Solar water heater sparks interest and promise in Palomas

by Peter Edmunds

solar water heater

Reed Edmunds, builder, displays the new solar water heater being introduced in Palomas. He’s flanked by local Border Partners leaders Juana Lazoya and Juana Flores.

This month, Border Partners introduced a new solar powered water heater to Palomas. We resurrected the design from a solar design book that’s over 50 years old. However, old ideas may spark fresh promise in Palomas. In fact, we hope that our model will be a prototype for a locally produced type.

This water heater uses no propane gas and only a tiny amount of electricity. And, that small amount of electricity could be replaced with a motor that’s run with a small solar panel. Cost-effective, the production models will require just $75 to build. A propane powered water heater at the local hardware store costs over $300. At our demonstration in Palomas last week, I think we could have sold at least 5 of these new water heaters.

Water Heater’s Significance

Why a water heater? Today, December 18, it was 20 degrees this morning in Palomas. However, most people in Palomas do not have hot water heaters. Just think about taking a bath with cold water, in a cold house. Once, I was waiting for an employee in her living room while she gave her 8 year old son a bath. From the noise and the splashing coming from the bathroom it sounded like someone was wrestling an alligator. The boy emerged polished and dressed. The mom came into the living room looking like she had taken a bath with her clothes on.

Reed and Peter Edmunds built this prototype solar water heater. Now Border Partners is looking for a person to build and sell these water heaters. This could provide a great service to the townspeople and offer the chance for a prosperous livelihood at the same time.

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