Monday, June 24, 2013

Dump the Tubes!

22 June 2013: Many of my problems with the system comes from the small circuit that goes to the evacuated tubes. Before they were fitted, the solar recharging system was very stable for 2 years. The leaks and bursting airlock removers etc happened after that. the tubes circuit has never recovered more then 7 kWh on the very best of days, and mostly less than one per day, even on good days.
       The lesson is that if you have one element that can make over-high temperature, it must be on its own closed high-pressure circuit. It cannot be on the same loop as the heat pump or the low temperature fittings. This was the idea behind fitting the heat exchanger, but I have had endless problems with the heat exchanger, possibly due to airlocks.

  As of this week, they are isolated with valves closed and the electricity to the controller turned off, but I might make the big decision to isolate them entirely, i.e drain the coolant, and disconnect altogether, and put stop-ends on the pipes.

Expansion Tanks
One thing I must do is make sure the existing expansion vessels are more effective. This is the primary method for preventing leaks. I read up on them recently and found the opposite of what I expected. They all have the bicycle valve (Schraeder) on top and for some reason, I thought that letting them off a bit would provide more expansion. If this occurs, more liquid flows in, and there is less air space for expansion. They are intended to be pumped up to about 30psi (about 2kg/cm2). 

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