All of our products can be shipped via UPS!
SOLAR FOR REGULAR SHINGLE ROOFS
If you're here, you know how many sq ft your solar heater should be because you went through the sizing calculation or you talked to us (858-683 0800 in US, 778 300 1803 in Canada) or you just know you want to fill your roof. You've also measured the roof.
QUOTE FORM 1 for conventionally mounted solar systems (flow going up the roof) and QUOTE FORM 2 for sideways (side to side flow) are very user friendly online quoting systems. With a few simple entries you can generate a full parts list with all the prices. You can make changes and see the new parts list and totals immediately but before you go there you need to understand what it is you're getting quoted.
Most solar contractors will specify 4x12 polypropylene collectors. All too often however, the situation is better served with our technology as you're about to see.
Powerstrips can be any length up to 88 feet so they can be fitted to the space making better use of the available space and looking like they belong there. Getting the area we want is as important as doing it in a way that adds value to the home instead of taking it away.
Powerstrip is flexible so the fin-tubing is far less likely to be damaged compared to polypropylene grid style rigid solar panels.
Powerstrips are fully repairable. You can splice them with 1/4" OD PVC drip irrigation tubing from the local hardware store using our special adhesive. The Powerstrip rigid header pipe is a styrene blend. It is co-incidentally compatible with pvc cements. You can't do things like this with a polypropylene solar panel.
No-one will ever be able to say that Powerstrip system that is only 10 years old needs to be replaced. It'll still have a full 5 years on the warranty and the warranty is good and shipping a small part worst case is not a significant cost.
Another feature the flexibility gives us is the ability to make larger banks (longer header pipe runs. You have to realize that solar panel header pipes expand and contract with temperature. Rigid polypropylene panels are large sheets of plastic and the whole sheet has to shift under the straps as the headers move. Powerstrips however can flex so you don't need the same large spaces between sections and the incidence of failures due to shifting is minimized and if there was an issue its easily repaired. Not so with a rigid polypropylene solar panel.
One final and more subtle feature advantage with Powerstrip on regular shingle roofs is that we can secure the top row of headers and the bottom row to the roof for more extreme wind resistance and to satisfy an engineer who may be asked to approve the installation for a permit or a public works customer in the case of a commercial installation. We can do this because our material doesn't pull as hard when it contracts. This feature allows for a much more wind resistant installation. This monitored commercial solar heater for the Coronado High School is connected to the building structure directly thru the roof surface. There is a case study linked at the bottom of that page showing this detail in direct comparison to how a rigid panel competitor tried to satisfy the same engineering requirements but failed. That system remains in that condition to this day. If it wasn't in Southern California the contractor would have been sued for water damage by now.
Lastly (and this list could continue indefinitely), Powerstrips can be mounted sideways so the flow travels right to left or left to right.
This configuration reduces the price, the number of headers, the number of roof connections, improves the esthetics, and often allows even more full use of the available space. It is not recommended for steep roofs because of the installation difficulties and it is not recommended for heavy snow load areas due to the tendency for it to dam the snow (not let the snow slide off the roof as easily).
The Powerstrip System for Shingle Roofs
You have to decide between sideways configuration where the flow goes left to right or right to left or conventional orientation where the flow goes up the roof. In both case the water enters at a bottom corner and exits at the diagonally opposite top corner.
Conventional orientation- flow going up the slope of the roof
The following diagram shows how a system is strapped down conventionally- flow going up the roof. QUOTE FORM 1 is your online quote and parts list.
Powerstrips are a foot wide but the header pipes use up 13.5" each so that is the space needed for a 1 foot wide section. The strips can be as long as 88 feet.
Normally you want them at least one foot shorter than the total available length available on the roof. Length refers to the dimension you will run the fin-tubing of the Powerstrip.
You'll normally want to alternate the headers as shown above. The female to female connections are done with stubs of pvc pipe glued with pvc cement. The lengths of the pvc stubs can be varied to space around roof vents and the like. Then the male to male connections are removable and adjustable if the system ever needed to be taken down for re-roofing or for service. If a header was damaged, two headers are easily replaced. Just cut off the old and glue on the new with our special adhesive.
Watch the above video and take a look at the summary installation manual for shingle roofs.
If you know how many Powerstrips of what length you want then you're ready to do up an online quote based on the premise that your collectors are oriented conventionally so the flow goes up the slope of the roof.
SIDEWAYS orientation- flow going right to left or left to right
Sideways is a more difficult installation because we can't prefabricate the panels in advance. Its best to build it on the roof to fit the roof. This installation manual addendum provides a good overview of this technique and some of the many capabilities it affords.
The fin tubing comes in rolls that are 4 inches wide and 88 feet long. Three go on each header. Each header takes up 13.5" if the configuration is rectangular but if the headers are at an angle to the fin tubing, the fin tubing can be set up so there are no spaces between the one foot sections. Staggering a double set of headers at each end is a way to eliminate the gaps on a rectangular configuration. The best way to explain all this is with the installation manual linked above.
Please e-mail Hot Sun firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 858 683 0800 for help deciding on configuration and for help in figuring out your quote. Quote for Powerstrip solar pool heater-sideways configuration
Styrene header pipes have a male end and a female end. You can glue to them as if they are PVC. Header to header connections are usually alternated same as conventional configuration.
