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Thread: Replacing roof mounted solar panels

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    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vero Beach, FL
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    462

    Replacing roof mounted solar panels

    I've had the FAFCO 4 x 20 panels for about 5 years which I've installed myself. They have developed too many leaks over the last season to bother with repairing. I want to replace them with 4 x 10 or 4 x 12 foot ones anyway, since I've never liked how the 20 foot long ones never lie flat.

    Can anyone recommend a brand that seems to last? I don't mind using something with slightly less efficiency and am much more interested in longevity.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Re: Replacing roof mounted solar panels

    llborne, we went with Aquatherm and had them install them, 20 years on the panels and lifetime transferrable against roof leaks. You should get some estimates. Look at the sig for out solar install.
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Sacramento, CA
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    Re: Replacing roof mounted solar panels

    Any of the major manufacturers will give you five to 10 years of life. Yes, even Fafco. My Fafco have been up two seasons and have zero leaks.

    Generally all are sold exclusively through dealers though you can often find used systems on craigslist.

    Aquatherm has a system that doesn't penetrate the roof membrane. How that works in Florida from a code standpoint I have no idea.

    In the big picture, how a system works for you is determined by panel orientation, panel size, plumbing, your pool orientation, use of a cover, and how you run them. Efficiency of the panels is just one thing in the mix.

    I would have a couple of contractors out to give you some estimates and ideas. Then start looking online for used if you want to DIY. You could ask the dealers if they will sell to you without installation. I doubt you will find takers. The big thing you are paying for with the dealers is the warranty.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Re: Replacing roof mounted solar panels

    You may also want to look at underlying causes for the leaks, some of the common causes for panel damage are:

    1, Freeze damage when water is trapped in the panel and it freezes.

    2, Panels that don't drain when there is no water flow, causing them to over heat.

    3, Excessive pressure in the panels during operation either due to back pressure on the line or trying to forced too much water through them, you should have very little pressure at the top of the panels, less than 1 or 2 psi is optimal.

    4, Excessive vacuum on the panels when they try to drain.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Re: Replacing roof mounted solar panels

    lborne you actually commented on our solar install 5 yrs ago. Let me know if I can help.
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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