SunMaxx Product Overview 8.23.2010



Date: 08/23/2010

Ok, well good morning folks. This is our 10th edition of the SunMaxx Solar webinar series. I’d like to start on time and I know people will join as we go along here. So today’s webinar is going to be on product. The various SunMaxx brands that we have established, and some of the details surrounding those, and I would just like to remind everyone that you can ask questions in the chat box.

Ok, so, over the last couple of years, SunMaxx has developed a brand and within the brand we have developed different associated icons for all of our components, so if you look at this flow chart, it just, it’s going to layout the guidelines- the format for our discussion today. It starts with our collectors. Okay, we have two different styles as you know the evacuated tube and the flat plate. The flat plate collectors we have branded as TitanPower, so SunMaxx TitanPower, and then the evacuated tube collectors have been branded ThermoPower. So those are the two main divisions, each of which can be designed and integrated into systems that include the rest of the components. Going counter clockwise, you see ConnectMaxx. ConnectMaxx is our system of option hardware, they can be designed for single collectors or as in the most recent job at Harvard, the entire mounting system was pre-fabricated– pre-engineered/pre-fab, and installed very easily on the roofs of Harvard. This you know we have a newly commissioned 150 TitanPower Plus collector system on Harvard.

Okay, another brand is StorMaxx. StorMaxx is our line of tanks both pressurized and non-pressurized. And IntelliMaxx. IntelliMaxx are the controllers, and the associated components, flow meters, and BTU meters. And then line set, we have branded as FlowMaxx, and so the FlowMaxx line set includes 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, 1 inch, flexible stainless steel. And then our pump stations that tie everything together we refer to as our UniMaxx. Now these names are going to be the precursor to the sku. So, for instance if you are looking for a vacuum heat pipe, it will be thermal power vhp30, or pump station, it would be UniMaxx 3/4 inch line set would be FlowMaxx 3/4, okay, and lastly we have a line of PV panels that we’re referring to as GridMaxx. Now just to let you know our GridMaxx panels are among the highest performers, especially after 30 years, I believe it’s still 80% after 30 years.

Okay, so this is our branding structure. And then in the center of it all, the heart of our company is our training. We feel very strongly– we believe the power of education, and hence the name EduPower. So SunMaxx EduPower –thanks Carl–, SunMaxx EduPower is our branding for our training. Now we train not only installers and dealers, but we also do homeowner training, we do distributor training, training for engineers, training for architects, training for sales reps, training for designers and training for trainers. So we feel that in order for us to be– have a sustainable business model, our systems need to be designed and installed properly. And the number one thing that we can do is train them. Everything we know, we want to be able to convey to our dealers and installers immediately, so we have best practices, and we have all of our product updates, and everything that we know, you know. And we do that through our training program. Webinar series is one example of how SunMaxx is dedicated to increasing public awareness.

Okay, let’s get on with things. So, what I have in mind here is to go over all the different products and some of the things that you may or may not remember. A couple of the selling features and the installing features, some key points for installation. The TitanPower flat plates are our latest– latest and greatest I suppose. They’ve caught on really quick. They are a high performer, they’re small, very manageable, with only 21 square foot absorber. Another thing that I like about them is the compression fittings. On the right hand side you see a female. 2 – 1/4 inch females, and on the right hand side of the collector are the male connections. So it allows you to mount one collector right next to another with only about an inch and a half in between. The tinox absorber used in the TitanPower Plus is welded ultra-sonically to the risers. This gives a clear linear formation which makes it– increases its aesthetic appeal. Internally the collectors piped in reverse return. So you don’t need any additional piping between the collectors at all. We can put 10 of these in series, okay, so for commercial jobs, it becomes very appealing to be able to mount one collector right after another without any external piping whatsoever. Each collector is usually– gets about 1/2 a gallon per minute. More specifically, it’s about .022 gallons per minute per square ft of collector. And the collector is 21 square ft. Also it’s one square meter by 2 square meter, so it makes it very easy for sizing systems when we base them on square meters. One of these high performing flat plates can produce about 40 to 60 gallons of hot water per day depending on, obviously, your location. Another thing I like about it which you can sort of see here in this picture is the very thin profile. The glass covers about 97% of the entire surface, so there is no lip or edge on the collector itself. And there is a very high tech ventilation system which prevents any calcium buildup from the inside of the collector. We’ll find, even though this is a relatively new collector to the market, I’m certain that we’ll see over the next year or two that this rises to the top, based on some of the features, and not only on performance.

