Fafco Freeze Protection

cramar

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 10, 2010
1,143
Sault Ontario
#1
Was getting ready to order 2 Fafco 4X20 SunSaver Solar Bears, then I read a dealers site where they stated:
- only 2 of the 4X20 panels should be coupled together (the info from that site is below in italics, it was their opinion that any larger it would be advisable to switch to the shorter panels)
- these units can't self drain and thus need to be removed each year if in a freezing climate.....I am definitely in a "freezing" climate

Sort of second guessing this now, they recommend using the smaller panels (10-12 footers) and mount vertical on the roof instead of 20 footers mounted horizontal, the claim is is better performance and better winter endurance.

Anyone care to comment?

We don't recommend putting more then two of the 4x20 AGP panels in series or four in parallel. In series flow, the pool water flows from one panel into the next so the first panel "preheats" the second and so on. Thus, each panel downstream has diminished solar collection capability. Series flow can also restrict the amount of flow through multiple panels. In parallel flow, the panels are fed and returned individually so that each one receives the same pool water and so their performance is identical for each panel and maximized; flow is not restricted. We suggest using only up to four AGP panels in parallel because, if that much panel surface area is needed, it would probably be better to use IGP panels instead mainly because they should not be permanently mounted and thus need to be removed every fall and reinstalled every spring, what a hassle (see below). Such is the case for some of the larger above ground pools such as a 16x32, 20 round, or 24 round, etc
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
You should never plumb the panels in series, so you should be reading the parallel section which says up to four panels in parallel are fine. There are ways to work around the need to remove the panels each year for winterizing, though essentially they are correct that their in-ground panels are more appropriate for a permanent install.