Fin tubing. Figuring out how many rolls of fin tubing will be needed sometimes depends on our available inventory. Often we can supply you with odd sized rolls if for example your roof is more than 44 feet side to side. You'll have 28 feet of waste if your roof is 60 feet wide.
Special adhesive: You'll need a 4 oz bottle of this for every 60 headers. It is used to glue the header to the fin-tubing.
It's usually a good idea to use a removable rubber coupling every 2 headers (alternating headers). Figure 1 removable coupling for every 2 headers. Only use these on the headers (male to male) and never on PVC pipe directly. Includes 2) all stainless steel #32 hose clamps. Beware of hose clamps where the screws aren't ss.
To automate or not to automate. That is the question. If you decide to save $485 going manual control you can always add the actuator to the value at any time later without replumbing. AUTO has more on the auto controls function and detail.
LOWER COST ALTERNATIVE COLLECTORS
Anyone can and will offer a lower price. It should matter what it is you get for that price. You can go to many pool stores or to e-bay or many online discounters and see solar in a box for far less money than could possibly be correct. A 4x20 that will raise the pool temp 10 degrees for $275 seems like quite a deal and that particular product is great value but what will it really do and how will it survive winter and what has to happen to the roof of the house to make it workable?
When it comes to a shingle roof solar heater Hot Sun has plenty of competition. This is the domain of the polypropylene grid style rigid solar panel. These have been the mainstay of the solar industry for decades. Polypropylene is a low cost high temperature plastic and when colored black it survives pretty well outdoors for decades. Its a proven fact even though polypropylene is not a good weatherable plastic. The PVC based plastics that the Powerstrip fin tubes are made of are a much better family of plastics for outdoor use. You don't see outdoor furniture window and door frames, swimming pool liners or any outdoor plastics for that matter...made of polypropylene. These are pvc derivatives. PVC is vinyl. Powerstrips are a special engineered thermoplastic primarily based on the same high temperature vinyl used in window and door frames. But that's not why Powerstrip may or may not be better in your unique situation. If there is a credible rigid panel dealer in your area installing this for you and providing service after the installation and your roof is suitable for that style collector then that is valid competition for what we are offering. Price depends on the dealer. Product features become less important than company credibility when it comes to installed systems where any collector type is suitable.
When it comes to doing it yourself, you don't get access to the good polypropylene collectors in many places. What you'll find is the 4x20 and 2x20 solar panels that come as complete kits are actually quite well made products and they are really inexpensive but they are limited in their use. Due to the fact you normally don't have more than 20' peak to gutter on your roof they are designed and configured to mount sideways. Yikes. They were originally intended to just be used temporarily next to an above ground pool but the demand was for rooftop installs so rooftop hardware was provided even though these panels do not belong on a rooftop.
Rigid sideways panels are a bad idea.
You have to get all the water out for winter otherwise they are damaged by the expansion of the water as it freezes as shown in the photo above. These low cost solar in a box solutions are not meant to be ganged together but you'll soon realize that you need more than 40 or 80 sq ft to heat your pool adequately. Typical sizing for a 10 degree bump in temperature is 50-100% of the top surface area of your pool. The cheap 4x20 is at least 3 times too small to have a chance at that 10 degree bump for an average sized pool. If you can make a cheap panel work you'll need some proper hardware to attach it to your roof. Our web store has all the hardware you'll need and we're happy to sell it to you. WEB STORE We're not happy to provide all the design and support services for a negligent supplier.
This link takes you to our web site on polypropylene collectors. Its funny how sales on those products stopped abruptly when we told people honestly and up front that if there was a leak that we couldn't cover it. They'd have to deal directly with the mfg and their chance of warranty success was limited even if it leaked from day one right out of the box and the cause was clearly a defect.
How presumptuous of us to assume you're ready to order? In fact you're not ready to order quite yet. Its really a good idea to talk to us because there is a lot of information and capability here and 99 times out of 100 there are suggestiions and recommendations we will make that will reduce your cost and improve your system. Call 858 683 0800 or e-mail email@example.com
There is one step left in the process before you know exactly what you want and that is making sure the system is going to be set up correctly so the pressure on the collectors is minimized.
If you are ready to order this you can go to our store and order "the system we discussed by e-mail". That's just a way to get your shipping and billing address and cc info. Fill in the appropriate quote form and click submit at the bottom of that form. We'll write the order up and call you or e-mail to make sure everything is clear before we process the credit card.
POOLS is a detailed explanation of pressure and how we can set solar up to avoid unnecessary excess collector pressure. The following video is also very good but don't try to become a solar engineer if you don't have to. With new laws in California and greater awareness of the fact energy costs money on the part of the pool industry we're heading back the good old days when pools pumps were never larger than 3/4HP for residential pools. If that's the case then solar is a simple tie in as figured on the quoting forms for sideways or conventional mounting.
The best way to determine the right mechancial system design (the way solar is married to your pool system) is through consultation with us. We'll either help reduce the pressure by solving pool mechanical issues (like an oversized pool pump that is costing you too much in electricity) or we'll see if there is a way to regulate the pressure to the collectors. If you're ready to go down this road please gather the information asked for at the top of the sizing page and as suggested there, fill in this form
If you click submit at the bottom of one of the quote forms and also fill in that general form we'll then be able to modify the plumbing parts list accordingly and discuss the situation with you intelligently. Meanwhile you have all the pricing and the means to make changes. You do not have to call to find out what anything costs. We can do this because nobody can compete with us in most cases and if they can, then we're happy to be in an industry rather than just a business.