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Maintenence of Solar Water Heating System

The maintenence of Solar water heating systems normally need lesser repair and maintenance.  However, if the customer takes steps of little bit of preventive maintenance the solar water heating systems, in such instance the solar water heating system can last 50% to 100% longer.  The recommended schedule is an regular cleaning of solar water heating panels/collectors, fluid maintenance, annual service of solar water heating system and a major tune-up of solar water heating system every 5 years.

Annual Service of Solar Water Heating System

There are two sections/parts to the annual service of solar water heating system. Flushing of tank/panels to eliminate build-up of dirt and calcites and inspection and checks of solar water heating system.  The method and extent of flushing and cleaning of solar water heating system as part of maintenance of solar water heating system depends on which part of the world do you live and many other factors.  Normally complete flush is required every 3-4 years.

INSPECTION CHECKLIST FOR SOLAR WATER HEATING SYSTEM

Visual inspection of Solar Water Heating System

  1. Inspection of Supporting frame (strong, attached to roof/grouting) of Solar Collectors
  2. Fluid Storage Tank (location, no leaks, material)
  3. Insulation of Storage Tank (tight, and no gaps), if known: overnight temperature drop........ deg. C
  4. Connection of pipes from storage tank to collector and user points (right position, insulation, air release valve, proper roof penetrations)
  5. Non-return valve (right position)
  6. Positioning of circulation pipes between collector and tank (right slope, no sharp bends, air release valve)
  7. Insulation of fluid circulation pipes (complete length, weather-resistant material, condition of insulation)
  8. Position expansion tank, vent pipe or safety valve
  9. Solar Collector Sensors (correctly attached to hot and cold water circulation pipes)
  10. Fluid Circulation Pump (position, power ..........)
  11. Solar water heating systems control unit (position, settings)
  12. Sensor cables (proper connections, right size and insulation cables)
  13. Backup heating (Electric normally):
    • Manual switch (location)
    • Thermostat setting ....... deg. C, range........ deg C
    • Proper electrical wiring
  14. Solar Collector glass cover (clean, no cracks, water- tight, no condensation)
  15. Absorber (no corrosion, no leaks, paint/coating in good condition)
  16. Check (Chinese makes) vacuum type tube systems
  • Check vacuum (vacuum lost hot tubes)
  • Check tube / tank seals on leakage
  • Check condition ‘getter’ (silver part white or small)

Testing and Measurements of Solar Water Heating System

  1. Outlet temperature hot water....... deg. C
  2. Circulation with thermo syphon systems (temperature difference between hot and cold junctions)
  3. Forced circulation type system
    • Important: for such test, the sun should be shining time and the fluid circulation pump running:
    • Check circulation by feeling or measuring the temperature difference between the hot and cold pipes
  4. Differential Temperature Control (DTC)
    1. Switch on test
      1. Note DTC-setting: TDTC = ........deg. C
      2. Measure collector inlet temperature Tin =..... Deg. C
      3. Measure collector outlet temperature Tout = .... deg. C
      4. Check: (Tout -Tin) should be higher than TDTC
    2. 2) Switch off test (optional)
      1. If possible cool down the `hot' sensor or warm up the `cold' sensor:
      2. Check: Pump Should Switch Off
Updated: Aug 01, 2017