Solar Thermal Heating Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) Aren’t glass tubes delicate?
A1)Thermomax solar evacuated tubes are actually very tough. Besides meeting the US SRCC standard, the European Solar Keymark and SPF standards, they also meet the optional hail impact test standards. This means the collector is certified to take winds of up to 72 mph, 1 inch ice ball at 60 mph and a snow load of over 1000 lbs and not fail!
Q2) How do I size a system for my house?
A2) Typically a hot water system is sized to provide 70-80% of your hot water usage during the year. If space heating is also desired, the system will first provide you hot water before switching over to heating your house. Depending on how much sunlight you receive in a year will determine how many collectors your system needs. Please contact your InFloor representative for further information about sizing your system. We will provide a custom performance quotation based you your unique needs.
Q3) I live in a climate with a lot of cloud cover. Will Thermomax collectors work for me
A3)Unlike typical flat panel solar collectors, Thermomax evacuated tubes are still very efficient in cloudy conditions. This allows them to be used in locations where most other solar collectors cannot be used.
Q4) What is the best way to mount the collectors?
A4) For optimum performance the collectors should be mounted in a location where they will not receive shade from trees or surrounding buildings. Typically they are mounted on a frame on your roof facing south. InFloor offers mounting brackets for all typical mounting configurations.
Q5)How long will my Thermomax solar system last?
A5)Kingspan evacuated tubes are made of the finest materials in the industry and go through extensive inspection to insure the highest quality possible. This allows the system to perform for 25 years without significant decreases in performance. There are systems out there today that are still performing with little performance degradation after 20 years.
Q6) Can all my heating and hot water requirements be met by a Thermomax solar system?
A6)Yes, the system can be sized to provide all your heating needs. However, it is better to size the system to supplement your heating bill, rather than eliminate it. Contact InFloor about how to properly size your system.
Q7) How do I heat my house with solar?
A7) We recommend InFloor heating to best utilize the heat created by the solar collectors. InFloor heating will allow the highest efficiency for your solar system, as well as provide comfortable heat for your house. Thermomax solar is compatible with baseboard and forced air heating as well, but the overall efficiency is reduced.
Q8) What do I need to do to apply solar thermal to my current house?
A8) If you already have InFloor, or baseboard heat, then it is easy to connect Thermomax solar to your heating system. For houses with forced air, it is easy to add hot water heating. All it takes is two lines from the collector to a hot water tank.
Q9) Is the system difficult to install?
A9) Thermomax solar thermal systems are the easiest in the industry to install on your home. There is no need for a crane to move the collector to your roof. The solar tubes and manifold are separate and can be carried up to the roof with a ladder. Once the manifold is set up, the tubes just snap into place. We have a network of qualified installers to insure your system is installed up to all standards and code. Please contact your distributor for further information on installing Thermomax solar thermal systems.
Q10) What happens when I go on vacation?
A10) The solar thermal collectors will continue to make heat, even when you are gone. Since your hot water usage is nothing when you leave, the heat has to be used somewhere. With a properly designed and sized system, this is not a problem. If the temperature in the system should become too hot, Thermomax solar tubes have an exclusive shut off feature to protect your system. Contact InFloor for information on properly sizing your system.
Q10) Are there government programs to help reduce the cost on solar thermal?
A10) Yes! With the passing of the second stimulus package, the rebates on solar thermal have been increased. The tax credit is now 30% of the cost to purchase and install the product with no cap as of January 2009. Click here for more information on rebates.
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