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Thread: Quality of solar panels??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Hoskins, Nebraska
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    81

    Default Quality of solar panels??

    Last year we installed and ran 4: 2x20 solar panels up on a roof of a small shed right next to our pool made by SmartPools--- Sunheater I think is the name. They worked fine, up'd my water temp a few degrees over just using my solar blanket. I installed air relief valves on the units - have two units on each side of roof of building facing east and west. I hard plumbed them in using sch 40 pvc, and run a compool controller on them. The highest I could ever get my pool was 92, which is by all means warm enough, actually perfect for me... but that was only on days when it was extremely hot outside, otherwise maintained around 88-89 degrees only. When I unhooked my plumbing to winterize, in Nebraska here, my hubby said we shouldn't have to blow them out because of the slope we have on them, and the air relief valves. Big mistake - just turned them on today and we have a fountain going on out there! Waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many leaks to even think about repairing.

    So, my question is: do I buy the same brand again and put up there, and just make sure we blow them out at the end of the season, and just use our mounting setup we have now... OR ARE THERE BETTER QUALITY ONES OUT THERE MADE BY A DIFFERENT MANUFACTURER??? I'd like the same size... 2: 2x20's fit perfectly on each side of the roof for us. I don't mind spending a little more money if there are better quality ones... remember my hubby isn't into my pool and whatever I can do to keep him from having to help me with it is best! The way it is right now- he's gonna have to help me replace them now, but prefer not to have to purchase new ones and reinstall them every year! Any suggestions anyone???? Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    Donya (huskerfan)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Quality of solar panels??

    I just purchased a pair of 2' x 20' Sungrabber panels on e-bay. They seem good and have a 10 year prorated warrantee - but they does not include things like freeze damage due to not draining. The were cheap enough - I paid about $130 for them. They seem to work well. I just have them on the ground as my roof is covered with a 10KW PV electric solar system.

    I am using these just to supplement my heatpump for the pool. But I have no desi to ever see the pool over 84 degrees, I would have to start calling it a large bathtub rather than a pool if it ever hit 90.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Hoskins, Nebraska
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Quality of solar panels??

    Has anyone tried Saturn Solar Panels like in this ebay auction:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/HOT-Solid-1-Piec...QQcmdZViewItem

    They intrigue me for 2 reasons: the first being made from EPDM synthetic rubber(I would think these would weather better than the hard plastic ones I have that are full of holes made of polypropylene), and secondly they're a one piece 4x20' piece.
    Sincerely,
    Donya (huskerfan)

  4. #4
    NWMNMom is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver NWMNMom 0
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    WAAAY NW Minnesota
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    461

    Default Re: Quality of solar panels??

    Donya, we just went through EXACTLY the same thing. We bought 2 extra 2x20 last year so we had 4 total. The 2 old ones alrady had repairs to them so this spring I order a set of 4x20 SolarBear with hoses and all the accy for $239 (Pcpools.com) Well, those came and we hooked up with the 2 from last year, BUT 0 DH did not blow them out well and we had fountains galore in those.

    To replace those two, I just bought 4x20 SolarBears at PoolProducts.com for $213 without all the hoses, etc and no shipping, just the handling fee $8.95 - I like the 4x20s better. We are currently running just the one set of 4x20 until the second set arrives (due on Tue/Wedn) and we are up appx 5 deg with just that but we have only had 3 sunny days since they were hooked up. It will be better when the second set arrives.
    Beats driving to the lake!
    18'x33'x52" AG oval, hard plumbed system, 22" Pentair Meteor Filter 1.5hp pump, Goldline SWCG System, 2/4x20 SolarBear Panels, Biltmore Steps - 16x14' composite deck, Pool Rover Jr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Hoskins, Nebraska
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Quality of solar panels??

    I like the 4x20's too, and the way I have mine hard plumbed I'm gonna have to have that instead of 2 2x20's plumbed together. I'm still intrigued with the rubber Saturn ones the poolman has on ebay... just hate paying for something a second time. Also - right now on ebay they're going for almost $30 over the cost of buying them direct from them! We could be swimming now, though, if I had some hooked up... so gonna bite the bullet soon and purchase some. Are the solar bears all one 4x20 piece, or are they 2 2x20's pre-plumbed together?? Thanks again.
    Sincerely,
    Donya (huskerfan)

  6. #6
    NWMNMom is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver NWMNMom 0
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    Default Re: Quality of solar panels??

    The SolarBears are one 4x20 (nicer than 2 separates hooked up!) The panels feel more pliable than the 2x20s we had too - they also have a control knob on them to open or close the disk in the header so you can plumb them differently.
    Beats driving to the lake!
    18'x33'x52" AG oval, hard plumbed system, 22" Pentair Meteor Filter 1.5hp pump, Goldline SWCG System, 2/4x20 SolarBear Panels, Biltmore Steps - 16x14' composite deck, Pool Rover Jr

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