Pre-Packaged Solar Hot Water Kits 6.21.2010


Pre-Packaged Solar Hot Water Kits

Date: 06/21/2010

Okay, well I’d like to welcome those of you who are joining us to the SunMaxx Solar Webinar Series. Today we are going to talk about HelioMaxx kits. We’ve done several webinars now. We’ve done the controllers, tanks, various types of collectors, and I’d like to spend the next half hour talking about HelioMaxx kits, and what SunMaxx has done to help pre-package these systems to make it easier for the end user or for the– ultimately the installer which is you folks to put these in, and have them properly sized. So, we’ve actually spend a considerable amount of time and different softwares, sizing of these pre-packaged kits. And their– generally as you can see in this diagram– we have closed loop glycol system, alright, to make things as simple as possible– the drain backs have their merits, and we will be coming out with some drain back systems– but these are closed loop glycol, generally with the piping schematic that you see here. This particular one shows a single coil in a storage tank. We do have variations where we have double coil– double — two double walled coils. But for the basic schematics, in the solar loop, this is what we are working with. We always run the collectors off the bottom loop, now our pump station has all the necessary components to make that loop run.

[Now I would like to remind you if you have any questions your more than welcome to type a question in. I try to multitask, so if I see a question that pops up that is relative to what we’re talking about, I will be happy to stop and address that question. I can’t promise you all the time, but please feel free to ask any questions as you see.]

So generally, we have two types of HelioMaxx kits– pre-packaged kits– the standard HelioMaxx, and the HelioMaxx Plus. So as you can see, HelioMaxx basically includes a collector tank and a pump station. All right, some of you have different preferences in terms of line set and mounting strategies, different types of glycol, so we would like to offer you a pre-packaged kit that just includes the collector and the tank and the pump station, all right. Now for both of these the HelioMaxx and HelioMaxx Plus, we’ve decided to size these so that they meet a 50% solar fraction in Syracuse New York, okay. Syracuse is– for those of you that live in this neck of the woods, you can attest that Syracuse is cloudy as it is anywhere in the country, probably Seattle might be worse. So if we can do 50% in Syracuse, then in places like Phoenix and Columbia, South Carolina, and Ohio and various places like that, the solar fractions have been climbing up into the mid-70s, okay. So, you know that this kit, if you choose the right kit, then you’ll have at least a 50% solar fraction which is the minimum required for the federal centers, all right.
Now both of these HelioMaxx, and HelioMaxx Plus come in two– six versions, basically three sizes both designed for either flat plate or vacuum heat pipe. For those of you who know about SunMaxx, we do offer both the flat plate and the vacuum heat pipes. We are as much– as unbiased as we can be. We like to include the flat plates for particular purposes and some call for vacuum heat pipes, so, we’ll help you decide based on things such as aesthetics and location, temperature requirement. We’ll be able to offer you either, okay.

Now the HelioMaxx Plus, as you can see on this– the right hand side, comes with just about everything that you need to get this system charged, okay… the bushings required, the glycol, the hardware, quickmount PV to fasten to the roof, the line set– line set comes in 50 ft lengths. If you need more than that, just let your sales rep know, we can send you an additional 30 ft length or one 80 ft roll. It also includes the pump station, with the controller and all the fittings. We recently put on a training in Denver where we were able to take a HelioMaxx 65 vacuum heat pipe, with all of the necessary components and get it fully installed, including the bushings and everything. The only thing that’s not included would be things–obviously the tools– but the Teflon tape, and pipe dope, and things like that. So you should have everything with the HelioMaxx Plus, okay.

All right, now, just to go over again, the HelioMaxx Plus includes the rail– I’m going to through each one of these in particular so you can see the picture– but the rail for the mounting to the roof, the pre-insulated line set, which by the way is a really, really good line set, you can’t possibly crimp it, and for these we include the 5/8 line set, and 50 ft, also 2 gallons of high temperature glycol. This glycol we are bringing over from our German friends. It’s rated in the low 300’s, I believe 320 degrees. Also the expansion tape and the connection set, okay. The TitanPowerPlus is a line of flat plates which I’ll include in just– I’ll talk about in just one second. And our UniMaxx-Plus pump station. We have two different pump stations that we offer. The UniMaxx Plus and the UniMaxx Plus B. I’ll talk about the differences of those in just a few moments. And to HelioMaxx standard includes the connection set for the flat plate or the evacu tube, the expansion tank, the connection set for the expansion tank, a hot water tank, and depending on the size, you would get either a 65 gallon tank, an 80 gallon tank, or a 105 gallon tank, and then TitanPower Plus either flat plates or vacuum tube and the UniMaxx Plus pump station.

