homemade solar pannel versus falco

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frenchie 09

homemade solar pannel versus falco

Postby frenchie 09 » Thu 02 Sep, 2010 19:36

Hi there,

I am new to this forum, I am a french canadian from Quebec city area, and I just finished my pool project, and I have a question about solar pannel. A friend of mine gave me a falco solar bear pannel, of course it had leaks, I repaired them with a kind of water seal mastic, but did'nt last long. On top of this, I hate to think I will have to install it and uninstall it (for the winter) cause I've been told if I don't store it in my basement, where it won't freeze, then it will rupture because of freezing. Here's my question:

in order to avoid uninstall it , does the homemade panel made with black tubing would be a better option for me, than using my actual falco pannel, which I'll have to store it for winter ?

I belive with a home made pannel, I could left it on my roof all year round. I would only have to blow compress air in the system in order to empty the pipes, and that all I would have to do !
Also what is the performance of a homemade pannel versus my falco pannel ?

thank you !


chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

homemade solar pannel versus falco

Postby chem geek » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 01:58

You don't have to store your FAFCO panel, you just have to make sure it is fully drained of water so blowing it out if carefully down is sufficient. The plastic will do fine in the winter -- the only freeze problem would be if there were water in the panels. The FAFCO have extruded tubes that are very close together and are very efficient (around 80%) and it is doubtful that you would be able to achieve that on your own.
frenchie 09

homemade solar pannel versus falco

Postby frenchie 09 » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 05:38

Thank you for the reply chem geek !
I am surprise and happy to hear that, cause I phoned Falco, and although my english is not 100% I swear I remember they told me I need to store inside, where it won't be freezing. But if your right, then I would keep my pannel for sure.

Another question: with a 1.5 pump can I add a 2nd pannel ?? (falco solar bear 20' x 4') I mean witoht risk of damaging the pump.

thanks again,
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

homemade solar pannel versus falco

Postby chem geek » Fri 03 Sep, 2010 23:05

You should probably call FAFCO again for clarification. I'd hate to steer you wrong. Maybe they make a kind of panel whose plastic cannot handle freezing temperatures, but I know for my FAFCO panels they just have to be unplugged and drained, but they stay on the roof. Be sure to tell them you will carefully drain them and blow them out with air as well.
James Watson

homemade solar pannel versus falco

Postby James Watson » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 01:03

Since it is very difficult to get all of the water out when using compressed air, you should add some RV/Marine Antifreeze into the line before clearing with air. The antifreeze will help ensure that any water that is trapped won't freeze.
frenchie 09

homemade solar pannel versus falco

Postby frenchie 09 » Sat 04 Sep, 2010 07:20

Thank you all for your answers, I think you convinced me to let it there on the roof. They (fafco) may have warn me to store it for warranty purpose ??? Now I will have to repair a few lines in the panel.

what about the use of a 2nd panel ? do you think with a 1.5 hp pump, it might damage my pump ??

oh, I like the idea of antifreeze in the panel, sound logical.

thanks

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