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Thread: Need help with used FAFCO solar panels

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Sacramento, CA

    Need help with used FAFCO solar panels

    So Iíve been eyeing used solar panels on Craigslist, and yesterday saw an ad for 6 panels being left out for free, so I hooked up the trailer and picked them up. I could use some help identifying them -- they are FAFCO, 4íx12í (including the headers), and are a split-tube design thatís a bit different than Iíve seen -- at the headers, every 5th tube is left out by design, then are spaced evenly at the first support. Thereís no other label indicating the model or age. Any idea what these are?




    I seem to have much of the key hardware -- 2 top clips per panel, rubber interconnect clamps attached to half of the ends, and what I assume is a pressure relief valve on the end of one header. Iím planning to install them on the flat (very slightly sloped) roof of a pool shade structure; I can fit 4 for sure, and if I do some cantilevering and supports from a lower roof, I may be able to fit all 6 up there.

    I will have more questions on mounting and piping as I go along!
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Need help with used FAFCO solar panels

    I can't help on the model, but it sounds like you have everything or nearly everything you need. My only big concern is the fact the roof has little slope and draining with the potential for freezing weather in your area. I would suggest reading the installation manuals from a few of the major brands, many of the manuals have tips and tricks, but as far as I have seen none cover all the important points. Specifically I would suggest the information at Powerstrip Solar Pool Heaters from Hot Sun Industries of San Diego, California as well as this manual for aquatherm panels (this is the old aquatherm manual that I think is much better than the new powerpoint style manual) I used the aquatherm aluminum headers on my Techno-Solis panel installation (header tube diameter was only about 1/20th inch different on the 2 inch headers and the aquatherm clamp looks much better than the common U clamps Techno-Solis uses) Of course also consult the Fafco manual for this model panel if you can find it.


    p.s. that valve on the end is a vacuum relief valve, it lets air in so the panels can drain when the pump is off, as letting water stay in the panels with the pump off can build excessive amounts of heat and damage 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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Need help with used FAFCO solar panels

    Pics of my solar install and plumbing in my build thread, link in sig.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Surf Hawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Santa Barbara, CA

    Re: Need help with used FAFCO solar panels

    Dang you are lucky all the hardware came with yours. I picked up 8 panels for $100 on Craigslist, but am spending over $200 in hardware. It is expensive, just for clips, and couplings, and etc. Thinking I should find a way to manufacture these and sell them myself...
    22,000 gallon IG; plaster; 16x32 Rectangular, Depth 3.5-8Ft.
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter - 48sqft w/ cellulose fiber & Hayward Energy Flo RS Pump - .75HP (1.85SF)
    Very old 312sqft solar system, TFT-100 Kit with Speedstir

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