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Thread: Solar Panel Installation Question (I think mine's backwards)

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sahuarita, AZ
    Posts
    278

    Solar Panel Installation Question (I think mine's backwards)

    Hi all, I have 6 large Heliocol solar panels on my 2nd story roof and I haven't been blown away by the heat output of them. The 2nd story roof slope that they're installed on faces south so they get tons of sun exposure. I was looking at pictures of my pool build yesterday and traced the plumbing route from the pump to the panels and it looks like my case, water is pumped to the top of the panels then drains down through them and the pool return is the bottom of the panels. This is opposite from what I see at the Heliocol website... they show them filling from the bottom and the hot water exiting at the top. I would think that method would always ensure all the air gets purged from the panels. Does anybody know if this is really important or not? Thanks!
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sahuarita, AZ
    Posts
    278
    I called a Heliocol technical representative to ask this question and he really wanted me to send him pictures of the plumbing and installation along with details on my pool builder. I thought this was a little odd. He did say that yes, normally they are installed flowing the other direction but didn't say how big of an effect it should have. Maybe he'll get more specific when I send him the pictures.
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Double check the pipes and make sure you are not mixing them up because you are correct in that the water should be flowing from the bottom up. This allows the water to flow evenly. If you search for Heliocol

    I had questions about my Heliocol install and I called Heliocol and they did not have any technical support. They gave me the name of another installer which did answer some of my questions. Do a search on Heliocol installation manual. Here is one link http://www.sellsunshine.com/Downloads/HELIOMANUAL.pdf
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Valrico, FL
    Posts
    536
    I have Heliocol panel on my solar heater. My pool usually runs about 15 F above what it would be if un heated. One issue I have heard about Arizona is that with the low relative Humidity, your base pool temperature (unheated) is fairly low even in summer. In fact many times during the height of summer your pools are cooler that ours in Florida even though you air temp is much higher! So if your base temperature is 55F then you can expect to get 70F water.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Poughquag, NY
    Posts
    217
    Not only does the water need to come in from the bottom, the panels need to be angled slightly so that the output panel is slightly above the input panel. Unless this is done correctly, you will have trapped air in at least some portion of the panels and this can really reduce the overall efficiency of the panels. A good place to see some good video demos is www.powermat.com. This is also how the air in the system gets purged correctly.

    I would also check to see if you have a vacuum breaker installed (you should). Does your system bubble vigorously when started up? It should (if not, then the water is not draining out of the panels correctly). Again, powermat.com shows how this should all work very well.
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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