Over the last several weeks Sundance Power Systems ( www.sundancepower.com ) has been installing our solar hot water & home heat system. It has been very exciting watching the process - sort of like watching a science project take form.
This is the north side of our driveway - it gets the most sun during the day and that makes it ideal for solar panels. Harry, from Sundance came out the do a more exact layout, following the placement Adam originally selected. After Harry was done, Grey and his crew did the installation.
Sundance brought lots of interesting looking things for the installation process.
This is the gas boiler. It will be the back up heating source if the sun doesn't shine.
These 2 120 gal tanks hold the heated water and excess hot water.
During the summer, excess hot water will be "dumped" into the tubes in the basement floor but without creating an overheated basement.
This is the VersaCor Radiant Floor Distribution Panel. It distributes heated water through out our floors - giving us an evenly heated spaces on cold days.
More stuff that Sundance brought to the house for the installation. It was interesting finding out where all the stuff was used.
Grey, Jason and Larry work on digging holes for the post for the solar panel frame and the supply lines to the house.
Grey worked the auger but because of the slopes in the property they finish up by hand digging.
Grey and Larry connected the circulation lines through the foundation, right under the utility room door deck and into the mechanical room in the basement.
One of these lines carries a water/glycol solution to the solar panels, it is heated and then returns in the other line. After it returns, it enters one of the two tanks in the mechanical room and passes through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger transfers heat into the water in the tank (water pumped from our well). This becomes our hot water for the house (showers, laundry, my soaking tub, etc ). Somehow the water for the Radiant Floor Heating is heated as well but we aren't exactly sure how that happens. As soon as it is explained to us we will let you know.
By the way, our well water passed inspection but we decided to add a sediment filter.
This is where the tubes will attach to the solar panels. These tubes travel about 30" below the surface of the ground. Copper tubing carries the fluid in a "closed" system from the house to the solar panels and back again. The copper tubes are insulated and then covered with 4" flexible tubing.
The VersaCor Panel is the control center for circulating the radiant floor heat. It will look very different once all the tubes are connected. Grey said we would receive a manual on how it works.
I'd explain to you what Grey is doing but I can't remember. I'm positive I asked and I'm sure he gave me a very clear and detailed explanation, he always did, no matter how many questions I asked.
The solar panel structure starts to take shape.
The two tanks are connected.
The solar panels start to go up. They sit at about a 45 -50 degree angle. The best time to catch the sun is between 10am and 2pm. (when you aren't supposed to be out side sun bathing).
All 5 panels are installed.
Not much is left to finish the installation.