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Thread: Help with Solar install

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    Help with Solar install

    I am in the process of installing a sloar system. I have two 2X20 sun Grabbers and two more on the way as well as a Goldline GLC-2P-A controller system. I have several questions. 1st I read where the panels need to be in parallel but the kit came with the connections to put each pair of 2x20 in series, so do i need to plumb them that way or should all 4 of the 2x20 be in parallel? Next i am attaching a picture of the manifold that I built when I had my SWG installed in anticipation of the solar insall, but before I decided on the controller,can you suggest what would be the best route to take? Also the panels are going to be running horizontally on the roof of my deck, so where do I place the vacuum breaker? If someone can draw something out I would greatly appreciate it. I have read on here so many differentthings that I am thoroughly confused. Thanks in Advance
    Attached Images Attached Images
    24' x 52" AG All Aluminum
    2hp 2speed 200sf Cartridge Filter
    Goldline AquaTrol
    4- 2x20 Sungrabber solar panels
    Goldline solar controler

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Solar install

    Welcome to TFP!

    Parallel plumbing is the way to go. It reduces pressure and is more efficient at heating the water.

    I don't see your picture, so I can't comment on the manifold.

    I've been told that the vacuum breaker needs to go in the inlet line on a flat roof installation, but I've never seen an explanation why other than that the pressure from the panel beyond it helps keep it closed.

    If your roof isn't completely flat, you'll need to make sure the low side has a plumbing connection so the panels will drain, both for protection from freezing and from overheating when the panels are off.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Solar install

    If at all possible you want all four panels to be plumbed in parallel. The system will be noticeably more efficient that way.

    An automated controller is going to have a motorized three way valve. That valve would typically go where one of the T fittings currently is next to the bypass pipe/valve. Redoing that area now will waste some fittings, but I can't think of an easy way to avoid that.

    When running the plumbing, you want the pipe to travel from the pad going up at every point till it reaches the highest point in the system. Another way to say that is that you don't want any places where there is a low point where water can't run down back to the pump/pool, likewise no local high points where air can't run up to the top.

    There is a nice diagram of the most common plumbing layout on the Hot Sun Industries home page along with some cool photos of installed systems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Help with Solar install

    So if I am reading and understanding the animation correctly they have two chck valves, one right after the pump and one after it leaves the last panel what i don't understand is how the system drains when it shuts off when the outlet side is on top, is it using gravity or is a vacuum that causes it? My panels have a disc in the center of the header that causes the water to fill half of the inlet header and then flow to the other end thru the panel and then back to the inlet end and out the other side of the 1st header, they came with rubber caps to put on the ends of the pipes on the other end of the panels, do i use the caps or do i plumb them they way they are in the animation? They are sungrabber Above Ground panels.
    24' x 52" AG All Aluminum
    2hp 2speed 200sf Cartridge Filter
    Goldline AquaTrol
    4- 2x20 Sungrabber solar panels
    Goldline solar controler

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Solar install

    Quote Originally Posted by ksmith13
    So if I am reading and understanding the animation correctly they have two chck valves, one right after the pump and one after it leaves the last panel what i don't understand is how the system drains when it shuts off when the outlet side is on top, is it using gravity or is a vacuum that causes it?
    One check valve is after the filter. This is to prevent water from running backwards through the filter and flushing dirt into the pool. The other is after the panels to prevent them from filling with water from that direction.

    The panels drain from gravity, and the check valves and plumbing are designed so the water all goes through the returns as it drains.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Help with Solar install

    Can someone give me the brand and model number of the vacuum breaker currently in use in your system? And the size, does it need to be 1-1/2" if that is the size plumbing I am using? We are a dealer for Watts where I work and I have searched their catalouge and can not find anything that says it can be used with constant pressure that looks like what I have seen on the pictures that I have found on here.
    24' x 52" AG All Aluminum
    2hp 2speed 200sf Cartridge Filter
    Goldline AquaTrol
    4- 2x20 Sungrabber solar panels
    Goldline solar controler

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    Re: Help with Solar install

    I believe that disc is for above ground pools where you have the water flow down half the tubes and back up the other half. I have the same panels with no disc and run them in parallel (two 2'x20' panels). I think you can remove the disc and run them in parallel. Remember you care about total BTU being captured not water temperature coming out. The more water you flow through the panels the better the heat capture although the lower the outlet temperature.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    mcoonan's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Solar install

    Quote Originally Posted by ksmith13
    Can someone give me the brand and model number of the vacuum breaker currently in use in your system? And the size, does it need to be 1-1/2" if that is the size plumbing I am using? We are a dealer for Watts where I work and I have searched their catalouge and can not find anything that says it can be used with constant pressure that looks like what I have seen on the pictures that I have found on here.
    This is the valve that I just bought:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0342515694
    Mike
    Intex Ultra 18' x 52" AG 6,981 Gal.
    3 - 2'x20' solar panels
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