Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Let the Sun Shine In

Let the Sun Shine In

Let the Sun Shine In

I haven't been here for long. Only a month. But it is long enough to comment on the

climate in Cambodia. This is a tropical country. We have an abundance of sunshine

even in December. However, to my disappointment, I haven't seen any solar heaters

utilizing the sunshine in Phnom Penh. Instead I have seen (at some hotels) electric

heaters. While those imported electric heaters are bought with much-needed hard currency

and are powered with imported fuel, a solar heater can be locally made with local

materials and local labor.

You may think of a solar heater as "a system" made up of a solar panel

and an insulated hot water tank with an electric heater backing it up for a rainy

day, and coming with sensors and automatic this and that. But a simple solar heater

is nothing but a flat water tank placed on top of the roof. The size of the tank

depends on how much hot water you need. A tank can be made of iron, wood, heavy-duty

plastic bag or even brick-anything works as long as it is watertight and remains

watertight. The flatter the tank, the better the heat absorption. Paint the top black.

Fasten a pipe to the bottom of the tank. Such a simple tank can be made by locals

and installed by a plumber or a do-it-yourself-homeowner.

At morning you fill the tank with cold water. At evening you can empty hot water

from the tank. In my experience in Tokyo, water was heated to about 70 degrees Celsius

in an iron tank during summer. Here you can expect comparable temperatures even in

winter.

If you are thinking of buying an electric heater, check with a local plumber instead.

Once he gets the basic idea, he can probably make a better solar heater than the

one I have described.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s