Okay. In terms of the collectors included, like I mentioned before, either the vacuum U-pipe or the flat plate, I just want to talk a couple minutes about some of the benefits of the TitanPower. This is a tinox absorber, so it’s one of the– it is the latest and greatest in absorber coatings. This is a header riser style, so it allows for drainback. Also it allows us to achieve a slightly higher temperature because we can put more of these in series. This– the frame of the collector is really the part of the– is the box of the collector itself, so it’s a stainless steel framing that makes up the box. It’s textured glass. It does increase the efficiency because it scatters the light more evenly across the absorber surface. Additionally, aesthetically some people don’t like that glare, so it cuts down on the glare off of the collector. Now if you notice on the– of the this TitanPower you see a three quarter inch compression fit, that allows us to just mount one collector right after another. The average flow rate through each one of these your gonna have in series is about a half a gallon a minute.

Now for the thermal power our vacuum heat pipes, in terms of the vacuum tubes, these have some of the highest efficiencies relative to the absorber area in terms of total output for vacuum heat pipes and more importantly we include the adjustable hardware so whether you want to mount like this is, sort of at a compound angle or a straight flush mount or your want to take it up off of a pitched roof, the hardware that is included is fully adjustable. Now there has been some debate, and it’s never ending, but vacuum heat pipes are really suitable for all climates. We have vacuum heat pipes installed in some of the warmest places on earth, however they are most suitable for colder temperatures that therein is the value of the vacuum. Additionally, in not only colder environments, but cloudy environments allow you to take in any of the diffused radiation.

Okay, now I want to just point out the connection set that comes with the M2 if you notice from this picture, if we are to just take one flat plate–this is a demo unit, which has been cut away just to show you the insulation, and the absorber coat, the connection set that comes with every row or every series– so if I get one flat plate, I’ll get one connection set, if I get two flat plates, but I connect them in series, I still need one connection set. In fact, if I get ten flat plates, and all ten will be connected in series, I’ll still get one connection set, okay. This connection set is your supply return from each bank. As you noticed there’s a nice T. It makes it look very professional. It comes in on the bottom. Each T will accept either a plug, or as on the top side, the T will accept a sensor port, so you see the stick it’s about 6 inches long and it threads into that T in which you put your sensor. So it’s a dry well for the sensor. And it allows it to be inside of the manifold pipe of the supply side of the collector. Also, on the top of the T is a manual air vent. Okay, and so while you are charging the system up, a small pair of plyers, you can open up this air vent up and more efficiently remove air from your loop. And then obviously you need a plug on one side and a cap on the other. If you noticed the top left of this picture is a plug, but really it’s a cap, it’s gonna cap over the male, because on that– on the TitanPower you see two male threads on the left and on the right are two female threads.

Now you can also take a look at the monitoring hardware that comes– The hanger bolt is a really designed to very easily pass through any roofing membrane. It’s long, it’s very robust, and it can take in any of the weight loads associated with the flat plate, all right, in wind or snow conditions. Also the length of that hanger bolt allows you to mount directly through the Spanish tile. There is enough space there so the– washer can seal itself tightly against the ceramic tile as long as you’ve been able to puncture a nice clean hole. So, when you’re done, as you notice on the picture on the right, it would appear as though that hanger bolt has been threaded into the rafter, about– the hanger bolt– it’s really about 14 inches long, so you can very easily cut the remainder of the hanger bolt that you don’t need. That key profile, you see a little slot and that slot is used to accept the bolt connected to the flat plate, so basically 3 simple installation procedures: insert the hanger bolt into the rafters, insert the T profile into the clip and then set the flat plate on the T profile and put your bolts in through the slot, it’s very simple. Okay, now when it comes to the pump station included in the HelioMaxx kits, we go the UniMaxx Plus pump station. . .

