Solar Thermal System Commissioning 9.20.2010

SUNMAXX SOLAR HOT WATER SOLUTIONS

SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEM COMMISSIONING

Date: 09/20/2010

Okay. Well I’d like to welcome you all to another installment of our SunMaxx solar hot water solutions webinar series. Today I’d like to talk briefly about solar thermal system commissioning for pressurized glycol systems. This is a really a much longer detailed process. But I will try to cover as much as possible within the next half an hour. Likely to go a little bit longer. I’d like to remind you if you have any questions. Please feel free to type a question in the chat box. And I will do my best to answer them accordingly.

So as we go through this I would like to point out that all of these files have been archived and you will see some links. Hyper links to some of the texts. Which means that if you want to learn more about that particular topic. You download the PDF file from solarwebinars.com. Which is going to be newly updated probably by the end of the day. So download the archive and then you’ll have those links available to you.

So the first thing I liked to discuss real quick is just the basic procedures for system commissioning. I’m going to go into a little bit more detail on all of the following mounting the collectors, setting the pipe runs, installing your storage tank, placement of the storage tank, piping of storage tank, pump station connections, mounting the pump station properly, expansion tank and then the controller. Programming the controller to do what you need it to do. Many of the controllers these days particularly the IntelliMaxx series of controllers allows a lot of flexibility in your system design. So it’s really a matter of choosing which array works best for your particular needs. Also pressurizing the system setting the line set and pressurizing that system. Flooding the system with water. Filtering it and purging it. Making sure there’s no air and no leaks. And then proper performance assessment.

I know that many people will install a system and then move onto the next. But one of the most important things that most people forget is how to educate your client or at least see for yourself how we can do a performance assessment just using the gauges and a simple calculator. Then I’ll talk about some of the operations and maintenance things that should happen over the next few years to maintain a long system life. And prevent any future failures because as you know your success in this industry is going to be referral based. So you want to pay particular attention to the details surrounding operations and maintenance.

Now safety is…There’s a few things that you’ve got to be sure of. I just highlighted a couple here for example. But just to remind you OSHA Standards must be observed and practiced. If you download the archive this will take your right to the OSHA website where those standards are in place. So this is an example when you see a light colored purple word with underlines that’s a hyperlink. All you have to do in the PDF is click on it and it will take you to the information to learn more. So the US solar code as well as OSHA states that you must wear gloves when handling non-tempered glass. So the evacuated tubes are non-tempered so therefore anytime you have those in your hand you have to have gloves on. Also harnesses are required any time your six feet off the ground. This is just an example of practices you must follow. But please look at the OSHA website for further clarification.

Now when it comes to mounting the collectors. This is really just system commissioning. We’re not going to talk about sizing and orientation. But both of these links the technical manual. The technical manual lays out in very good detail proper orientation and inclination and shading and different roofing strategies. So I strongly encourage you to download the SunMaxx technical manual linked here for both the titan power and thermal power.

Now with the flat plates for proper ventilation they really need to be mounted between thirty five and ninety degrees off of the horizon. For those of you who are in latitudes less then thirty five degrees there will be a very slight performance penalty less then five percent. If you are fifteen degrees off of that. But for good ventilation that is you want to remove all the moisture that might build up on the inside. The design of our titan powers is such that it eliminates any of that calcium build up you’ve seen on some of the other flat plate collectors. So our ventilation system works really well but they need to be mounted between thirty five and ninety. There’s such a low pressure drop between the collectors because they’re internally piped in parallel. That we can put ten of these in series. The installation time is minimal. You use compression fittings and the space that you can count on between one flat panel and the next is about an inch and a half.

Now we have two different types of mounting hardware for the titan power. You have to decide whether it’s going to be a flush mount or a tilt mount. So for example a flat roof installation at thirty five degrees will be a tilt mount hardware. So your sales rep will be sure to have all the necessary components. And it is a very, very slick mounting hardware. But you have to make it clear with your sales rep whether you’re going to do flush or tilt. I’ll go over some of the details about that a little bit later.

Thermal power again download the technical manual. These have to be mounted for performance wise between fifteen and seventy five. As some of you might remember the convection and the buoyancy of steam relies on a angle of fifteen degrees but no more than seventy five. In order for that steam to work it’s way all the way into the condenser ball. There is a significant amount of pressure drop in these evacuated tube collectors because there’s a lot of turbulence. And turbulence is good for heat exchange inside the manifold. But it limits the number that we can put in series. So two hundred and ten is the maximum number. There are always exceptions but as a good rule of thumb you don’t want to go more than two hundred ten. One for pressure drop reasons but also because you’re going to reduce your delta t between the heat transfer fluid and the manifold and thus reducing your heat exchange.

Typical space between the collectors should be about six inches. That accounts for the one inch brass nipple and the one inch brass union. Between one manifold and the next. The hardware that is included with your thermal power is fully adjustable. So whether you’re going to do flush mount or tilt mount or compound or straddle the ridge. The hardware is included. So unlike the titan power the hardware for the thermal power are included. Titan power you need to clarify with your sales rep whether you want to do flush mount or tilt mount.

Can I have a confirmation that someone can hear me? It’s coming through on my side. Now the titan power it includes a quick connect…Thanks Kevin.

The titan power includes a quick connect adapter set that is required for each array that you have in series. So for example if you order one flat plate like this. You’re going to get this kit which includes all these brass components that you see. If you order two or three or five up to ten you’re still going to get that one brass connection set. Okay so you need one brass connection set for every row that you have in series.

Now breaking down this brass connection set. You have your return side on the bottom left or the anatomical right with a plug on the top and bottom of the elbow. Your quick connect fittings the flexible stainless steel will connect right to the three quarter inch. The fittings that labeled return on the bottom left. That’s a three quarter inch mpt. A compression fit will fit right down on that. On the supply side on the top right there’s a manual air bleeder. So during system purging someone will be up there with a small wrench opening up the manual air vent. Allowing for the release and purging of air. Then there’s a sensor port that’s a dry well. So it’s a tube that the sensor will fit into which essentially creates a direct contact with the internal manifold. The heat transfer fluid will flow across that sensor port. You see a discolored fitting that screws into the sensor port. There’s a rubber washer in that. So as you tighten down that sensor port it secures it grip on the sensor cable.

Then just like the return three quarter inch mpt the supply will also connect directly to your pipe threads. So on the top left you have a plug and on the bottom right you have a cap. So the fittings are included with the collector. Just to point out and remember you need one connection set. This isn’t really a decision that you have to make your sales rep will do it for you. Just so you know you only need one of these connection sets for every row that you have in series.

All right now setting the pipe fronts. We strongly recommend if possible that you use a flexible stainless steel. It cuts down on your installation time. Its pressure and temperature ratings are equivalent to that of a type l copper. It comes pre-insulated with your sensor wire included. So you want to be sure one of the most important things that you can do in your system design is that the return side. The side that’s going back to the collectors is the longest side. The supply side should be the shorter side. As soon as you collect and gather the Btu’s from your collectors you want them in your tank as quickly as possible. So that’s a very simple a single decision design that you have to make. The return side is the one that’s going to extend the furtherest on the roof. Now with the flexible stuff you can manipulate the angle and the direction.

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