the flat plate. The plate is slanted at an angle of 43.7 degrees from the horizontal. This is equal to the latitude angle of Rochester, NY. For systems that do not have active solar tracking capabilities, the best angle to mount the apparatus at is to set the angle equal to the latitude of the use location. The team was able to do a “functionality test” of the flat plate in RIT’s Pi Quad on 3/22/17. Around 12:00 noon on the sunny but 25F day, the flat plate was able to heat room temperature water to 90F in around 3 minutes. More tests are to follow.

Test Results Summary


The live test plans and results document can be found here.

System Height/Footprint Test

S3 System Height/Footprint Test plan and results

System Height/Footprint Test can be found here Due to the size of the flat plate and stand, we needed to design and test to determine if the integrated system would fit through elevator and hallways leading outside. The test was a success, the stand with mounted flat plate was able to be transported outside with ease.


Full System Integration Test

S4 System Inetegration Test plan and results

Once the full system integration is complete, we needed to test to see if any unforseen problems would arise once the system is activated. Mainly we wanted to confirm that the water could be successfully pumped through the flat plate. Other problems we were anticipating were leak issues at the plugs, adapters, and pump subsystem.




Testing next steps

Necessary pyranometer and temperature sensors are being obtained and integrated to our system in order to complete the efficiency test. Testing will be commenced as soon as a suitable day is available (no heavy rain).

Risk and Problem Tracking

Problem Tracker


Risk Management


Final Stand and Adapter Drawings

The following section contains all drawing and schematics created by the team that were necessary to fabricate in order for project success. The team worked collaboratively with members of the Earl Brinkman Lab in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering to safely and precisely mill necessary plumbing components, dimension and cut 80/20 aluminum rails, and quickly cut wood. The wooden stand drawings that can be seen below were used as assembly instructions for the team as the stand for the flat plate was erected. Because of many vendor difficulties, the team was forced to create a stand from scratch rather than using one provided by the vendor.

Final Collector Stand Drawing Package




Above is the complete drawing package for our final stand build. After several iterations and revisions, our final build will be to these specifications. The drawing PDF can be downloaded here

Collector Adapter Drawings

Due to a supplier not providing us with the appropriate adapters necessary to connect the flat plate to a tube, and after failed attempts to order the adapters from supplier, our team decided the best course was to fabricate the adapters in the RIT machine shop. Below is the drawing for adapters and the final parts. The adapters were designed based on a similar flat plate plug component we did receive from the supplier. These parts were designed and fabricated with the help of David Sadowski in the machine shop.

The drawing PDF can be downloaded here





Plans for next phase

Gantt Chart


The yellow on the chart indicates test plans that are going to be done in the next phase of works. There is an overarching "Test Plans" task with the yellow tasks being incorporated in this. One test already being complete, the pump flow can be dampened and has been integrated with the plate. During the tests plans we will also be working on the paper and also the poster design. The Gantt chart is listed above, and the whole gantt chart can be accessed here.

Three-Week Plans






Notes From Presentation

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