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Thread: 2" pvc instead of 1.5" for piping solar panels?

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    2" pvc instead of 1.5" for piping solar panels?

    Hello,

    I have read in this forum that people have connected the solar panels using 2" pcv pipes to/from the pump even when the panel headers are 1.5".
    Did I understand that correctly?
    My sungrabber panels have the top and bottom header of 1.5". The pool builder has not install yet the Pentair Intelliflow but
    the piping they used in the pool is 2". Does this means that the Intelliflow output is 2"?

    I would like an advice on what pvc to use to/from the pump to the panels, 1.5" or 2"?.
    Anyway if the output of the intelliflow is 2", I need to use a reducer to get into the sungrabber panels but the question is where, right?

    Thank you,
    Rodrigo.
    Award-winner Swimming Pools Design, Construction and Landscaping.

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: 2" pvc instead of 1.5" for piping solar panels?

    The diameter of any pipe run doesn't have to correspond to the diameter of the pipe coming out of a pump nor to the diameter of pipe in solar panel headers. Any sufficiently long pipe run will have a far lower head at high flow rates if the diameter of the pipe is larger. Even though my Fafco SunSaver and Revolution panels have 2" headers, I really wish my PB used 2.5" pipe (or even 3") between the pump and the roof panels and also between the pump and the first split of pipes at the pool. That way I could have had far better energy efficiency at high flow rates.

    Since the Fafco SunGrabber is for above-ground pools, your pipe runs probably aren't very long to/from the panels nor to/from your pool so 2" pipe would probably be fine in your case. Usually you don't want 1.5" for any significant long run of pipe that is taking the full flow rate -- after the pipe splits to go to multiple returns (or from multiple suction ports such as floor drains or skimmers) then 1.5" is fine. The head from two parallel 1.5" pipe runs is roughly the same as a from a single 2" pipe run.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: 2" pvc instead of 1.5" for piping solar panels?

    Thanks a lot for your explanation.

    The sungrabber panles that I am using are for inground pool. I have 10 2X12 vertical panes.

    I need to run like 20 feet of pvc from the equipment to the input of the first bank of panels and then another 12 feet to the input of the second bank of panels.
    Then I need to run 12 feet of pvc the output of the first bank of panels to the output of the second bank of panels at the highest point.
    Finaly I need to run the pipe from the highest point back to the where the equipment is with all the valves. That is aroung 60 feet.

    Do I need to use 2" pvc all over these connections?
    If yes, where should I use the 2" to 1.5" fitting to get the same diameter than the input header? Just before the input headers?
    Where should I use the 1.5" to 2" fitting to get a larger pipe diameter than the output header? Just after the output header?

    Thank you,
    Rodrigo.
    Award-winner Swimming Pools Design, Construction and Landscaping.

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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    9,908

    Re: 2" pvc instead of 1.5" for piping solar panels?

    The goal should be to use as much 2" pipe as possible so put the transitions where you have to go to 1.5", basically right at the header. But it is convienent to use more 1.5" pipe, then go ahead and do that, just keep it to a minimum.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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