The State of Parana has added one more star to its green reputation: since a few days ago it hosts the largest solar water heater Brazil, built with 1.8 thousand PET bottles and 1.5 thousand tetra-packs. The heater was installed in Palmas, in southern Parana, over a building belonging to the Brazilian army that serves as home for 50 soldiers and consumes eight thousand liters of water daily.
Solar heaters are becoming an important alternative in Brazil, where electric water heaters account for 47% of the household energy consume in critical hours (source: Tierramerica).
More on Parana's big PET bottles heater in the extended. Via Tierramerica.Parana's solar heater
The heater installed in Palmas, Parana, was built under a design by Jose Alcino Alano, which the Environmental Secretariat has been spreading since 2004 as part of the Zero Waste Program. The idea is that people can download the design in a PDF file and install it in their homes, and so far it has been installed by six thousand homes according to the Parana news agency.
The system is the same than the one used by commercial solar heaters, known as thermosiphon, and it can heat water up to 38º in winter and over 50º in summer.
Brazilian soldiers install the water heater.
Energy and waste reduction
According to the Environmental Secretary, Rasca Rodrigues, the energy savings are calculated in 35%. In terms of money, the State's news agency informs a similar heater was installed in a non-profit institution and resulted in 200 Reais (124 USD) monthly savings in energy.
On top of that, on the repurposing side the heater represents the recovering of 100 kilograms of plastic. Not a small fact knowing that of every 100 PET bottles sold in Parana state, only 15 are recycled (Environmental Secretariat).
Parana's green side
This state, located in Southern Brazil, has built its green reputation partly thanks to its capital: Curitiba.
Under the direction of architect Jaime Lerner, during the '70s Curitiba went through major urban planning prioritizing public transportation, biking, and encouraging the planting of trees. Its Rapid Bus Transit system became so popular that people left their cars at home and now they account 55% of the city's transport demand. People use 30% less petrol than eight comparable Brazilian cities.
An astonishing 98% of the inhabitants of Curitiba are happy with their city. Read more about this city in the post Curitiba: City with a Soul and hear the words of architect Jaime Lerner on the post Jaime Lerner on Sustainability in Curitiba and 'Urban Accupunture'.
A rapid bus transit system stop in Curitiba, Brazil. (Photo by xander76).
PDF link for the solar water heater download
Parana Environmental Secretariat
Largest solar water heater starts functioning in Paraná (Parana news agency, in Portuguese)
Parana installed Brazil's largest solar water heater (Estrategia Empresarial, in Portuguese)
More on solar water heaters:
Make a solar water heater for less than 5 dollars
See how an Argentine scientist designed a low-cost configurable solar roof
Learn how an Argentine architect is helping Bolivian communities with PET