[Photos] Repairing a 30 Year Old Solar Thermal System in NYC

Last week, I spent a day repairing a solar thermal system that has been operating for more then 30 years in NYC. I just wanted to share a few pictures and points because it’s super cool.

The system was installed in installed in 1980, expected “payback” (don’t ever use that term again) was just around 3 years
The client paid $3,200 for the system, which is about $8,900 in todays dollars.
The system was providing 70-80% of the hot water for 2 families
It was offsetting natural gas, which was expensive for a long time, and current prices are going back up, to the tune of 70%.  
DAS Solar Systems was the name of the EPC contractor in NYC. They’re aren’t around anymore.
The name of the module manufacture was SunWorks, the spec sheet said New Haven, CT but I’m assuming they were imported from Israel.

The system is in the heart of NYC
You can even see the module from google earth! There were 6 existing modules, but we replaced them with 4.

Front of the house. Getting equipment on roofs in NYC can be an issue.

The old modules. They held up pretty well, and managed to work 12 years after their “warranty” expired.

Again, the help up remarkably well well. There was a small amount of rust on the back sheets.

The rack was pretty simple and standard using unistrut. In fact, I’ve built a system that was 6 modules in Medford and were used the exact same parts as this! Though the roof flashing was a little different.


[Photo Guide] How to Install A Solar Thermal System

You’ve held a solar thermal workshop and generated some leads, prepared a solid sales presentation, sold your first job, designed the system and now you’re curious about the installation process.

While the installation process may not take a long time compared to other steps, one day for an experience crew and two or three for a normal crew, it is extremely critical for the profitability of your company in two ways. First, it’s a critical component for generating referrals, how much does the client enjoy your crew. Second for cost implications, is the system installed correctly so do you don’t have any call backs and is the homeowner does not call you back because she doesn’t understand how the system works?

This photo guide will focus on the second implication by making sure the system is installed correctly. Here is the step by step guide of how solar hot water panels are installed.


[Free Whitepaper] Solar Thermal Design and Installation 101

As the traction for the solar thermal industry grows, solar thermal SRECs being developed, and Massachusetts revamping solar thermal incentives, the demand for understanding how solar thermal projects work as well as how to design and install them has been increasing in the northeast over the past few months. For this reason, we’ve put together […]

August 17th, 2011|Categories: Building Science, Solar|Tags: , , , |