Solar Design Issue

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
I am in the process of building a 24000 gal gunite pool. My Solar Contractor wants to place the collectors on my south facing second story roof. The problem, my pool is on the north east side of the house. That means a long run over the roof and over the ridge for all the water.

The following drawing shows the problem.

SolarProposed_zps45352287.png.html



I don't want all the roof penetrations or all the pipe on the roof. I don't want all the issues with crossing the ridge-line (difficulty draining) etc.

Therefore I am proposing running the fed and solar returns to the Equipment Pad in a trench.

As shown below:
SolarGroundOption_zps0fb4443c.png.html


Will I have any heat left when I get back to the pool? The run is about 120 feet.

Can I insulate the return in the trench? Will that help?

Is going over the ridge line really a problem?

Any expertise, advice or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :lol: At least on my computer, I can't see the pics. I will say that 120' is a VERY long run and you will defeat a significant portion of the efficiency no matter how well you insulate.

There is some pre-insulated pex pipe that would be helpful (it's made for outdoor wood stoves) but the largest it comes is 1.25" so would be inadequate for a 24k pool.

The whole point in solar is to get your money back in time and that long run may make it difficult for solar to pay for itself.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
No images here either, but I would say insulating the pipe and running in a trench could be done so as to retain heat. I would probably use the foam pipe wrap used on air conditioning return lines and construct the trench so that it would remain dry. Wet insulation of most types performs worse than dry. Having said that there is no doubt you will loose some heat this way and I would probably opt for the over the roof option if there were no other practical solution, hard to say though without the images showing.

Ike

ps expanding foam could be another option, there is the basic great stuff foam in a can for small jobs, and I think Grainger's sells it as 2 part material in 1 to 5 gallon pails with disposable dispenser if you wanted to avoid getting a speciality insulation contractor.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Would it be possible to run the return line under the roof eaves along the route for the trench then down by the pad?

Ike

ps. here is the link to the foam I was mentioning http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/HANDIF ... Pid=search care must be given as it could crush the pipe or break open the trench if applied in excess while it expands.

also it should be noted that pool style solar panels need opposite corner feed / return
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Thanks for the comments. The drawings have now appeared. Thanks mods.

No matter what placing the collectors on the south roof results in a long run.

Is there any way to quantify how much heat I lose with burial vs how much heat I lose on the ground?

Thanks
 
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