I just want to discuss real quick the UniMaxx pump station. Now, this is a nice slick unit, okay, if you look at the inside, we have our fill station on the right hand side there are those two little orange valves, allow us to fill it up automatically with our fill station, or our pump. And then the flow meter, all right, so like I said with these collectors, we’re really looking for about a half a gallon a minute, so it’s quite simple. If we have two collectors, we want our flow meter to read a gallon. The expansion tank port is above the pump, so you can tell the direction of the flow. Our expansion tank needs to be above the pump so it allows for our collectors to steam back, and takes in any of the expanded fluid. There is also an air separator, okay, there is a manual air separator, and an automatic separator that’s on the hot side, okay. So it’s nice– a nice unit– the fittings are manufactured by PAW, some of you may have heard of them, from what I know, it’s top of the line components, and it fits nicely into our line set. Take another look at the controllers, for our HelioMaxx kits, we include the DSW Plus. This controller has two relays and four sensor inputs, for our Combi System pre-packaged kits, we include the Combi Plus which is the Deltasol M version, I believe this one has about 9 relays, I’ll talk about that in one second.

Additional– Additionally to the controllers are the accessories. Now these are not included in the HelioMaxx kits but can very easily added on, and it’s highly recommended that the IntelliMaxx-Ezlog in combination with the IntelliMaxx-Flow meter is– it is probably the easiest way to monitor the system, it’s gonna tell us total BTU ouputs, pump on time, and you can calculate efficiency based on the square footage of collectors and average installations, and your clients, if you should wish, can access a URL where they can see your data online. I don’t really know the cost, but I think the IntelliMaxx-Ezlog in combination with the flow meter, is less than 400 dollars. As an accessory cost, it allows you to log this data. Okay, just real quick, I’ll show you a couple of other components, for the kits, the expansion vessel. Now you may be inclined to go with the less expensive standard hydronic expansion vessel, but if you notice usually the — like the Amtrol for example, of 3 gallon, 3 ½ gallon, or 4 ½ gallon tank, it’s not rated for high temperatures.

[They’re not wireless, Cameron, but what you can do is plug your data logger into an Ethernet, and into a wireless modem, so if you can purchase a separate wireless modem from BestBuy or Kmart, and then access the data anywhere in the home, through a laptop or a desktop and then it automatically goes to URL, so. They do need to be wired to the controller.]

Okay, in terms of the expansion vessel also on the right you see this connect kit. The connect kit is a very sturdy L bracket that’s gonna allow you to mount directly to the wall. Another thing I want to point out about the expansion vessel, even for a smaller systems, we recommend a six gallon, so that’s going to be our standard size, and thankfully with some of our positive relationships with some of the more experienced Germans and Austrian solar thermal engineers, it’s really helped for us to realize the total impact that a properly sized expansion tank has, not only system performance, but system longevity. So, for these systems, we’re going with the 6 gallon tank with a high temperature diaphragm, okay. In addition to the high temp expansion tank, the maximum temperature of the expansion tank is 320 degrees, and the maximum pressure is rated at 10 bars which is equivalent to about 148 psi, okay. This glycol is rated for 325. It does have the same chemical properties, in terms of heat coefficient in viscosity of standard propane glycol. And we recommend that this glycol be replaced every 5 years. Okay.

Moving on to the line sets. One of best features of our pre-packaged kits, in addition to the performance, is the easy of installation. And as anyone can attest, if you have ever installed this full max line set, it makes for what could be a difficult installation, very easy. Now some of you might prefer straight lines, and long runs of copper, and I can’t disagree with you, I think straight lines do have value in aesthetics. But when it comes to places where there won’t be straight lines, the full max line set is going to probably cut your installation time down significantly, and the quick connect sets that come– I haven’t had one leak yet. You know, we might find leaks in unions, or leaks in fittings in the tanks, but when properly secure, a quick connect to the line set, I have not seen one leak.

Also, it’s got a UV protected wrapping and 16 gauge– basically thermostat wire– runs inside– on the outside of the insulation– but on the inside of the UV tape, okay. We do have 5/8, 3/4 , and 1 inch diameters, and we typically sell them in lengths of 35, 50, and 80 feet. Your pre-packaged HelioMaxx kits are going to come with a 50 ft line set, so it will be important to know if you require more than that, we can replace 50 with 80. While I’m thinking of it, I do want to bring up that although we do recommend these pre-packaged kits, they do make a good place to start in terms of what type system do you want to install, and then if you have any variations we can easily adjust the component list for each pre-packaged kit, so we include 50 feet, but if you need 35, then we can replace that out with 35.

