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You Can Easily Build Your Own Solar Sauna

Solar saunas are all the rage in various environmentally friendly spas and resorts around the world, and you can pamper yourself at home by having one installed in your own yard. There are multiple different types of solar saunas using several different types of solar energy, and often a combination of both photovoltaic and solar thermal energy.

The majority of solar saunas that you will find for purchase seem to be quite expensive, and most if not all of the websites for these saunas require you to contact them to inquire about the price. Anyone who is used to shopping for higher end products knows that it is almost never a good sign when a company refuses to list their price, as this usually means that the product is much more than the average person could afford. 

Nonetheless, there are several different types of solar powered saunas that you can check out to see if they are right for you. The other option is to attempt to build one yourself, and we’ll give you a few hints on the different ways this can be accomplished. First we will take a quick look at some of the different designs available to give you a little better idea how to go about trying to construct your own solar powered sauna should you choose to attempt to do so.

The Sauna Box by Castor Designs

solar saunaCanadian design company Castor Designs produces the Sauna Box which is actually an old shipping container that has been turned into a sauna. The only issue with this product is that we are not convinced that it can truly be called a solar sauna. The sauna comes equipped with solar panels on the roof, but also a wood burning stove inside to provide heat. 

This means that the sauna will still produce carbon emissions, and one of the major selling points of solar energy is that it is emission free. 

The solar panels on this particular sauna are actually there to supply energy for the stereo and speakers that come along with the sauna. In fact, it evens come complete with iPod and guitar hook ups for those who like to rock (and/or roll).

Solar Exergy Technology, Inc. (SETI)

SETI is another Canadian own company that manufactures a line of three different passive solar saunas. Their designs feature large windows and are specifically designed to collect and retain the sun’s heat in much the same way as a greenhouse uses its large windows to heat its interior. 

solar saunaThe company states that each of the three different models can be customized to fit almost any space requirements and budget, although no prices are listed and you must contact them about the saunas. 

Whether you decide to purchase one of these products is your own choice and very little information is available on how well they work apart from the company’s own website. 

Nonetheless, the concept that these products utilize has been used since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and it is extremely reliable provided you live in an area with enough sunlight. The Solar Exergy Technology, Inc. site is a good place to get ideas for the design of your own solar powered sauna. 

Design and Build Your Own Solar Sauna

With a proper amount of research and a little technical knowledge, it is possible to construct your own solar energy sauna, although how well it will function depends on your building methods and quality. There are several different options for how to heat your sauna using solar energy. 

You may wish to use only one method, or you could combine both methods to get the most out of your sauna. No matter what how you decide to heat your sauna, the most important thing is to ensure that your building is extremely well insulated and air tight to prevent any heat loss.

  • Passive Solar Heating

The first method is by using passive solar heating, which usually involves the use of windows to let in light and heat, which is then trapped and stored inside the building. A great example of this can be seen in the SETI designed saunas. This is usually the cheapest and easiest way to use solar energy to heat your sauna, although it may not be the most efficient. By utilizing the greenhouse effect, it is possible to create temperatures in excess of 190 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) which is quite impressive.

  • Solar Thermal Radiant Heat

Solar radiant heating involves the use of solar water heating panels on the roof of your sauna which heat water that is then pumped throughout the building. This same principle is often used to heat homes, and can be quite efficient, especially in very small spaces. 

To make this type of sauna completely solar powered you will need to also install PV solar panels to create electricity to power the water pump. In order to install this type of solar heating, you will need to add a heating element throughout the room. Usually this consists of a series of pipes or baseboard heaters that circulate the water around the entire room. 

These work best when they are placed as close to the floor as possible, without actually touching the floor. You could also have the heated water hidden behind the walls and floor and circulated throughout the entire building, although this will add extra costs and is unnecessary if you have properly insulated your building.

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