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Thread: Solar heat???

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    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Eastern PA
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    Solar heat???

    My solar has been installed but has to be set up with the sun touch system and a few things changed. Trying to come up with a punch list so any help would be great!

    Questions....
    When solar comes on there is a lot of air that's in the lines. Even after most of it clears it seams to have some throughout operation. Is this normal? The run is about 40ft to the house then up 3 stories. We are using a Intelliflo pump.

    My 6ft shear waterfall is plumbed before the solar and if running takes to much water for the solar to work. Should the solar be in front of the waterfall?

    From what in was told the pump will work seamless with the sun touch system. Should I know anything about this set up?

    The equipment pad is very clean but the solar wires are just taped to pipes then to the sun touch. It really looks bad going to have him clean it up. Does anyone have some pictures of their equipment pads?

    Thanks.....
    22,000 Gallon Custom Gunite Pool, Raised Beam Wall, 6ft SD Waterfall, Pebbletec finish, Pentair Intelliflow VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump, Sta-Rite Media Filter, Pentair Intellichlor, Pentair Booster Pump for Pentair Kreepy Krauly, Pentair LED Light with control, Pentair Suntouch, Solar Industries Panels.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Solar heat???

    It is normal for solar systems to have lots of air when they startup. The bubbles should go away in a few minutes. If you continue to get air, something is wrong.

    Depending on many details of your plumbing, the waterfall could be problematic, or not. Putting solar before the waterfall will get the solar to work all the time, but it may or may not provide enough water for the waterfall. If your waterfall is drawing water from before the filter, it is unlikely that solar and waterfall can both work at the same time. If the waterfall is coming from after the filter, then they can probably both work at once. However, nothing is certain.

    The wires are normally attached to the pipes with plastic wire ties. Tape is not permanent enough to last, though I have seen it used as a temporary measure while under construction.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Jul 2011
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    Re: Solar heat???

    Thanks for the post! I had the solar on for most of the day and continued to get some bubbles. What could be causing air to get into the system. When bypassing it the waterfall and pool returns do not have air in the lines.
    22,000 Gallon Custom Gunite Pool, Raised Beam Wall, 6ft SD Waterfall, Pebbletec finish, Pentair Intelliflow VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump, Sta-Rite Media Filter, Pentair Intellichlor, Pentair Booster Pump for Pentair Kreepy Krauly, Pentair LED Light with control, Pentair Suntouch, Solar Industries Panels.

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    Feb 2011
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    Petaluma, Ca
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    Re: Solar heat???

    One thing I was told is if there are small bubbles you may need to increase the flow rate through the panels. If the flow is not enough air can be sucked in through the "vaccuum release", which keeps the pipe from colapsing when the system is shut off and the water drains out.
    A swg also creates some very fine bubbles when its generating.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Jul 2011
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    Eastern PA
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    Re: Solar heat???

    The pool and solar companies were both here trying to get the sun touch system to work with my Intelliflo vs pump and motorized valve. After many hours it worked as planed till tonight when the pump decided to turn off. Not very seamless system.

    Was hopping to move on to waterfall controls with this system but back to square one. If i added the
    quick touch remote could I control a motorized valve and have a preset for the pump without messing with that sun touch panel? I understand at this point the solar and waterfall might not be able to run at the same time.
    22,000 Gallon Custom Gunite Pool, Raised Beam Wall, 6ft SD Waterfall, Pebbletec finish, Pentair Intelliflow VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump, Sta-Rite Media Filter, Pentair Intellichlor, Pentair Booster Pump for Pentair Kreepy Krauly, Pentair LED Light with control, Pentair Suntouch, Solar Industries Panels.

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    FloridaSolarPro's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    Fort Myers, FL
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    49

    Re: Solar heat???

    An Intelliflo pump should have enough power for a typical solar pool heating system, even with a three story rise. It's a 3HP pump. What is the back pressure at the pump outlet? Let's say you have 30 feet of head normally, plus 20 feet for the panels, plus 30 feet for the height. That would be 80 feet of total dynamic head. Looking at the pump curve, you should still get 90 GPM of flow, which is plenty to fill your panels.

    Can I get more details on your system?

    The IntelliFlo with a Suntouch controller and actuator is a fantastic system. It's a bit tricky to program. You may have the flow rate set too low.
    Jason Szumlanski
    Vice President
    Fafco Solar

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Solar heat???

    As JasonLion said, it depends on the details. Three stories up is pretty high for solar. Trying to get that to work with a fountain before is not going to be easy. Most of the water will want to take the easiest path, which is the fountain.

    I think that you should have a flowmeter on the line to the solar to make sure what you're actually getting the correct flow according to the instruction manual provided with the panels.

    http://www.bluwhite.com/Products/Variab ... ctpage.asp

    If you can provide more details such as flow rates for the fountain and panels, height of the panels (highest elevation above the water level in the pool), pictures of the system etc. then that would be very helpful.

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    May 2011
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    No. CA
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    Re: Solar heat???

    My water falls are after the solar and they roll a lot of water with the intelliflow set to 2500rpm and the solar activated.

    If I turn the pump to 3K rpm it is a roaring torrent of water with or without the solar.

    When the pool is up to temp, the kids love it when I turn the waterfalls on with the solar as they get really warm water pouring on their heads.
    Pool IG 16,000 gallon (33 x 16) Spa IG 700 gallon spa - Dark Plaster, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test
    Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS 3050, Pentair FNS Plus 60 sq ft DE 150 GPM (rating from manual)
    Pentair Easy Touch 8, Intellichlor IC40, Polaris 360, Lars Lx400 NatGas heater, Fafco Solar panels

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