1982 Vintage Reynolds Aluminum

Jun 18, 2008 10:27 am
1982 Vintage Reynolds Aluminum

I have just completed rebuilding 2 panels and in the process of installation. Since I had little information on the original system configuration and the system had already been taken down, I am not sure whether the panels (5/8” aluminum 4’x12’) were tied in a series or parallel configuration. Any information would be helpful.  I am located in Massachusetts planning to run a glycol solution as it gets rather cold in my area.
462 Posts
Jun 19, 2008 11:02 am
Re: 1982 Vintage Reynolds Aluminum

Frank, those panels are usually made with one contiuous piece of aluminum tubing run in a serpentine configuration. It is best to connect them in series so the water travels further through the collectors gaining more heat. This configuration will also prevent uneven water distribution between the two panels. Usually, the hardest part of installing these panels is finding a connector to attach to the aluminum tubing, since you cannot solder them. I service MA so if you have any further questions or problems just post here or give me a call. Tom, Solar Innovations, Lowell....just do an internet search.
« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2008 08:55 am by Tom Mayrand »
Jul 2, 2008 11:53 am
Re: 1982 Vintage Reynolds Aluminum

Thanks Tom for the info. I used brass flare fittings to copper instead of the original rubber hose connections and all seems well. Have been heating an 80 gal dual coil Amtrol tank to 135  degrees with no difficulty. High heat starts a tank circulator and just the circulator for the oil boiler coil keeping the boiler warm. Just need to resolve a minor condensation issue in one of the panels and find a local source for 4-way bypass valves.
Thanks again!
462 Posts
Jul 3, 2008 07:38 am
Re: 1982 Vintage Reynolds Aluminum

Glad you got it going. Good idea with flare. I usually use a compression fitting with an insert to keep the soft aluminum from squishing. It may be cheaper and easier to use 3 or 4 ball valves in your piping instead of trying to find a 4 way valve. I usually set it up so you can use either your solar only, auxilary only or solar to preheat the auxilary. The condensation should eventually disappear with time as the panels get hot. It's probably from wet insulation that should eventually dry. Also, make sure the weep holes are clean and clear.
 It sounds like you have a tankless coil in your oil boiler. I usually install an aquastat control in the  domestic hot water line out to the house. I wire it to the incoming power to the boiler, bypassing the original switch. Then if the water is hot enough, the boiler stays off. Once the water gets down to 100 F or so, it turns the boiler on and the auxilary part of the system kicks in.
« Last Edit: Jul 5, 2008 04:38 pm by Tom Mayrand »

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