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Thread: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

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    Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    We're thinking of having solar panels installed. We talked to 2 different companies. One carries Heliocol and Fafco. The other one carries only Solar Industries. Their quotes were almost the same but the total area of the Solar Industries panels would be a bit less because of the size of the panels and how many we can fit on the sunroom roof. I haven't been able to find any good site online that would give a comparison of various solar panel manufacturers. There are some sites that compare Heliocol and Fafco and all of them said that Heliocol is better. We liked the guy that carries Solar Industries panel but none of the sites that I've found that compared the solar panel manufacturers ever mentioned Solar Industries panels at all.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give me. We are in Georgia so the panels would need to be able to withstand occasional freezing temperatures in winter time.


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    crookm11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Copperas Cove, Texas

    Re: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    Welcome to TFP!

    i too am looking at getting some soloar panels for my pool. I will be watching to see if any comparisons are given.
    Mark Crook
    13,500 Gallon 24' x 52" Intex Ultra Frame
    Intex Sand Filter and Pump, Intex SWG (All hard PVC plumbed)
    TFTestKit-100---Pool School---The Pool Calculator
    Location: Copperas Cove, Texas --- My Pool Build---Useful Links for Intex Pool Owners

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    Here's a site from Florida Solar Energy Center that rates all kinds of solar panels.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    Thanks for providing the comparison website, Dave. It's good for comparing the technical specifications. However, I would also like to get any feedback/comments from people who have actually had any of these panels installed and how well they held up. Which ones cracked and deteriorated more quickly? How good are the companies when it comes to servicing or replacing the panels that are still under warranty? Has anybody had the panels from Solar Industries? I can't seem to find anybody who has them. Most people have Heliocol, Fafco or some other brand. Even though Heliocol gets good reviews from pool owners, it looks like its BTU/sq. foot is lower than for the other two manufacturers which would matter to us since we only want to put the panels on the sunroom roof (16x27 low pitch) and not the main roof of the house.


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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    I have Fafco panels and am happy with them. They're about 8 years old now.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Indialantic, FL

    Re: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    Heliocol and FAFCO are both well established companies. I believe you won't go wrong with either company, and likely the install will make more of a difference than the panel itself.

    IMO the main difference is Heliocol's wind rating. Their lower BTU/Sq Ft is due to each "run" being an individual tube. That allows air to move around each tube instead of a whole panel sailing, allowing for enhanced wind load values and the by product is less roof penetrations to secure them. That air movement around the individual tube is also responsible for producing slightly less efficiency. If you don't live in a high wind area (I'm subject to hurricane force winds), then perhaps something as simple as warranty terms would make or break a sale.
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
    Heliocol solar panels, Rocky's Roller, Blue Diamond robot

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Melbourne, FL

    Re: Solar panels manufacturer comparison

    I echo lbridges comments above. I had 400SF of Heliocol Panels on my first home; it was a 2 story single family home and I had no problems during the heavy hurricane season in FL during 2004. However, I did see some ceramic tile roofs stripped bare where solid panels once were; looked like the roof went away when the panels lifted off.

    Good luck with your choice!

    Freeform 15x31 Pool w/ oversized spa, 1 1/2 HP Blower, Pentair Quad 60 DE Filter, Heliocol solar panels, Pentair Maxitherm 400K BTU heater, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Easytouch 4 w/wireless remote, Pentair IntelliFlow VSP, and Pentair Intellibrite LED Pool/Spa lights.

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