Pool Solar problem

I live on LI, NY and had a Heliocol HC50 collectors installed last June 2010 by Sunshine Solar Technologies. It worked great heating my 12'X24' IG pool. The pool was closed in Oct. and the collectors were blown out for the winter. Upon readying for the pool opening this year (April 2011) I noticed that the collectors on the roof were damaged and chewed, rendering them unusable. Has anyone else experienced this problem? The installer hasn't gotten back to me as to his findings or a solution.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,185 admin
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    The only two issues I can see:

    First, animals? Do you have problems with squirrels, rats, etc. in your area gnawing on wires/etc. in your area? Do the tubes look like they have been chewed?

    Second, I wonder if the tubes should have been installed vertical in your area to better allow water to drain out. Horizontal runs of tubes like that would seem to be pretty difficult to drain for winter/hard freezes. Although, I would expect the material to be soft enough to manage frozen water (there was nothing in their web site I could find that discussed freezing/how to mount issues).

    Have you talked with the installer/vendor yet?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,659 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    Ouch, guess you have to use wire mesh next year.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    That's a very poor design, my solar for the pool is more like a sheet which the tubes are integrated into and another is completely flat are thicker. the ones you have no chance of lasting

    Here is an example of what I have, the ones I bought were generic off ebay in 2003 and still work fine, think about 100 bucks a 12'x4' each

    http://www.bakerlabs.com/solar/images/Solar%20Panel%20detail.JPG

    The flat ones look like this, add in 2005 for more btus, fine as well

    http://www.funpoolheating.com/FNS--Solar_Panel.jpg

    Your are totally exposed with no support, they way they snapped could be snow/ice damage or even wildlife

    BB, they are vertical, look at the shingles ...
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,185 admin
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    SG, I do believe you are correct. And I agree that small tubes exposed to weather (possible ice, snow, and small animals) seems like it is asking for problems. Notice that leaves are already stacking underneath.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    Do you think the layout of the collectors might have something to do with the damage problem? I've only seem collectors attached to 'slanted' roofs or angled. I have always had problems with the roof design with debris, etc collecting in the V. I personally think it was a poor layout and should have been angled.
    Any input would be appreciated.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    Just to give you an update.....
    The Solar installer finally contacted me after 33 days and a nudge from the BBB. They will replace, reconfigure, etc at a cost to me of $650 (originally he wanted $950). Remember this install is not even a year old and under warranty!
    What do you think? I say NO WAY!
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,356 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pool Solar problem
    summerfun wrote: »
    Just to give you an update.....
    The Solar installer finally contacted me after 33 days and a nudge from the BBB. They will replace, reconfigure, etc at a cost to me of $650 (originally he wanted $950). Remember this install is not even a year old and under warranty!
    What do you think? I say NO WAY!

    Sounds like a small claims court time.

    I looked at Helicool about 10 years ago for my pool. At that time the HOA would not allow it, and a good thing I think. One of my neighbors did install a setup and it lasted about 3 years on that roof, but I don't know the root cause for the removal, it may have been HOA related.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    Him, on reviewng your pictures, looks like an installation issue, with the V , your collectors can't drain and in a freeze will bust the little tubes in the cold weather

    Not sure who made that call ...

    New collectors will just have the same issue, you can't install in a V in a climate that goes below freezing
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Pool Solar problem

    Just to give you an update: We came to a compromise only because I wanted to get this behind me and get into the pool. I agreed to pay $500 for them to replace ALL the panels and reposition them to another part of the roof. The Northeast Distributor got involved, offered to put $ (as a good will gesture) towards the installers fee. I have since taken precautions with screening so as not to have this happen again. We are keeping our fingers crossed for next year.
    We love having the warm water especially in the afternoons/evenings when the pool is shaded. Here's to another extended pool season.
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