A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

Solar Hot Water at Earthaven Ecovillage

(Transcript from video):

Courtney Brooke: Good morning Zev.

Zev: Good morning.

Courtney Brooke: What are you doing?

Zev: I just took the cover off our solar hot water panel. It was covered for the winter and now the sun is hitting it. I let water in and that’s going to be heating water up so that we have nice piping hot water in our sink throughout the warm season.

Courtney Brooke: So that water gets hot in there and then where does the water go?

Zev: Then it gets pushed by the gravity from our high spring cistern which is about 60 vertical feet above the house pipe down here. It gets pushed by that pressure back through that cover pipe and into our hot water tank which is on the second floor of the house . Then it just is stored there by gravity to feed down into our sink in the kitchen and the sink in the in the other bedroom

Courtney Brooke: So there’s no pump?

Zev: No pumps.

Courtney Brooke: no electricity?

Zev: Yeah that’s right. It’s not quite passive because water is moving but yeah it’s a solar panel called a pt50 which has these four inch diameter metal  tubes inside that have enough water that they can resist some freezing in the spring and fall  but also have enough surface area that they can get enough surface area to volume ratio from the sun to heat the water up to like 140 degrees or something.

Courtney Brooke: And is the water like hot all the time?

Zev: Not when the sun’s not shining.

Courtney Brooke:  Ohhh.

Zev: Yeah, but it’s there. Our hot water tank stores the hot water for a good 12 or 18 hours hot enough for washing dishes. So, it’s only if we run into two or three days of rain that we have to worry about having enough hot water. Yay!

Courtney Brooke: Happy spring.

Zev:  Happy spring.


solar, solar hot water, water, zev friedman

Courtney Brooke

Courtney Brooke (she/her) is a Social Ecologist, Regenerative Designer, and educator whose work aims to reconnect people with a sense of belonging to place. Her work in the world aims to address the root cause of today’s overwhelming ecological challenges – that humans are starved of a sense of belonging to the places they live. Courtney Brooke was raised on a small farm in North Georgia, and has been guided by a lifetime of living close to the land. Her greatest teachers have been the Appalachian Mountains, the land of Aotearoa, and Selu, the Corn Mother. She holds a degree in Ecology from the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, and has 10 years of experience facilitating earth-based education, ecological landscape design, women’s rites of passage, and cultural healing. Courtney Brooke has taught and facilitated environmental education curriculum, Deep Ecology, Permaculture Design Courses, hands-on craft and farming workshops, and Holistic Management to a wide range of audiences in nine countries from toddlers to adults and everyone in between. Deeply committed to spreading the healing that comes from belonging to the places we live, Courtney Brooke is passionate about designing learning opportunities that celebrate life. She lives at Earthaven Ecovillage where she tends the land, raises food, participates in communal ritual agriculture, swims in wild water, enjoys the mysterious blessing of being alive, and tends her own wild Hearth. She loves cooking home-grown and wild foraged foods, playing her flute to the sunrise, running on mountain trails, making compost piles, crafting from natural materials, and bringing people together to create beauty that feeds the holy.

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