Okay, with your TitanPower Plus collectors, you’re gonna receive a universal connection set. Now this connection set allows you to pipe in a very slick format– or in a very nice way, it looks highly professional. But more importantly, these connection sets come with ports for your sensor. It comes with a manual air vent. And they come with plugs and caps when, obviously, a plug for the female side and a cap for the male side. It allows you to mount your quick connect from your line set directly to the connection set so there is no for– no need whatsoever for sweating. And just to remind you that if I have 10 collectors in series, I only need one connection set, because the collectors will mount to one another, okay. So I use one connection set for one collector, or I use one connection set for 10 collectors. You need one connection set for the number of rows that you have, okay. Just to show a little bit– a closeup. This connection set comes with a cap and a plug and it screws right to the male side, and the opposite is true for the female. This one mounts to the female side, and you see this dry well port that screws in, this allows the sensor to be embedded into the manifold without increasing any potential loss or degradation of the sensor because it’s not bathed in the fluid.

Okay, the mounting hardware that’s associated with our collectors is universal, okay. We have the hangar bolts with the clips. A couple of different style of mounting hardware. In fact we are modifying it slightly to make our mounting hardware truly universal for both our vacuum heat pipes and our TitanPowers. But the flat plate itself is frameless in that it doesn’t require additional support so this T profile you see, there is one at the top and one at the bottom that is stabilized with these bolts that bolt directly to the collector. That makes for the installation very easy.
Okay, our ThermoPower, we have two styles, the vacuum heat pipe and vacuum direct flow. VHP will be the 3 letter sequence that’s used to describe the vacuum heat pipe collectors. This one on the roof is a vacuum heat pipe and it has leading SRCC performance per dollar. Most of you are familiar with our SunMaxx 20, SunMaxx 25, SunMaxx 30, these are now referred to as ThermoPower, VHP ThermoPower, and VDF, that’s the vacuum direct flow. Vacuum direct flow is used for when we have a façade mount, when we want to mount it on the façade so you increase your winter time production and decrease your production in the summer. These façade mounts for heat pipe–sorry for vacuum tubes can only be used with a direct flow. Remember the heat pipe requires an angle. We have to mount our heat pipes at 15 to 75 degrees and the U-pipes or the direct flow can be mounted at any angle whatsoever. So in this photo you see both the heat pipe and the direct flow. The direct flow is not SRCC certified however, so it’s very important to make that clear expectation upfront. So your savings comes on the front end rather than on the backend, because the direct flow produces more BTU’s per dollar, than the heat pipe does, given its existing low price for the direct flow.

Okay, a couple things I want to point out that this PowerPoint is available to your at and go into the archives section. You have the PDF’s of all these PowerPoint that you can use as a reference. So although I may go fast, please remember this is all available to you in PDF form at
So the ThermoPower vacuum heat pipe has a large coated condenser, its nickel coated and– [Carl the name changed only, everything else is the same, we have just gone with ThermoPower to describe our vacuum heat pipes]. The manifold has a flow rate of 3/4 inch which means we can get about 7 gallons a minute through one of the manifolds. 7 gallons a minute however, means that we can only put 210 tubes in series, okay. Remember the flow rate is dependent on the number of tubes and for example the ThermoPower VHP has a flow rate of .028 gallons per minute per tube. So when we average that out, we try to keep our velocity less than 5 1/2 feet per second. It tells us that we can basically put about 210 tubes in series. Now be very cautious, there are a lot of other considerations that need to be made, but as a general rule of thumb, 210 tubes can be the maximum that we are gonna put in series, okay.

