Menu

Solar Hot Water Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation:
For the installation of new solar hot water systems,  please start off the process by contacting Colin, our service manager, to discuss your goals:

Some things to consider:
– Will the solar system heat domestic hot water?
–  Will it be used for space heating?
–  Solar hot water panels are either flat-plate collectors or evacuated tube collectors.  Each approach has benefits and drawbacks.  We can help you determine the best approach for your project.
– What is the expected domestic hot water load?
–  Will the solar system be used year-round?  This has a large impact on the design of the solar system.
–  Solar hot water systems are either glycol based or drainback.  Drainback systems must be mounted so the water inside them can be drained back to a storage tank when the Sun is not shining. – – This is means that if no solar hot water is needed, the system can be “turned off”  by draining the solar collectors on the roof.   They can also be drained to prevent freezing at night.
–  Glycol systems can be mounted just about anywhere because they are not drained.  They won’t freeze at night because of the glycol antifreeze.  But there is no way to “turn off” the collectors so a means of rejecting the unwanted solar heat must be installed in the solar system.
– There are at least three solar systems on the Vineyard that we know of that are over twenty years old and still working well.  Solar hot water systems can be very reliable and efficient.

Service:
Please contact Colin, our service manager, for scheduling service for your solar hot water system.   Once he determines the nature of the problem, he will be able to schedule a service visit with a team of two techs (one master, one apprentice).

“Rescue” Process:
Please contact Colin, our service manager,  and describe how your solar hot water system is no longer correctly function – or if it has always been under-performing.

This will permit him to develop a “rescue” plan to resolve the functional issues.  Once Colin collects the necessary information, he will bring in Brian Nelson for consultation on the next steps.

We have quite a lot of experience with solar hot water systems and have “rescued” quite a few.  Some of the issues we have encountered include failed evacuated tubes, glycol leaks, undersized storage tanks, undersized heat rejection systems that led to overheating, and controls that no longer work and need to be replaced.   We also have extensive experience with improvements to maximize daily solar collection.

Our goal is to be Martha’s Vineyard’s premier plumbing and HVAC shop – we appreciate the opportunity to service and install your solar hot water system!