Black Dye for solar gain in water?

Eric_G(z5 NV)May 7, 2010

I remember reading some posts a while back where people were talking about solar gain for things like water bottles, etc.

In the past, I've always spray painted the bottles flat black, but somebody mentioned that they thought you could gain just as much heat by dying the water black instead of painting the bottles. I have a bunch of saved fruit juice containers, and want to put them in my cold frame and row cover and thought I'd try the dye method, but I'm not sure what type of dye to use.

Obviously, I'd be looking for something that doesn't "settle" at all, and stays suspended in the water. Anybody have any recommendations?


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Expired printer black ink cartriges.

Open it up and use the insides.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:15AM
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imstillatwork(8-9 Oregon Coast / Ca Border)

where does this water end up next year or a few years later?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Eric_G(z5 NV)

"where does this water end up next year or a few years later?"

Good question! It would be great if I could find ink that stayed suspended in water, but was also not going to gank up the environment if dumped.

I may just continue the black paint on the bottles routine if I can't find anything.

I did find this:

But don't know if they're really non-toxic, and whether or not they would stay suspended for long periods.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:40PM
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My husband has access to clear barrels and we are trying them out for solar gain. We found agricultural dye at a farm store that is a pretty dark blue. It is meant to mix with chemicals when you spray weeds so that you can see where you have sprayed. It doesn't take much, but it has stayed in suspension for a number of months now.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 11:20PM
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