Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More about the humble dude

Wow, you want-to-know readers never let me off easy!
Your questions about yesterday's solar water heaters need a whole new post.

1. OK, so today I telephoned the company that installs the dood shemesh pictured above.
The basic dood unit costs 2300 shekels = $614 =446 Euros.
Not bad, right?
Big savings on your electric bill when you let the sun heat your water for free.

2. The black collector panels connected to the water tank are NOT the same as solar panels.
The water inside the black coils heats up quickly (because that is what black does).
Solar panels, on the other hand, collect heat and turn it into useable electricity.

3. The high percentage (90%) of Israeli families that have a dood shemesh is because we WANT them and believe in them, not because it is now mandatory.
I found the following historical information in a good blog called MetaEfficient, The Guide to Highly Efficient Things:
"These heaters were first installed when the country experienced a fuel supply crisis in the early 1950s. The government responded by severely restricting the times when water could be heated. Israelis in turn responded by purchasing huge quantities of solar water heaters. By 1983, 60% of the population heated their water with the sun. A law was eventually passed requiring the installation of solar water heaters."

4. We are poor in natural resources but rich with sunshine.
Israeli companies are the forerunners in alternative energy sources.

Hawaiian bloggers like Cloudia even tell me that our ORMAT company is harvesting power from their Big Island's volcano!
I think it is something like digging a well to capture geothermal fluid (steam?) and turn it into electricity.
But better you ask the Hawaiians about that. :)


Kate said...

Thanks, Dina for answering my and other's questions! Being rich in sunshine is glorious. I've visited your country once when I was teaching and had the good fortune to be in a group with educators led by both Ben and Vlada Meed,two extraordinary people! It was sponsored by the Jewish Labor Committee out of NYCity, a summer seminar for teachers. It was a trip of a lifetime!!

Jew Wishes said...

Thank you for this update.

Mara said...

It looks a bit homemade with all those wires sticking out. But if it works, who cares what it looks like...

Vicki said...

Fascinating, Dina.

With our solar hot water systems, the tank is horizontal.

Leif Hagen said...

Wow - we're getting technical now! I would have starved as an engineer!

crederae said...

Wow that is a beautiful place to harvest heat what could be hotter- well valentines day is coming up that is pretty hot so beautiful Dina you can pick up a valentine card on my most recent post.I give them to the adorable marvelous blogs I visit like yours.

happy valentines day

Cloudia said...

Yes, that is what ORMAT is doing on the Big Island (Hawaii).

Send us some of those "humble dudes" next!


Comfort Spiral

Chuck Pefley said...

Hmm, an interesting solution and post. These remind me of when we lived in Wales and had hot water that was heated by our coal burning fireplace. Very efficient during the cooler months. I wasn't there during the summer, so don't know how the hot water got hot then.

Petrea said...

Like so many brilliant things, it is simple. We could do that in California. I wonder why we don't--could it be the weight? Solar panels are popular but very expensive. But I haven't seen these solar water heaters.

VP said...

Thanks again for the update, I'm still wondereing why we don't use extensively a device simple and efficient like this.

Pietro said...

Thanks for the information, Dina.
Is the installation of the unit included in the 446 euro? I don't think so.
Have a nice day :-)

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for the information! We should all follow the example of Israel. It's a very great solution for the energy problem, even in a cold country like ours, solar energy can be used. Today it's freezing outside, but the sun is shining and the solar panels are producing a lot of electricity.

Bergson said...

they are installed in the middle like that

JM said...

In a country with so much sunshine like mine this should have started a long time ago, but it's better later than ever and you can find many nowadays, but it's the first time I see those cylinders.