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What's solar fluid used in my system?

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  • What's solar fluid used in my system?

    Anybody saw/has an old solar panel system like mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmei007

    This is another unknown thing to me inside my house bought few weeks ago from a bank.


    a. Storage Tank: SE62-80H-045S (a product from American Water Heater Company, 6 years old);
    b. Heat Exchanger and expansion tank: Novan Energy FXB1000D Optimizer (23 yrs old?);
    c. Solar Controller: CM-30 Solar Controller (23 yrs old?);


    Now I found it does not work and the solar fluid was drained out when the property (in Boston, MA) was winterized a year ago, I think.

    My questions are the following:

    1. What’s solar fluid used in the system? Glycol, water or oils?
    2. How to drain out all fluid from the expansion before refill the solar fluid?
    3. What is the procedure to refill the solar fluid?

    Thanks,

    James

  • #2
    Re: What's solar fluid used in my system?

    Originally posted by lmei007 View Post
    Now I found it does not work and the solar fluid was drained out when the property (in Boston, MA) was winterized a year ago, I think.

    My questions are the following:

    1. What’s solar fluid used in the system? Glycol, water or oils?
    2. How to drain out all fluid from the expansion before refill the solar fluid?
    3. What is the procedure to refill the solar fluid?

    Thanks,

    James
    Your system uses Glycol to that circulates from the panels on the roof through the 'tube in tube' heat exchanger. (one tube has Glycol the other water) The Glycol transfers the heat this way. Then the heated water is circulated through the storage tank. Thats why you have 2 pumps. When the storage runs low on hot water like on a cloudy day or nightime use it has elements to heat the tank water. It would be easier to 'splain this if I could point to these things. Are you still with me?
    No need to drain the expansion tank not sure why you would think to do that.
    You can pump the Glycol back into the system from a 5 gallon buck through the boiler drain. Be sure to bleed ALL the air out. There may be a bleed port on the roof panels.

    With a Glycol system no need to drain it out even for winterization. It should last the life of the solar system. Now if someone didn't know what they were doing....... I can see a scenario how this could happen. Glycol is a lil spendy and I hope it just wasn't flushed down some floor drain

    23 year old system?...hope those panels are ok

    Next question......
    Last edited by plumberscrack; 07-31-2007, 05:20 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: What's solar fluid used in my system?

      OR....if the system has a leak you don't want to fix then you drain it and tell the prospective buyer that it was 'winterized'.
      "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
      John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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      • #4
        Re: What's solar fluid used in my system?

        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
        With a Glycol system no need to drain it out even for winterization. It should last the life of the solar system. Now if someone didn't know what they were doing....... I can see a scenario how this could happen. Glycol is a lil spendy and I hope it just wasn't flushed down some floor drain

        23 year old system?...hope those panels are ok

        Next question......
        This property was a forceclosure house and was empty at least one year. The owner (a bank) had it winterized. I guess the empty solar fluid loop was due to that winterize.

        How to check the panels are ok or not? It is 23 yrs old because I saw a note says the pump was install in 1984.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What's solar fluid used in my system?

          Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
          OR....if the system has a leak you don't want to fix then you drain it and tell the prospective buyer that it was 'winterized'.
          Is there a way to check if the system has a leak or not?

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