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Old 02-17-11, 03:29 AM   #31
Solaris
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Default Great Post Strider

Hi Strider, I admire your persistence.

I really felt your pain when you described your ordeal with the city inspector over the double-wall heat exchanger, and the plumbing convenience stores.

If you still need to locate some good CSA flat panel collectors, I can help.

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Old 02-17-11, 02:04 PM   #32
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I'm actually trying to find a copy of the can/csa F-378 documentation if you have a copy of that I could browse would be wonderful. I have found that two clauses make the panels exempt from needing to meet that standard but I don't know what those clauses are and can't find them.
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Old 02-17-11, 02:46 PM   #33
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Default Csa f-378

Hi Strider, yes - I know the standard well, I am just completing certification of our German engineered flat plate solar collectors. Solaris is making them for BC.

I cannot send you a copy of the standard, because CSA wants to sell it for about $200 as I recall. I can answer your questions, and cite reference material in our discussion.

What is your understanding of exemptions to F-378 ? There was an option to get F-379 engineer stamped drawings, but the PE firm called Stantec. that was doing that custom drawings, stopped this year, unless the collectors have F-378.

I hope to start a new thread just about F-378 and F-379 solar collector and packaged system standards for those that want to discuss the requirements.
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Old 02-17-11, 04:40 PM   #34
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at http://www.cansia.ca/sites/default/f...mponents_0.pdf

they state that collectors must meet CSA F378-87 (with the exception of Clause 4 and Clause 6.1)

I'm wanting to know what clause 4 and 6.1 are.

Basically I'm trying to figure out if I can build my own collectors and get a permit. Right now the inspector says no but he's been wrong about almost everything else and I know he hasn't read the standard. I'm not applying for grants/rebates and I've met all of the safety requirements on the domestic side why should this standard apply to my own install?
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Old 02-17-11, 05:34 PM   #35
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Further to your questions, here are the references for discussion:

Section 4 is only about "Classifications" of different equipment configurations. The only exception in section 4 is with a hybrid that is not a solar collector under F-378.

Quote:
4.1 General
In this Standard, solar domestic hot water systems are classified according to
(a) their ability to be combined with non-solar sources of energy; and
(b) the relationship of their various components.

Section 6 is only about "Construction Requirements". There is no sense to that reference until later:

Quote:
6.1 General
All openings into tanks (except vents) shall be tightly covered and secured in place. Vents shall be screened
with corrosion-resistant material having at least 8 openings per linear centimetre.

Quote:
6.4 Collectors
6.4.1
Solar collectors shall meet the requirements of CAN/CSA-F378. The thermal performance test is not
required unless this Standard requires the results of that test.
6.4.2
Solar collector connections shall be designed to withstand the test temperature used for testing the
collector absorber according to the requirements of CAN/CSA-F378, when tested according to the
procedures in Clause 8.3 of this Standard.
Unfortunately, the bottom line is: - the inspector is looking for a CSA label on the solar collector to pass it.
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Old 02-17-11, 05:47 PM   #36
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Default Why?

Why?

Good question....

In the view of CSA there are serious safety factors involved, that they need to protect the public from.
  • One is the collector being blown off the roof.
  • Another is when water reaches stagnation and can have a steam rupture.
  • and there are more to do with potable water cross contamination.

The CSA Engineer says that without standards, manufacturers and DIY would take the lowest road possible. I agree, but do not like it.

I wish industrious people like us could make a solar collectors from copper pipe and recycled windows, and use a recycled chest freezer for thermal storage, then just drop a roll of PEX connected to the DHW tank. VIOLA - a darn good system for $500, and recycling too! Only in the boonies where inspections are not required.
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Old 02-17-11, 06:13 PM   #37
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I can see the issue about it being blown off of the roof. Highly unlikely if you're not building crap and not applicable in my ground mounted application.

I see no way of forming a steam rupture in my drainback vented non pressurized system.

I've seen the draft version of F379 so I can see that they're ultra paranoid about cross contamination. My last drawing used a TUV/UL approved vented double wall stainless steel heat exchanger. It should make anything to do with the collectors not applicable.

I can accept them deciding that a single wall pex heat exchanger isn't good enough but the rules they are forcing has driven the cost of an approved system to levels making the systems not attractive at all.
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Old 02-19-11, 11:30 AM   #38
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Not to be too cynical, but that seems like the goal of those in the whole Energy Conservation Industry. Supply the rich and naive with tax breaks. Shun real innovations for the average guy. Avoid competition through the use of your political lobby.
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Old 02-20-11, 11:28 AM   #39
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by strider3700 View Post

I see no way of forming a steam rupture in my drainback vented non pressurized system.

I've seen the draft version of F379 so I can see that they're ultra paranoid about cross contamination.

I can accept them deciding that a single wall pex heat exchanger isn't good enough but the rules they are forcing has driven the cost of an approved system to levels making the systems not attractive at all.
This hole(as in arse)obsession with HX's is silly. It's the lobby effort to confuse the polititians, which is easy, their nitwits. But it is GREAT for the industry, until no one can afford it. Can you say "Incentive"? Just a nice word for "Socialism".

I am assuming your going to use "plain water" in the collector side, that is why it is drainback, right? No pressure(static) holding tank, right?

So the cold supply side is 30psi+/-????

I won't say "NO" cross contamination can happen, but how much, for how long? Your holding tank will overflow. That could be a REAL BIG problem. Funny, do they have much concern on that?

The problem with the single wall HX in this application is "eduction". It is the the same force you have when rolling down the window in your car at speed.
The faster you go(more pressure outside), the more "eduction", or vacuum effect you have inside the car(less pressure).

A single wall HX can educt from the low pressure tank, given the right size leak/hole. But, it has to have FLOW to do this. The right flow, right hole size, etc. It is not real easy to make happen.

So, you can only have this happen when CALLING for hot water. The rest of the time your tank will be FILLING with cold water. A simple level alarm will tell you there is a problem.

That's about enough from me, it just pisses me off that the run around is so prevelent, and the knowledge/experience/reality seems lost to politics.

PS-- Would anyone have info on the failure rate of PEX, copper, etc. tubing as new, and as used. Like % per foot or ???? As compared to manufactured HX's, for example.
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Old 02-20-11, 11:48 AM   #40
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yep you're entirely correct. At this point I'm over the HX issue. Someone is going to be able to find 1 example of how someone could be hurt from it and have the single wall banned.

Right now I'm mad about the need for certified collectors. These are by far the easiest parts of the systems to do safely and well as home brew. but they are flat out not allowed anywhere in the country.

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