Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

The greening of the common beer bottle: A solar heater

By William Brand
Monday, May 12th, 2008 at 8:30 pm in Uncategorized.

Who says beer bottles are useless: Why not a solar hot water heater?A reader, Russ, sent this one along.

Beer bottle solar heater

According to the Internet, this Chinese farmer is getting hot shower water from this roof of beer bottles and plastic tubing. This version of the story was seen on Ananova (sent in by reader Arnaud Betremieux). The account says “I invented this for my mother. I wanted her to shower comfortably,” says Ma Yanjun, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi province.Ma’s invention features 66 beer bottles attached to a board. The bottles are connected to each other [with plastic tubing] so that water flows through them.Sunlight heats the water as is passes slowly through the bottles before flowing into the bathroom as hot water, reports China Economy Network. Ma says it provides enough hot water for all three members of his family to have a shower every day.And more than 10 families in the village have already followed suit and installed their own versions of Ma’s invention.”

Great idea. Should have thought of that when I lived in Mexico. We stretched plastic pipe on our roof in Mazatlan. Water got so hot we needed a mixing tank with cold water to cool it down. Damn we had a lot more beer bottles than we had plastic pipe.

Those were the days of “Radio Iced Beer.” This was before Pacifico was bought by giant Grupo Modelo. You could call day or night and they’d deliver a case of beer to your door. It cost more for the bottle deposit than it did for the beer. Gee, we could have drilled holes in each beer bottle, strung them out on our roof, connected them with clear plastic tubing which was very cheap. Then, when we needed more hot water, all we would have had to do was drink more beer. The mind reels.

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