Okay, just to break down the vacuum heat pipe again, you have your twin tube, which is the double walled glass tube with a selective coating on the inside, the heat transfer fin which is aluminum, as that aluminum heats up it increases the surface area contact of the glass, it also squeezes the heat pipe which its surrounding, and the heat pipe remember has a vacuum that causes a low boiling point in this secret solution inside the heat pipe that I can’t tell you about — water. And as the water boils, it rises up into the condenser valve and transferred into the dry fit of the manifold. A couple of things that I wanted to remind everybody, the gasket– when you install these heat pipe–the gasket needs to be inserted prior to putting the glass tube in. And once you have the glass tube in the bottom, then you’re gonna put this high temperature silicon grease around the nickel coating. And if you do this as the picture shows, it creates a nice even spread. Just to remind you, some guys are forgetting to that even though it says it.

Now our StorMaxx– our tanks are referred to as StorMaxx, okay. So we have our TitanPower, we have our ThermoPower, and our storage tanks are referred to as StorMaxx. We have 3 options really here. We have two pressurized, which are the StorMaxx DW, and the StorMaxx-Ptec, okay. Those are both pressurized tanks. Our StorMaxx MP is our non-pressure series. I’ll talk more about that in just a moment. So with the StorMaxx DW, DW stands for double walled, okay, there are many situations across the country where double walled heat exchangers are required, and if that’s the case our StorMaxx DW is gonna suit that need. The Ptec is our latest tank and it’s as highly, highly well designed tank that we’ve manufactured in Germany that has an enamel coating, and a couple of other features that I’ll talk about in just one second. Okay, now back to the StorMaxx pressurized DW. This is a– has a Hydrastone lining on the inside of the tank. Now what this does is it prevents, and it really prolongs corrosion of the tank itself. It allows– it’s porous, but it doesn’t allow for the direct exposure of oxygen to the steel, okay. And obviously, oxygen is the root of all corrosion problems, so by eliminating that with a Hydrastone, you prolong the life of the tank. It does mean that the tank is considerably more expensive. StorMaxx DW, an 80 gallon tank might retail for, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1600 – 1700 dollars. But what your gonna get is two removable double walled heat coils, okay. Those double walled heat exchangers required for OG300 systems and it’s got a pretty high output. 90,000 BTUs an hour is an extremely high output for a copper coil– a submerged copper coil. Another feature is that it’s removable, so if the coil needs to be serviced or replaced, it can very easily removed, and additionally, there’s an existing 5000 watt heating element. So this StorMaxx DW becomes– although it’s slightly more expensive up front– it becomes a stand alone, in that it has a heating element at 5000 watts, should cover everything you need. It also has a removable heating coil, and it’s quite heavy. So once it gets down in the basement, you probably won’t need to or want to remove that for quite some time. And additionally, it’s made in the US.

Okay, our PTEC tank– I really like this new PTEC tank because it’s got a couple– it’s got dual protection– triple protection against corrosion, first of which is the enamel coating. The enamel coating is baked on and it’s in accordance with DIN4753 part 6. It also has two coils– two steel coils the tank. The bottom coil is used for a solar loop, top coil is used for a heating loop or a recirculation loop. It also has one inch ports, now this is good especially when you’re talking about light commercial. So one inch port, it’s gonna allow you for a good cold water flow of 12-15 gallons a minute, which means car washes, laundry mats, things like that, the StorMaxx PTEC is a perfect solution.
Another component– or a feature of the PTEC tanks is the 4 inch port on the back that allows you to clean these tanks out. I know for a fact that hotels perform tank maintenance often, and they can really extend the life of their tank by draining it out, by cleaning the debris from the bottom, and that debris can be anything from manganese or bits and pieces of calcium– some calcium carbonate– but that 4 inch port on the bottom allows you to clean that out completely. It also has a nice beefy anode coming down right from the top. It’s a very thick anode, and it’s gonna prevent corrosion. The life expentancy of these tanks is equal to the life expectancy of the whole system . This will not be a limiting factor for you. A good 20 years you should expect out of this system . There is not a heating element included, however there is an inch and half port that you can add a heating element, okay. So for– I believe these PTEC tanks are less than 1000 dollars, 80 gallons. They come in 65, 80, 105 and 130, with larger sizes to be offered soon. It’s a very good solution for heating system and Combi system tie ins.

