Water not flowing to solar roof panels

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Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby mbdunson » Fri 27 May, 2011 18:38

I'm trying to get my Vortex Solar Panels to work.

Here's the basic installation information:

18' x 52" above ground pool
Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump (1HP)
Hayward S166T Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter

3 - 4x12 Vortex Solar Panels
approximately 200' of 2" PVC round trip from filter/pump to panels and back to the pool
Rise to roof from ground is around 12'
There is a check valve just before the three way control valve connected via a union and another check valve on the return from the roof, also connected via a union.

When I switch the three way control valve to route water to the roof panels, the pump bogs down and water does not flow. If I switch the three way valve to route water back to the pool, everything returns to normal (pump does just fine, water flows to the chlorinator and back to the pool with normal pressure.)

If I disconnect the second check valve to see if there is any water flowing, I get no water flow.

What am I doing wrong here? I'd really like to take advantage of the hot sun this weekend in Ohio to get my pool above 70 degrees! :D


Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby Guest » Sat 28 May, 2011 05:10

Did this setup work previously? It seems like an awful lot of water for a 1HP pump to have to move.

Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby mbdunson » Sat 28 May, 2011 05:58

This is initial installation.

After some additional tinkering, here's some more information:

When I have the valve partially open (some water flow to the solar panels, some diverted back to the pool):
I checked to see if there is water to the bottom right corner of the solar panels (inlet) - yes.
I checked to see if there is water flowing out of the top left corner of the solar panels (outlet) - yes.
I disconnected the union at the return check valve to see if there is water flowing to this point - yes.

So, it appears that I do have flow all the way through the system; however, the problem occurs when I open the valve all the way: flow stops and the pool pump bogs down and I have to shut it down. I have tried to very gradually open the valve to see if that would work...no so much!

Why would it work in a low flow rate condition, but not a high flow rate condition? All of the PVC connecting the pump to the solar panels is 2" as per manufacturer specification.

Is this a priming issue? If it were an undersized pump, would it pump any water at all? Or would an undersized pump only face issues when the quantity of water increased past the point it is able to handle (such as when I open the valve past a certain point?)
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Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby czechmate » Sun 29 May, 2011 09:44

Find out from a lincensed plumber or manufacturer of your pump the maximum rise of your pump.
Most pool pumps are not built and not reccomended to completely drain a 9 feet deep pool.
You most likely straining your motors windings.
It is the resistance of the rise that is working as a brake on the rotor.You asking the impeller to do what it was not designed for.
Look in the designs of auxiliary submersible pumps used for drainig pools.

Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby Peterp » Sun 29 May, 2011 22:05

You will need an air release valve on the roof, at the end of all your solar panels system. This is a special valve that is really needed, otherwise your pump wont be able to pump any water up at all. Usually this air release valve is included in the solar panels cost of the whole kit you buy, but if not, you might have to buy it from a pool shop, or check out online stores, because they can cost about 50 bucks. But sounds like this is your problem and can be solved fast and simply.
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Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby Pool Clown » Thu 25 Aug, 2011 09:00

Did this system used to work? Or is it a new system?
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Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby smithbell81 » Mon 24 Oct, 2011 23:43

Hey, guys good post here. I was wondering if you could tell me that how much big a solar panel is required for a 750square feet, two storeys’s building. My grandfather and his family just moved in there and looking for a natural electricity producer which helps us in saving electric bills.

Water not flowing to solar roof panels

Postby John6122 » Tue 29 Nov, 2011 01:20

Hi, John I am planning to buy solar panels and installing them for domestic power. There is a huge variety of solar panel systems available. Some can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and some cost just a couple hundred, but I am not able to choose as I do not which brand is good and durable one. Please let me know some of the brand names if you are using solar panels.

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