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PET Sun Boiler

Energy, Brazil

In Brazil, one of the five most densely populated countries in the world, the use of PET bottles and Tetrapak packing has quickly spread, with all the negative consequences for the environment. This situation has inspired José Alcino Alano, supporter of alternative energy sources, to design a remarkable sun boiler, made from discarded PET bottles and Tetra cartons.

Growing success

Alano made the first one in 2002 to provide his family with hot water. As it worked perfectly the sun boiler became a success. Having received an Ecology award in 2004, the invention became well known in the region. With the help of the government, about 6000 PET bottle boilers are now in use. The system is installed at schools, universities, government buildings and houses. To this cause at least 1.2 million PET bottles and 1.5. tetra cartons have been reused.

How does it work?
In short the following steps are taken: Tetra cartons are cut and folded in such a way that they fit into the PET bottles. The cartons are painted black. The bottles are opened at the bottom to fil them with the, now black, heat attracting tetra packing. The bottles are now shoved on to each other to make a heat absorbing tube. Cold water is led trough these tubes by a pipe, turning into hot water. A construction of 240 bottles should be large enough to provide a family of four with warm water.

The best thing is that for Brazilians there is an illustrated manual freely available, which explains how to build one, step by step.