Okay, with the non-pressure tanks, one of the benefits of this is that you can take it down to different spaces where you wouldn’t normally be able to fit a 200 or 300 or 400 gallon storage tank. It’s fully collapsible and it’s easily moved by two people. And once it’s in place, somebody literally gets inside the tank and forces the sides out until it fits into a pre-cut bottom to represent the necessary dimensions. Now each of these tanks is customizable so depending on your situation and you’ve worked with your sales rep, we will design this tank for you to suit your needs. The different design issues are open port vs. closed ports, different number of coils, the length of the coils the diameter of the coils, the proper flow rate, the level inside the tank that you want to extract the heat from. So there is different considerations that we can make for these things. And if it’s installed properly you should see a good 20 to 30 years out of it because there’s– internally there’s nothing that’s gonna corrode. Having non-pressure– anything that’s relieved of pressure always have a longer life expectancy. The limiting factor here would be temperature. So you’ve gotta be sure to begin taking heat out of the tank once we approach– it’s really 180, but you want to probably start removing heat as soon as you get around 170, you want to begin taking heat out. So these are all custom built and a really good solution, especially for larger systems– I have a couple of tanks in place that are about 4000 gallons and they serve as a pre-heat to a hotel with 65 gallons a minute requirement. So we can do just about anything that you need to do with these StorMaxx non-pressure tanks.

[Carl, the lining is EPDM, so that will theoretically begin to melt at those higher temperatures. And so the manufacturer recommends the temperature under the boiling point, or melting point, obviously of that rubber, and we recommend a temperature less than the recommended temperature by the manufacturer which is less than the melting point of the EPDM. So we recommend that you begin to dump heat off at 165, certainly by 175.]

Okay, our StorMaxx non-pressure exchangers, we use copper coil– I’m not going to go too much detail for the sake of time, but for the solar domestic water loops, we have 60, 90, and 120 foot coils. And typically size up the solar and domestic hot water loop based on the number of BTU’s that it can exchange. For example, six TitanPowers has an absorber of 126 square feet. Now I would typically decide to go with 1 foot of coil per 1 foot of collector, but to be specific, we need 105 feet of coil. So I’m always inclined to round up when it comes to heat exchangers, so for a 105 foot requirement, I’m gonna recommend a 120 foot, and same is true for heating loops, you can see it here on the right hand side of this graph or this slide. If you have any questions, please do email me and I can go over some of the things specifically, or your sales rep is trained to be able to answer any questions regarding heat exchangers. Now there are pump stations, as I mentioned, we referred to our pump stations as UniMaxx, the UniMaxx-Plus and the UniMaxx-PlusB. Basically the same components, the UniMaxx-Plus however has our BS plus controller which has two relays. The UniMaxx-PlusB does not have a controller. They are all brass components, PAW is the manufacturer of the components. The UniMaxx-Plus has an air separator, temperature gauges, port for the expansion tank, relief valve is set at 87. There is a well designed fill station that directly connects to our fill station, a flow meter for direct assessment of flow, and ports for the supply and return.

