Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Too many solar panels?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    48

    Too many solar panels?

    Well, I finally got around to getting all my solar hooked up and running. I went up on the roof and felt my panels at the end of the run and they are still warm to the touch. Not hot, but not cool like the ones at the start of the run.
    My question is, is there such a thing as having too many solar panels hooked up?

    I have a 15,000-18,000 gallon pool. Pump motor is 1hp I think. PSI with solar and a little bit dirty filter is about 18 (usually runs ~10, 15 when filter is real dirty).
    I have 8 4x8 Heliocol panels. They are 1.5" on the main headers, as is all the rest of my pool plumbing. Panels on single story, pump at ground level.
    Water coming out of returns is definitely warmer, but not as warm as I expected it to be.

    Thanks for any help!!
    IGP, concrete and plaster. House was built in 1982, pool appears to have been installed then. 15,000 gallons. Hayward C1200 filter. 1HP pump.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    TFP Guide

    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    2,853

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Ideal is solar panels equal to 80-100% of the surface area of the pool. At least that what Heliocol said when they designed my system.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

  3. Back To Top    #3
    peterdaly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NY
    Posts
    188

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    If it's a parallel setup, your warmer panels are not getting as much flow as your cooler panels.

    Water coming out should not be hot. Slightly warmer is actually ideal for heat transfer. You are probably heating 44 gallons per minute by that amount...which is actually a lot of heat if you are getting a few degree lift.

    If you can balance flow better, that may help a bit. 8 is probably not to many panels, and is a fairly typical setup.
    Fayetteville, NY -17K gal, IG vinyl, Hayward SP2300VSP Max-Flo Variable Speed Pump, FlowVis Flow Meter, Sand filter
    Self designed Arduino powered automation for pump and solar control, Solar Attic Pool Heater, AutoPilot Digital SWG, TF100

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    How are they plumbed? Can you add a picture?
    I have an idea about how this could happen ... but really they should all have uniform flow.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    48

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    How are they plumbed? Can you add a picture?
    I have an idea about how this could happen ... but really they should all have uniform flow.
    It's dark out now, but the panels are plumbed in two sets of 4. All in parallel. I suspect that there is not enough water coming in to fully fill all 8 panels, so I was wondering if turning off the second set would actually make more heat by causing the water to flow better through the first 4? (Seems totally counter-productive, but I just thought I'd ask).
    IGP, concrete and plaster. House was built in 1982, pool appears to have been installed then. 15,000 gallons. Hayward C1200 filter. 1HP pump.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Well, that still does not answer my question. How are they in parallel? Where are the fed and where does the water leave them?
    I doubt only running half would be an improvement.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    TFP Guide
    PAGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    2,388

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Where are you located?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    48

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    I apologize. They are plumbed in series, not parallel. And the panels are 4x12, not 4x8. My house AC went out two days ago, so I'm half crazy from the heat...

    I'm in Tucson, Arizona.

    Here is a very high quality drawing...
    solar.jpg
    IGP, concrete and plaster. House was built in 1982, pool appears to have been installed then. 15,000 gallons. Hayward C1200 filter. 1HP pump.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Those are in parallel, but they are not plumbed correctly. I assume the ones on the left were cool to the touch and the ones on the right were the warmer ones ... right?

    Who did the install? Because there is at least 3 problems I see.

    1. Are you sure that the panels are fed on the top? They should be fed on the bottom and then the water travels up the panels.
    2. The panels on the right will not drain completely automatically. If there a drain in the lower right corner for the winter?
    3. The reason the panels are not balanced is because the water will take the path of least resistance. In this case it is easier for the water to go through the left panels than to travel further and go through the right panels.

    If I were doing the install (or redoing it), I would feed the panels at the lower right corner (so you would have to add a pipe that travels all the way below the panels and then hooks in at the lower right. Then the warm water would leave the solar from the upper left corner (with the top pipes left as they are drawn). That way the water has to travel the same distance through every little tube in every panel.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    48

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Those are in parallel, but they are not plumbed correctly. I assume the ones on the left were cool to the touch and the ones on the right were the warmer ones ... right?

    Who did the install? Because there is at least 3 problems I see.

    1. Are you sure that the panels are fed on the top? They should be fed on the bottom and then the water travels up the panels.
    2. The panels on the right will not drain completely automatically. If there a drain in the lower right corner for the winter?
    3. The reason the panels are not balanced is because the water will take the path of least resistance. In this case it is easier for the water to go through the left panels than to travel further and go through the right panels.

    If I were doing the install (or redoing it), I would feed the panels at the lower right corner (so you would have to add a pipe that travels all the way below the panels and then hooks in at the lower right. Then the warm water would leave the solar from the upper left corner (with the top pipes left as they are drawn). That way the water has to travel the same distance through every little tube in every panel.
    Haha, I installed them. Just tried to match the way the guy I bought them from had them. But you make great points and now I feel dumb for not thinking of them before. The only thing I did think of was a drain for the winter.

    I'll try and redeem myself by saying that I did a good job on the actual plumbing. It all looks very nice and orderly. It is just all wrong apparently, haha. But that is why I joined this forum...

    Ok, how about this:
    solar_setup_2.jpg
    Should be a very easy fix.
    IGP, concrete and plaster. House was built in 1982, pool appears to have been installed then. 15,000 gallons. Hayward C1200 filter. 1HP pump.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    No worries about the install ... did not mean to offend if I did, but I would be surprised that Helicol would have done them this way

    I can hardly read that picture .... To post more/larger pictures, you either need to raise your storage allotment by Becoming a TFP Supporter or follow the How To Post Pictures tutorial.

    That might be correct, nut not ideal. Hard to suggest without seeing how the roof is laid out. I would rather see the supply pipe run along the bottom past all the panels and the the highest point of the exit be at the upper left to ensure everything fills. This may require you switch the location of the 2 pipes running from the pump to the panels (I had to cross mine due to how the previous owner did their junk of a DIY system). Do you have a Vacuum Release Valve?

    Here is how I did mine (without the "high loop" I show on the left) which is not perfectly balanced because the water path is shorter through the left panels, but I do not notice a temp difference. I think having the highest point above both panels makes the panels want to fill completely: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...l=1#post436641
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    48

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    Haha, no no, not offended at all! I appreciate your help!

    I'm going to run the input pipe over and around all the panels and connect it to the lower right corner. Then I'll connect the upper left to the outgoing pipe.
    I don't have a vacuum release valve. Do I need one? (And where would I put it?)
    IGP, concrete and plaster. House was built in 1982, pool appears to have been installed then. 15,000 gallons. Hayward C1200 filter. 1HP pump.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Too many solar panels?

    I would recommend adding a VRV it allow air into the system when you turn off the pump so that the panels can drain without pulling a vacuum which can cause the panels to collapse in our hot climate.

    You can see in the link that I provided that I put mine right where the water enters the panels, I also added a hose spigot there that I leave open in the winter to help everything drain. In reality it can go anywhere, but the higher it is the more pressure required from the pump to keep it closed. At the inlet is a good compromise between lower pressure required and keeping it high in the system.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •