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Thread: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

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    Question Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Hey guys,

    I'm installing two solar panels on the ground about 25' away from the pool and plan on possibly installing more in the future. Can I just put these on top of some black visqueen or should I make a 2x4 frame for these to attach to? (it does get a bit windy here)

    Has anyone installed these in parallel? Photos would be awesome.

    After doing some research I've come up with two diagrams that I painfully made on mspaint then couldn't upload so I'm taking pictures on my phone and will put them in the next post.
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    You can place the panels directly on the ground if you want. They will be a little more efficient mounted at the correct angle facing the sun, but it isn't a huge difference.

    Plumbing in parallel is ideal.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Had to sign up for a photobucket account to get the pics up.

    These Solar Bear Panels come with diverters.


    Option 1


    Option 2

    Are either of these correct?
    The first one seems easier to add panels in the future but do the panels get even flow?

    Thanks, Brannon

    Any extra advise is very welcome from someone who has done this....
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Your second diagram is good. You want the total distance traveled by the water to be the same regardless of which panel it goes through. That is true in the second diagram, but not in the first.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Lol, I was afraid of that!

    Is it possible to do 3 panels in parallel in the future or do I need to jump to 4?

    Thanks, Brannon
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Moving up to three, or four, panels is simple enough, just some PVC plumbing. If you do it as an upgrade you will need to cut off the pipes at one end and continue them along instead of looping back. The only even vaguely tricky issue with a setup like this one is that there is a spot where the pipes cross over each other once for each panel except the last. That makes for a few extra fittings, but isn't that big a deal.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Cool Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Thanks Jason,

    Wife told me to just get four panels

    Are either of these the correct configuration for the four panels? If there is there a simpler way please tell me.



    Attempt 1



    Attempt 2

    PS. It took me way to long to draw that up....

    Brannon
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Your upper diagram is alright, but could be simplified quite a bit. The lower diagram is difficult to check, it looks wrong, but I can't be sure.

    To simplify the upper diagram: you can have simple straight runs for supply and return, with a T going off to each panel (except a 90 for the end panel in each run). You don't need to do that complex tree of pipe. I'm sorry that I am not good at drawing, or I would illustrate. The key is to have all of the water come in on the left and go all the way to the same point on the right before coming back to the left.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    The older Fafco Bear solar kits used a diverter vavle (common ball valve) to force flow back and forth down the panels. If they still do you could easily leave it open and plumb the full set corner to corner like many conventional rooftop solar installs. This would eliminate much of that plumbing. Of course the Fafco Bear install manual leaves much of this sort of information out in the name of dumbing it down to a Pre-K reading level complete with cartoons.


    like this image I found online

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Whoa!!!
    if that last diagram is still running the panels in parallel that is way easier!

    Yes they did come with a diverter valve installed (looks like a disk) should I try to take it out?
    If I leave it in there do I keep all the diverter valves on one the same side or go every other?
    And I'm assuming I can I ignore the inlet outlet stickers?
    Thanks, Brannon
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    If you remove all of the diverter disks so you could see through each header pipe with the end plugs removed you will get corner to corner flow like the illustration I posted with inlet on one corner and outlet on the opposite. This makes the panels all a single bank and you get nearly even flow across the entire surface.

    You may also want to look at this web site, Plumbing and Controlling Solar Swimming Pool Heating Systems they have a lot of good information even if it is slanted towards use of their product.

    ike

    p.s. see this one too Proper Swimming Pool Mechanical System Design and Plumbing For Solar
    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
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Sweet, wow those are full of good info and diagrams.... thank you very much!

    I can't see any threads on these diverter valves so I can remove them so I searched online and didn't come up with anything either.
    so... does anyone know how to take off these disk diverters?
    I guess I can always just install them with them on?

    Thanks, Brannon
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Either way should work.
    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
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Great! I'm just going to leave the diverter valves in them and flip the panels so that both the inlet and outlet side has two open diverter valves.

    Question I'm already putting unions on the solar panels but should I also put them on the outlet pipe and inlet pipe before they go underground?

    Thanks, Brannon
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    I don't know your setup plan enough to answer that question, but generally I say the more unions the better, at least within reason
    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
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Agree on that completely. All that shiny new stuff will have to come apart again sooner or later for some reason or another.
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Thanks guys, I got them all hooked up and I'm about to turn them on and have a few questions first.
    It says the maximum flow is 8gpm per panel, now that there in parallel and i opened that diverter valve does that mean my new maximum is 16gpm or is it 32 since the water doesn't have to double travel through each panel?
    I have a bigger pump then I need for my sized pool and don't want to blow anything out, the instructions tell me to increase the psi 5-7lbs.
    My question is can I completely open the 3 way valve to the panels as long as it doesn't put more then 7lbs of pressure on the system?
    I'm a little confused with all of this...

    I'm super excited to turn these on even through it's cloudy and sprinkling outside.

    Thanks, Brannon
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Given your pump and filter type I suspect you are good with up to 32gpm through the panels which will probably be around 3/4 of maximum flow.
    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
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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Lol I was already planning on getting another panel I'll grab one next paycheck, then I can push all the water through them.

    I wish I wouldn't have purchased such a big pump but I'm so glad I found tfp you guys are awesome....

    Thanks again!!!
    Brannon the pool owner with warmer water...
    15x30 AG 12k, Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 hp, 21' sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 propane heater. Intex swcg, Wanda the whale, upgrading to an Suntouch with Solar Bear Panels...

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    Re: Question about installing Solar Bear Panels in Parallel...

    Ok, here is another way to do a quick estimation test, If your operating pressure with full flow through the panels is over 22 psi then you are operating under 32 GPM (this is not necessarily to say you are working at safe pressure, as that depends on the source of the pressure elevation, and if it is downstream from your solar panels (under sized eyeball fittings for example))


    What is your operating PSI with the solar panels bypassed?

    Ike

    p.s. when I installed my current solar panels a couple of years ago I had to also change out to one size larger eyeball fittings to lower my back pressure on the panels.
    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
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