Again, for the sake of time, I will go relatively quick, but you are more than welcome to email me if you have any further questions.
And we have two pumps with our pump stations, the Wilo and the Grundfos both of which have different pump curves. I just want to point out that we do consider your headloss very specifically when we make our recommendations as to what size pump you’re going to use. So before we just throw out a system of pre-packaged kit, it is very important for us to understand what your flow rate requirement is and what your pressure drop will be. The UniMaxx-PlusB is a simpler version of the UniMaxx-Plus, as well as it does not have a controller. So for those of you who need a pump station without a controller, you’ll probably be better off going with the UniMaxx-PlusB, and you can see the pump performance here on the little chart. All connections are 3/4 inch NPT, and it uses a 6 gallon tank for the expansion vessel.
Now the IntelliMaxx is our brand for controllers. Generally we offer two different brands, one is the DHW Plus, and the other is the Combi-Plus. We do have some variations of these two controllers, but for the most part, you order IntelliMaxx controller, our designers will choose from one of these two, the DHW Plus, or the Combi-Plus. The DHW Plus is the basic controller, it has two relays, a thermostat function which allows it to operate at a set temperature, rather than at a differential, so to clarify, it has differential function, obviously, but in addition to the differential function it has thermostat function. And this is nice because you can set a heat dump at 165. So once the temperature of S2 reaches 165, the contacts in that relay will close, and it’s not different on the differential, rather than a thermostat function. Okay, it can accept up to four PT1000 sensors. With your controller you’ll get a black sensor and a grey sensor. Okay, the black sensor is always used for the — for the solar loop, because it’s heat resistant. You can choose from 10 different sensors — 10 different systems with this controller and it also allows you to attach the Vbus. The Combi-Plus now has 12 sensor inputs. So rather than having 2 relays, like the DHW B Plus, this one has 9 relays. 9 relays give you a tremendous amount of options. So I believe there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-32 different systems that can be programmed using the IntelliMaxx Combi-Plus. Now we have shopped around and we’ve looked at the different functionality of different controllers and we feel very strongly that this Combi-Plus controller is the most versatile that we can offer in trying to standardize things as much as possible. The controller accessories– the IntelliMaxx-Ezlog, the IntelliMaxx-Flow and the EZConnect, these are things that are used to monitor your system, so if you’d like to monitor performance then you are going to need the IntelliMaxx Flow, this sends an analog signal to the Ezlog which then is converted into BTUs because if we know the flow rate and we know the temperature across the exchanger then we can very easily determine the BTU production. So the Ezlog will allow you to dump into a computer either using a wireless modem or using a cable plugged directly into the hard drive, and that way you can access the data over long periods of time to study performance. It’s very good marketing, for case study analysis. We have many installers that will install these into their clients systems for an added cost of maybe 400 dollars. It allows them to monitor systems and use those monitoring devices for marketing.

Our FlowMaxx line set, like I mentioned before, comes in 5/8, 3/4, and 1 inch diameter. They come in rolls of 35, 50, and 80 foot, and when you look at the price of a substitute, let’s say [] copper, with your closed cell alter temp foam, with the thermostat wire already included, and then the labor involved, it really makes sense to go with a flexible line set. For one thing the labor involved is minimum, you could have an 80 foot run with only 2 fittings and go– you don’t have to– especially when you are going through crawl spaces, or attic spaces, or chase ways, you can run this right down. Now you also want to look at the aesthetics, you know, if you’ve got along run where you’re really looking for a straight line, well maybe that’s an opportunity to go with just some straight copper and you can very easily tie copper into this and then go from this back into copper. So you might look at a combination approach. In my mind, the flexible stainless steel is most beneficial for places where you need to flex. So it is a good product and it’s at a great price, so if you looking to increase your efficiency, and increase your revenue, this might be an opportunity for you to do that. Just to show you real quick how we connect our fittings, all we need to do is use a standard pipe cutter, put the nut in place, and then the C clamp – clamps in place, we bring the nut up and then we tighten it using a– two pipe wrenches. Tighten that plug down into the nut that you seated on to the stainless steel first, and what that’s gonna do is take that aluminum plate that you put in place and create a flange. And that used in conjunction with the graphite washer will never leak, and in fact the more torque you put on this, the tighter the seal. There is a limit, but you really– you won’t be able to put much more torque than what’s required anyway. We’ve installed lots of these systems with using nothing but flexible stainless steel and our quick connects and no leaks right off the bat. I highly recommend trying these out.

