Solar Collector and Storage Kit Made with Tire Inner Tubes

EPA Grant Number: SU833923
Title: Solar Collector and Storage Kit Made with Tire Inner Tubes
Investigators: Moaveni, Saeed , Tebbe, Patrick
Current Investigators: Moaveni, Saeed , Chou, Karen , Tebbe, Patrick
Institution: Minnesota State University - Mankato
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2008 through August 14, 2009
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


For ordinary people living in the villages of developing countries such as Ghana in West Africa, access to hot water supply is limited. Home-hot-water-heating systems are expensive to own and operate. Typically, in these villages, dry wood is used as a fuel and burned to heat water. This practice contributes to pollution and deforestation. The growing scarcity of fuel-wood is a major problem facing people living in these areas. As an alternative, the goal of this project is to design, build, and test an inexpensive solar-hot-water system that is made with tire inner tubes. The system will be designed such that it could be packaged as a kit and could be easily distributed and put together.


A number of collector designs will be considered. Each design will be analyzed and tested for thermal performance, and ease of assembly. Once the most cost effective design with the best thermal performance is identified, an easy-to-assemble solar collector kit will be created. Because the proposed project makes use of solar energy, it reduces the need to burn dry-wood to heat water, and as the result it reduces pollution and the consequent hazards to human health and the environment. The proposed project is to be carried out by engineering students from Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) in collaboration with students at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana as an integral part of our design curriculum.

Expected Results:

An easy-to-assemble solar collector kit that can be distributed in Ghana. The proposed solar design will reduce impacts on the environment and directly benefits human health and diminishes resource consumption. The proposed system will be designed for small initial cost (less than $50). It requires no additional long-term cost to operate and maintain.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report