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Old 03-01-10, 03:52 PM   #21
bennelson
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Here is the video of the work we did fixing up the panel.


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Old 03-01-10, 08:52 PM   #22
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I wonder how well those little mirror clips are going to hold your glass in place?

Perhaps a milling machine could be used to custom make some aluminum
hold-downs out of bar stock? Just mill a notch for the glass alone one edge
drill the screw holes and saw em off.
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Old 03-01-10, 09:49 PM   #23
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No mill handy, but we did talk about that!

I think the clips should work fine. The main issue was that we were re-using the holes in the collector frame, and some of those holes were a little slopped out. We still had plenty of clips in it.

I think for a final, mass-rehab of these panels, we would use some sort of milled strip.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:25 AM   #24
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Well, by the time I got home last night, the panel was already out of direct sunlight. It was a little warm so I did turn the pump on, but it only ran for a little bit and I'm sure it didn't do much. I'm a bit hesitant to just put the whole thing on a timer to run during the day as we've never had the whole setup up to temperature yet... A leak would be very bad news!
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Old 03-02-10, 09:03 AM   #25
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If we cut that little notch in the frame of the panel, we would be able to have the entire guts of the panel out - check all the soldering joints, and pressure test it. After that, we would put the whole thing back in the frame, stick those custom clips on, add the glass, and mount up the panel.

That would make me feel a whole lot more confident about our soldering!
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Old 03-02-10, 11:31 AM   #26
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Default The Bleeding air!



When installing my system, I didn't feel the need to install a big float type bleeder.
(The bleeder goes on the roof at the highest point in the plumbing, where an air pocket might form).

Instead I used the cheap and durable type.. That might last forever.
Instead of a few years. A unit that was easy to cover with installation.



After the glycol fill, I used a 2-way to tell my wife in the basement to turn on the pump,
while I was on the roof using a screw driver to bleed the air out.
After a while, the air was all gone and the pressure was good.
After a few years, I climbed up and just cracked the screw a tad and got no hiss, but pure glycol mix..

I was glad that I didn't use the float type. I changed about 4 of those on my
boiler, before installing a manual bleeder with a copper hose.
(Ice maker kit screwed right in).
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Old 03-06-10, 10:21 AM   #27
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It's Saturday! Time to be at home instead of at work all week, away from the Solar Panel.

Tim just told me that he is running the circulating pump on the panel right now. It's sunny and about 37 degrees F. outside.

We'll check the temperature gauge on it later today and see how much heat we can make with this free panel!
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Old 03-06-10, 07:52 PM   #28
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I know Ben has been waiting for this all day, so here goes.

As he mentioned, I plugged it in early this morning as soon as the sun started hitting it. Something to note, I keep my house at 60F during the night and 69 during the day. So, some of the initial heating probably came from the house as well as the panel. But, to keep this all pretty short, I made up a nice graph.




Anyway, the panel didn't heat up the tank nearly as much as I had hoped. But, I did get a good look at it when I did the measurements around noon time. Having it in the window really limits the amount of sunlight hitting the panel. I'd estimate at best, only 1/2 to 2/3rds of the panel is being hit by direct sunlight. This is a severe limitation. Also, I noticed that the mirror hangers are not sealing the glass to the case, so I'm sure there is a fair amount of heat loss there.

As Ben mentioned, it was quite sunny today, as good as can be expected for this time of year IMO. Once we get one of these in the open getting full sun and sealing up the glass I'm sure we'll see much better performance.


Raw data:
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Old 03-07-10, 09:48 AM   #29
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Well, I WAS hoping to see higher temperatures than that as well.

I did a test last summer in my back yard, using the same barrel and pump (pump was at 12V flow rate, I had to cycle it on and off manually) but a larger panel.

That panel was 40 square feet, so basically double what's in Tim's window.
The 40ft panel heated up water rather quickly. I suppose that we should expect a panel half as big, getting half as much sunlight, to only make one quarter as much heat!
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Old 03-07-10, 09:51 AM   #30
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I did just check the tank temperature this morning at about 8:00 and it was still 69F. Not bad for sitting overnight in a 60F room.

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