Conversation with Bob at SunEarth on March 23, 2008

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Here's a summary:

  • the panels can be placed either portrait or landscape
  • the maximum panels in parallel on one manifold is 6 without running the risk of leaks..."never seen one with more than six panels go more than 10 years without a leak." It is do to expansion and contraction of the long manifold vs. the panel frame. So an answer is one pipe feeding two manifolds each feeding five panels.
  • Need EC (Chrome) feature which are intended for colder climates
  • There is a "1.5" version that has a 1.5" header for greater flow potential
  • Overheading / Heat dump
    • He has covered the panels...often recommends doing so
    • paint the panels with poster paint that washes off.
    • uses radiator coils with fans to dump heat
  • List price for Empire 4x10 is $1,300 ($31.7/sf) he said if you order 12 there is a price break.
  • delta T for T in - T out is 15 - 25F; it creates a step function with the tank...causing a rise up every time it goes through the loop.
  • he has seen the PV pumps work.
    • pluses: runs even in with no power (outage), sun goes up = flow goes up
    • negatives: no control
    • recommends multiple pumps and close monitoring
  • durability: panels should last 50yrs; the main thing to watch is fluid maintenance
  • Pressure: the pressure is fixed once the system is charged up...assuming a glycol system
  • Storage Tanks: Contact Bob Perkins at Morey Manufacturing in CA on xxx Valley he's been doing it for 30 yrs