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Practical Action doesn’t have any plans of their own for a simple and cheap solar water heating system. However, there are a few organisations that have worked on this technology and they may be able to provide something useful.
If you look on the Practical Action website you will see an introductory fact sheet on solar water heating which could be of interest https://practicalaction.org/solar-water-heating There is also a design from Ben Dana who was working at AIDG at the time and was not part of Practical Action work https://practicalaction.org/serpentine-solar-water-heating-build-manual
WOT has also produced a design of solar water heater that can be accessed through their website. They are a non-profit organisation working in the field of small scale sustainable energy, based at the University of Twente.
WOT - Werkgroep Ontwikkelingstechnieken (Working Group on Development Techniques) Vrijhof 205/206 P.O.Box 217 7500 AE Enschede The Netherlands Tel: +31 53 489 3845 Fax: +31 53 489 2671 E-mail: email@example.com Website: https://www.wot.utwente.nl
Their water heater design can be found at: https://www.wot.utwente.nl/en/knowledge-center/publications/water-heating
There are some hints at a low-cost solar water heating design in the VITA document. This is a very old document but there may be something of interest. https://www.cd3wd.com/cd3wd_40/vita/solrwtrh/EN/SOLRWTRH.HTM
VITA has now been incorporated into Enterprise Works.
Enterprise Works Worldwide, Inc. 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 1000 Washington DC 20036 USA Tel: +1 202 293 4600 Fax: +1 202 293 4598 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: https://www.enterpriseworks.org