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  • Solar Hot Water Heating

    I have a new customer with a solar hot water heating system that works in conjunction with a tankless coil. There is an insulated water tank, like an indirect heater but to heat the water instead of running the water through the boiler it runs the water through solar panels on the roof and it all gets circulated by a small circulator pump (looks like a 007). Anyway on the "heating loop" there obviously isnt water in it but some kind of antifreeze, the system is currently out of service and the customer would like me to re-energize it. Anyone ever work with these? Can i replace the fluid in the heating look with cryotek? Is there anything on the roof other than leaks I shoiuld look for check such as valves etc.?

    I feel confident i can tackle this just looking for a little more info so I can speak with the gentleman tommorrow about it.

  • #2
    Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

    I've never heard of Cryotech. I've always used Glykol. Can be expensive so if you drain the system you need to contain it so it can be pumped back in.

    Do you know why the system was taken off line? Do they have a back up system like an electric heater?.

    Check the panels on the roof. If they are dark and cloudy most likely they need to be replaced. There should be at least one bleed up there to remove the air from the system. Check for a hosebibb inside. This is where the Glykol is pumped in.

    Are you familiar with solar heating controls? Be sure all the gauges are working. Best to check it on a sunny day.


    • #3
      Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

      cryotech is Hercules brand glycol, good ideas with the other stuff he told me that the system was taken off line because his last plumber/handyman didnt know anything about it. the only backup is a tankless coil. Thanks for your help though. Still debating wether I want to have anything to do with this guy. Told me my labor rate was too high asked him if i could do the job T&M with a labor rate of 55 an hour i told him my hourly rate was more than that and he kind of balked at it so i am not sure which direction to go from a business standpoint, if I wasnt recommended by a VERY good customer of mine I would have walked right there.


      • #4
        Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

        Sort of away from your subject:

        Does anyone know the exact rebate amount from the Federal & State level for new Solar Water Heating installations?





        • #5
          Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

          Cryo-tek is all we use and it will be fine. I would drain and flush the panels as well as the transfer coil and piping and then pressure test it. Fix any leaks and charge it up again. Lot's of these systems were abandoned for mechanical reasons, circulators and controls gone bad or leaking. Panels had a nasty habit of developing leaks also. Put 100 lbs on it and let it sit overnight to be sure. Many of the panel leaks were very very small pin holes near the collectors and the leak won't show up right away. Naturally glycol will find any hole no matter how small.


          • #6
            Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

            was the antifreeze still good ,i would pressure test with this in it and not water because where you are it is to cold for just water .

            do you know how to test the antifreeze for acid ?

            there is some control knowledge needed to re start the system

            so if you have a basic knowledge of different types of controls you should be ok

            if you take the job post some good pictures and i sure there is enough of people here that can get you through this

            My seek the peek fundraiser page


            new work pictures 12/09


            • #7
              Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

              I was too lazy to write down the info on the label so i took a picture of it but i cant read all the text, the controller next to the circulator says "c-30" not 100% sure what that means i will have to go back and take a closer look. my first step I had planned was to pressure test the system then go from there.


              • #8
                Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

                They had one of these on this season of ATOH with evacuated tubes to heat the water. I'm sure this is one of those green things unlikely to pay off, but at least this one seems cool and probably mostly environmentally neutral (unlike PV cells, which I think probably do as much harm as good).


                • #9
                  Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

                  I am thinking about a solar water heater. I live in fla so there is no chance of freeze
                  is there a good site to get some clear idea on a system


                  • #10
                    Re: Solar Hot Water Heating

           these are the solar heaters we have access to in our area
                    Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 06:26 PM.