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Course Title
100 Home
101 Introduction
102 FAQ Page
103 Course Catalog
104 Green World
105 Demand & Supply
106 Conservation Careers
107 Solar Careers
108 Wind Turbine Careers
109 Entrepreneurs
110 Employee or Employer?
200 Demand Management
201 Summary
202 Residential Energy Profile
203 Ten Conservation Rules
204 HVAC System
205 Kitchen Appliances
206 Water Heater
207 Lighting
208 Laundry Appliances
209 Calculating Savings
300 Renewable Technology
301 Solar Energy
302 Solar Collectors
303 Solar Water Heating
304 Stirling Engines
305 Basic AC-DC Electronics
306 Silicon Solar Panels
307 Thin Film Solar Panels
308 Wind Turbines
309 Inverters
310 Grid Tied and Off Grid
311 Solar Site Survey
312 Solar Site Diagram
313 Sun Path Chart
314 Site Survey Worksheet
315 Wind Turbine Site Survey
316 Wind Turbine Worksheet
400 Solar Thermal Design
401 Solar Heat Overview
402 System Configuration
403 Site Survey
404 SRCC Compliance
405 System Specification
406 Bill of Materials
407 System Installation
408 Solar Heat Incentives
409 Document Package
410 Future Products
500 Solar PV Design
501 Solar PV Overview
502 System Configuration
503 Site Survey
504 Grid Tied & Off Grid
505 System Specification
506 Bill of Materials
507 System Installation
508 Solar PV Incentives
509 Document Package
510 Future Products
600 Wind Turbine Design
601 Wind Turbine Overview
602 System Configuration
603 Site Survey
604 Grid Tied and Off Grid
605 System Specification
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Green Collar Careers - System Specification

Section 401 provided a pretty good set of details on the components.  The System Specification is generated around the system requirements that are provided on the Site Survey Data Worksheet and matching the most cost effective kit solution to those requirements.

Given all the systems out there the best option is to keep the selection as simple by following three rules:

  1. The system must be Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) registered.  Otherwise the customer won't have the proper papers to support a federal tax credit.  There are several Chinese made knock-offs and they may be a quality product (or not) but unless they have a genuine SRCC paper, stay away.
  2. Flat Plate and Evacuated Tube Systems are probably the best two choices to stay with.  Flat solar plates tend to favor warmer climates and Evacuated Tubes tend to favor colder climates however the efficiencies, applications, local weather all play a part of the selection as pointed out in Section 401.
  3. Complete kits are the best option.  Trying to piecemeal a system from different components ends up in too may trips to the local building materials store, and sometimes for the widget no one has in stock.  More then likely the customer will be out of water for 2 full days during installation, although once you build some experience with the installers it is very possible to do a same-day installation.  There are a few very good kits at near wholesale pricing.

The best kept secret in the business comes back to the "Keep It Simple Stupid" policy which will simplify the system selection.  No doubt you'll be in this venture to make a profit and the more simple the better at first.  For that reason we recommend a system that meets the layout of this System Diagram using a Rheem Solaraid HE dual purpose tank in either 80 or 120 gallon sizing.

Solar Heating Specifications

Solar Collector (SC)
From the completed Site Survey Data Worksheet input the manufacturer's stated Solar Collector Efficiency % in cell B21.  If the manufacturer has not stated an efficiency number use 35%.

Solar Collector Square Footage cell B64 will provide the minimal square footage required.

Most kits will be provisioned incrementally, usually a 4 person or 6 person size.  It's OK to be a little undersized as this will affect the Solar Water Heating Percentage factor that you'll have to manually change.  In this event you'll need to run some scenarios on under sizing or over sizing to evaluate the system cost against the return on investment.  A good rule of thumb is to stay within 75%-100% Solar Water Heating Percentage.

Storage Tank (ST)
Whether you choose a single purpose storage tank or a dual purpose tank, you'll need to match it to the storage size required.  Recall the point about 24 hour cycle sizing from Section 401 - unless you're designing a system for a weekend retreat, follow the 24 hour cycle.  Rheem Solaraid HE Specifications

Closed Loop System (CL)
Most systems only require a single Closed Loop Pump, although when the run is greater then 200 feet round trip, a second pump is beneficial.  Choose whatever power system will best fit the application, 120VAC or Solar DC. 

Simple controllers tend to work the best.  Solar powered system controllers sometimes require battery back-ups which may be a service element your customer won't want to deal with.

Valves & Expansion Tank (VE)

  • Air Vent
  • Pressure Relief Valve
  • Floating Ball Check Valve
  • Loop Charge Valve
  • Loop Drain Valve
  • Loop Bypass Valve
  • (2) Temperature Gauges
  • Bourdon Tube Pressure Gauge 0-10 PSI
  • Expansion Tank

The system will require all of these components fitted to the Closed Loop plumbing.  Depending on the kit you may need to provision these separately.

Installer Related Materials (IRM)
This will include mounting hardware, stilts and plumbing.  Mounting hardware and stilts are best purchased from the kit wholesaler sometimes they are included in the kit, sometimes purchased separately.  You will need to specify the type of roof or host surface to be mounted on.

Plumbing and insulation will be provisioned as package by you;  the package will contain surplus material to be replenished when the installation is complete to be ready for the next installation.