Build: Water Clock & Counterweight
Getting the solar panel to rotate!
The solar panel rotates using the weight imbalance of the water clock.
By voluntarily building your own SunSaluter based on the content available here, you agree to take full responsibility for the assembly, maintenance and usage of the system and its parts. You are proceeding at your own risk and you release SunSaluter from any liability.
Using a wire, create a loop to allow your water clock and counterweight to be attached to the solar panel.
Lightly press down on the top to clear the water clock bag of any excess air, and shut the top. Roll the top of the bag, then lift the ends up and clasp them together. Hang the water clock to the east-facing side of the solar panel.
Fill your counterweight bag with approximately double the weight of the water clock (1L of water weighs 1kg). For example, if you are using two 2L soda bottles, then your counterweight should be about 4kg. Attach the counterweight loop in similar fashion on the the west-facing side of the solar panel.
Gently let go of the bag and let the SunSaluter rebalance. When full, the bag should be lower than the counterweight. Face the side with the water bag to the east so that it faces the sunrise every morning.
Attach the tubing to the water clock bag. If you are using a water filter, attach it to the end of the water clock. You will use the valve to adjust the flow rate, which in turn controls the solar panel’s rate of rotation. Open the valve to increase the flow of water, and increase the speed of rotation, or close it to decrease the flow and slow the rotation. It may take you several days to fine-tune it until it is just right.
To ensure that the flow rate is correct, measure how much water drips out in a 15 minute period. Using a measure cup or a soda bottle to estimate how fast the water is flowing out. The ideal flow should rotate the whole system in 10 hours, so you should have about 100-200 mL of water coming out every 15 minutes. If more than that is coming out, tighten the valve a little bit. If there is too little water coming out, open the valve a bit. Remember to fill up the water bag or bottle each day and adjust as needed!
Congratulations! You're ready to use your SunSaluter.
Maintaining Your SunSaluter
Clean the tubing and drip mechanism by running it through once every two weeks.
If using pet bottles, we recommend replacing the water bottles once every 5-6 weeks if possible.
While cleaning, be sure to check that the tubing and water bottles do not have any holes and that the drip mechanism is working properly.
If your neighbors become curious about the SunSaluter and want to see it, understand how it works, and maybe obtain their own, we encourage you to help them and be the SunSaluter leader in your community! We have a facebook group for people to share their knowledge and learning about SunSaluter you can join here.