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Old 10-22-13, 11:39 AM   #7
Lurking Renovator
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NS, Canada
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts

Thanks Daox, I'll be posting in bits as I have time. It has been certainly the same for me, slow progress, step by step. These systems are more work then they first appear. I'm still not quite finished.

Although the panels were in reasonable shape, the demo crew had unfortunately cut the header pipes flush with the side of the panel frame. In order to make any connections I had to install couplings to all 4 corners. This involved drilling the rivets off the back side, and flipping the insulation up to allow access to clean up each header end. I soldering the new couplings on and re-riveted the cover back on. It was an annoying and tedious job.

Mounting the panels was the fun part since I could finally see some tangible progress. I riveted pieces of aluminum angle to the sides and screwed those down into the cross-members of the structure. I made 2 banks of 6 panels each. They both have slight slopes back to the supply line. The banks are plumbed with a parallel-reverse-return configuration to help with balanced flow. I used 1 PEX for the main supply and return, but 1 copper to connect the 2 banks since PEX has quite a bit different larger thermal expansion coefficient.

After I got one bank on and soldered up, I sent a bit of water through with the hose. Since the panels had been sitting in the sun for a while, steam was the result!

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