Now our fill station is an accessory product that we offer. It has a half horse power pump, and it’s really gonna increase your efficiency of your installations. The added cost up front is gonna pay for itself the first couple of jobs, easily. It holds 8 gallons of glycol and water mixture, it can pressurize up to– I believe it can pressurize up to 70-75psi, and it’s just a cleaner job. You take your hoses, hook it up to the filling station that you can see on this diagram, and then flick the switch, it does it for you. It’s got a filter; that’s one of the nice befits about this is, there’s a little filter down at the bottom that allows you to basically fill your system up first time without having to purge it. A lot of guys will fill their system up and then purge it to get any of the debris out, any flux or stuff from soldering or just dust in the piping, you don’t really want to get those in your pumps and in your valves, so filtering is a good idea, regardless, and this filling station comes with a filter.
Okay, our drainback tanks– both of collectors the TitanPower and the TitanThermoPower can be used with drainbacks, and we have– there is more and more interest with drainbacks these days, so we have a nice drainback tank that comes out of– it’s made in America, and there is internal coils, or no coil, whichever you prefer, if your gonna do a retro fit or build new, that will determine. Your sales rep can help you figure out which tank is best for you, but these are as good as they can and very easily tied into our collectors. For those of you who don’t know too much about drainbacks, we will be doing a webinar on drainbacks within the next month, so please stay tuned for that webinar. Drainbacks are becoming more and more popular, and we’re going to talk about the considerations of those.

Our heat exchangers are coined XMaxx. X as in accessories, and so heat exchangers are an accessory to the SunMaxx brand and we coin them XMaxx. So generally we have 3 types: the XMaxx brazed plates the XMaxx Air to Water and the XMaxx Shell n Tube. Subsequently, their sku’s are XMaxx BP, XMaxx AW and XMaxx ST. Now for more questions and product brochures, please contact your sales rep, and you can get these right off. You can also access all these product brochures at as well.

And another heat exchanger that some of you might be familiar with is the Wand, this fits inside of an existing domestic hot water tank. As you can see, you have the supply and return from the solar loop which is inside of a double walled heat exchanger, and the hot water supply which is only reduced by about 15-20 % flow, comes up out of this port and then that connects to your shower or your hot water load. These wands are very effective at stabilizing the stratifications inside of a storage tank. They are cost effective if nobody has room for an external tank or pre-heat tank and all they want to do is tie a collector with a pump into their existing tank, this is a perfect solution, the XMaxx-Wand. It does also come with OG-300 certificate.

The heat dumps– the SunMaxx heat dumps– these are the non-pressurized heat dumps. Some of you may have seen these and noticed them as being– changed color. They have gone through a little different design. There’s also this large one on the top. This is used for more larger systems, commercial projects. And these have been coined as the SPOC – the self-pressurizing over-temperature canister. What we call them SunMaxx heat dump BB, as in Barry Butler. Okay, any questions you have on these, I’d be happy to help you out with more outside of this webinar.

And additionally we have the pool heaters, our FAFCO brand pool heaters are very easy to install. Probably the solution for anyone who is looking to heat their pool in the summer time, this is the solution for them, please ask your sales rep for more information about our pool heaters, and our various components that come with the pool heaters.

And lastly GoodMaxx. GoodMaxx is our brand of PV Panels. We have both 180 and 220 watts. Each of them come with a 10, a 12, or 30 year warranty. Additionally there is a tolerance of +5 watts that we can guarantee, and a very high efficiency rating upwards of 15% under certain conditions. And the GoodMaxx comes in 180 and 220 watts, so please ask your– additionally the Good Maxx comes with a ConnectMaxx mounting hardware that can be pre-assembled and lifted onsite pre-engineered and pre-designed, so GoodMaxx is the entire package with inverters, charge controllers, and mounting hardware.

Okay, I’ve gone over 8 minutes, I started a couple of minutes late so I don’t feel too bad, but I would like to end this formally, and that way I can keep any of our future listeners interested. Thanks again, and I hope you all have a sunny day. Looks like we’re under some severe rain here in Upstate New York and it’s likely to continue for the next couple days, so I hope you all have some sun somewhere, wherever you are. Have a great day. Take care.

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