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Thread: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

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    Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    I was wondering if any one has fafco panels and if the intake can be on the same side as the return. Thank you.
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    I am sure there are many who have installed these panels ... there is really not much difference between the brands.

    You do not want the inlet and outlet on the same side because the water will travel the easiest route and thus you will not have even flow in all the panels.

    Oh wait, before I continue about how to install them on a roof, I just realized you have a small Intex pool and that may not be what you are actually thinking of doing. What panel are you looking at specifically? Where will you install them and how many?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    I got five used fafco panels I believe there performer st. I will mount them about 7 ft high 8 ft away on my roof
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    I assume you are also looking at a larger pump too then .. right?

    Ok, so you want the inlet to the panels to be on the bottom and the outlet of the panels to be on the top opposite of the inlet. The entire bank of panels should be slightly tilted so the highest point is the outlet. You can have both the inlet and outlet pipes going onto the roof at the same place, you would just run the inlet pipe below all the panels and then use 2 90s to turn back into the panels then the warm water will come out the top nearest to where the pipes get on the roof and run back to the equipment.

    You will also need a couple of check valves and a diverter valve if you will not have a separate dedicated pump.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Thank you for the reply. This is similar to what the layout should be without the automated controller. I want to test the system with the intex pump I have it pumped with 2 inch pvc and is currently pushing 40 gallons a minute. If that pump does not work I have a Hayward 1 hp 2 speed pump I can use.

    Attachment 34525
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Is there major difference in flow rates between a jandy 3 way and pentair 3 way valve?
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    That drawing looks pretty good. You usually need another check valve on the return pipe from the solar before it tees back into the main plumbing.

    How do you know you are currently getting 40 GPM with the Intex pump? I barely get that with my 1HP 2-speed pump.
    With 5 panels you need about 25 GPM through the solar, I am just not sure the Intex will have enough power to push the water up onto a roof.

    There is no real difference between the to brands of valves. But, Pentair makes a "solar" valve that has a built in check valve that allows the panels to drain even when the solar is turned off. That may not matter for you if you are manually controlling the valve. You can also just drill a small hole in the diverter of any valve.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Thank you for that great information =]. I tested it by doing the bucket test multiple times I was getting 2 gallons every 3 seconds. All my plumbing is 2 inches with flex instead of using 90s. I have two intakes one is a skimmer and one return. Is there a better way to test my gpm?
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    There is no real need to know the flow rate, just feel the panels and be sure they are cool to the touch.

    Also you should have a vacuum release valve up on the panels to help them drain when the solar is off. Again not sure the Intex will generate enough pressure to keep the VRV closed.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    I just had FAFCO panels installed by a FAFCO dealer here in SW Florida last May 2014. My inlet and outlet pipes connect on the same side. The new FAFCO panels have an internal header on the inlet side that equalizes the inlet pressure across the 10 panels (440sqft) I have installed, which eliminates the pressure drop concern and ensures equal flow though the 10 panels. My 1 yr experience is that I am getting the heating per design so the system works with this hookup. Of note the dealer also installed a flowmeter, so my pump speed is based on 40gpm or 4gpm per panel
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
    using BBB for pool chemistry/Lamotte ColorQ tester for daily testing

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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Thank you for the help and tips! I will start installing my panels soon and I'll let you know how they turn out
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Okay I just finished my solar panel install I am still using my index pump and it is working great =D thanks for all the help =]
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Great!!! Have any pictures of your setup?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Yeah I'll up load a few I still need to finalize a few details
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Here is the check valve and the multiport
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    How can I upload pictures using the app?
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    What app? TFP does not have an app.

    How To Post Pictures
    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
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    Re: Has Any One Installed Fafco Solar Panels

    Attachment 34751

    Attachment 34753

    Attachment 34754

    my return from the solar heaters runs straight from the roof into my pool as a water fall.
    Intex 12 by 24, Intex 2600 sand filter (soon to upgrade), deck under construction

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