All right, let me show you the quick connect kits– quick connects look like– so it’s got a 3/4 inch male thread, okay, on the bottom– and on the top, this thread, threads into this, basically compression ring. The installation procedure is a follows. This nut slips onto the stainless steel, and then once that’s in place, then we take this little clamp, and we’re going to squeeze it down and compress it into the first corrugation, and then we have to take this disc, and we’re going to put the disc on top so, seat it up against our corrugation, and then put our male thread, this one, into this slot, and tighten it down. What that’s going to do is cause this stainless steel corrugation to flatten out, then we remove this disc. We can discard that disc and put it in our washer. The washer is then going to seal the joint between our 3/4 inch male thread here, and the inside of this nut, okay. And what remains is our 3/4 inch male MPT that’s ready to tie directly to our line set or our storage tank.
Speaking of storage tanks, the kits really include the first of two storage tanks. I wanted to just show you we do have non-pressure tanks, those are included in our Combi system which is a whole other webinar, okay. This StorMaxx-DW and the StorMaxx-Ptec. The StorMaxx-DW is a double walled — two double walled coils. And like I mentioned, we do want to customize our pre-packaged kits, it seems kind like an oxymoron, customized pre-packaged, but for those of you who live in areas where a double walled exchanger is required, then you’re gonna go– we’re gonna swap the StorMaxx-PTec, with the StorMaxx-DW which stands for double walled. Both of them have the same performance ratings, the heat exchangers are very similar in their functionality, but the one on the left does has a double wall, two double walled heat exchangers internally, okay. As you can see here with this StorTec–sorry StorMaxx, we have two double walled exchangers, this bottom coil is going to be our solar loop, the top coil is going to tie into a recirc loop, or a heating loop. I also want to point out this port here labeled Z. Z is an open port, so we have an open port for cold water here, we have an open port for hot water here, and we also have an open port here labeled Z, and that allows us to pull heat out of the top of the coil, and if we are going to return that water, after we pass it through an exchanger, or into the other tank, we can return it here, and some of you might be thinking ‘why would we be returning water here rather than the bottom’, but what we want to try to accomplish with this is a large degree of stratification. So we want to bottom to remain relatively undisturbed. And we are going to bring our return in– in Z that keeps the hot water in the hot part of the tank, and allows us to maintain colder temperatures in the bottom which increases the utilization of our collectors, okay.

Now this storage tank is enamel lined, and it has an anode, so we have several different lines of defense, for oxidation, obviously two of which are the anode rod and the enameling. We expect a nice long life out of these tanks. Just to point out our StorMaxx, for those of you that are considering a Combi system, where we won’t have time to heat load, we’ve had really good success with our non-pressure tanks. There is very little stress put on these systems. We’re able to maintain some really good stratification, because we’re using coils instead of direct flow. And more importantly than anything, I suppose, is that you can fit these non-pressure tanks directly down the stairs, into the basement of an old Victorian house with a windy cellar stairs, where you just certainly wouldn’t be able to get anything down there much larger than 80 gallons.

Okay. Just to quickly point out the internal coil of the double wall exchanger, you see the thin copper, although it’s a shorter coil, the thin copper gives it that extra surface area so that the heat exchange capacity is very similar to the longer straight copper coil in the StorMaxx-Ptec. The double walled exchanger tank is much heavier. It’s got a hydrastone lining, so it does make it a nice dense tank, but once it gets down to the basement, it should be functional for 20 years.

Okay. Well folks, I just wanted to quickly go over all the components of our HelioMaxx kits. They come in 3 different sizes.
I try to be as prompt as possible, I started at 12:00, and it’s certainly 12:30, so I would like to thank you for your attention. I will be sticking online for a few minutes if anyone has any questions, I’m glad to answer them. Formally I’m going to have to stop the recording so that those of you– other clients that like to view this in the future can see it. Once again, thank you very much, and hopefully we’ll see you next week when we talk about various mounting strategies for solar thermal systems.

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