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Here are the details that you need to answer many of your questions about the Fireball 2001.
We have attempted to make this information comprehensive, but we know that you are likely to have individual situations that need special answers. Please feel free to send us an eMail with your questions.
INDEX OF QUESTIONS -- Click to locate.
Each 20 square foot ACRSI collector produces about 20,000 BTUs of energy on a clear sunny day or about enough to heat 50 gallons of water 50 degrees. This would be enough for an average family of three in Orlando Florida to be able to turn off their 220v electric element on sunny summer days.
Your south* facing roof must be free of shade
for at least eight hours of full sun during the summer and 6 hours of full
sun during the winter. The roof should face within 50 degrees of true south*.
If it does not, tilt kits are available, consult with us. Tilts from 18
degrees up are acceptable.
When your solar system arrives by UPS, it will be in at least two boxes, one for components and a larger one, about 6' x 22" x 8" will contain two collector sections. These two sections are easily joined together into a sturdy one piece 12' long unit using a Patent Pending design. The end sections are fully assembled with the Glazing (7) and the two trim (8) pieces of the center section installed by the homeowner after joining the two collector sections using pop rivets through pre- drilled holes and connecting and tightening the absorber unions. Assembly takes about 1/2 to 1 hour and complete instructions and assembly instructions are included.
Overview: Everyday homeowner tools are all
that are needed to assemble and install the Fireball
TOOLS AND MATERIALS NEEDED:
Your solar water system will be providing savings for your family for decades to come. Consider it an income source. Because the sun rises in the east, crosses over the horizon on the south and sets in the west, you want your collector to face as much to the south as possible. To get the best "income", your system needs the most sun it can get. In most areas, a solar collector can face anywhere from east to west (its orientation) without losing more than 5% of the energy it would have produced if it were facing directly south. Exceptions include easterly facing systems in areas with a lot of morning fog and clear afternoons where south-facing or west facing would be much better. The opposite can be true if sunny mornings are very often followed by rainy afternoons.
As long as the collector angle (known as tilt) is at least 18 degrees up from horizontal, (a typical roof angle is 18 to 32 degrees) additional tilt usually has little effect on total year round performance. An exception would be areas with very sunny winters (as in most areas of Colorado) where a higher angle, facing the collector more directly into the winter sun, can make quite a difference. Take these facts into consideration when locating your collector and consult with us if you have any questions.
The condition of your roof should be good although one of the features of the Fireball 2001 system is that removing and replacing the collector is relatively easy when re roofing is required. All the materials for a normal collector installation are supplied. Composition roofs are the most common and easiest roofs to install a system on.
Most of the installation details apply directly to these types of roofs and need to be modified for other types of roofs. Shake roof installations are similar to composition with the exception that more care in flashing is needed. Tile roofs are more difficult to drill and require a lot more care to walk on. We have a good solution for just about every situation and will be happy to provide you with direct help with questions on different roofs as needed, Just ask!
On an average, easy to walk on single story roof, the Fireball 2001 can be safely installed by one person who is comfortable with walking on a roof. The assembled collector is 12 feet long, only 20 inches wide and under 40 pounds, making it an ideal size and weight for one person to lean against the roof or gutter, go up the ladder and simply pick up the collector and place on the roof. For more detail see Installation Overview
Systems 1, 2, and 3 have a passive Thermal Freeze Valve protection option (B). These systems are called "Open loop" because they have street water pressure in them at all times while in operation. In case of a hard freeze, a simple freeze protection drain setup is included with these systems whereby the pump is turned off, two ball valves are closed and two hose bibs are opened (allowing about one to two gallons of water to drain out, using a pail or hose to drain), this process takes about two minutes. The "Thermal Freeze Valve" starts to open at about 38 degrees to let a small flow of water out onto the roof. This flow is usually enough to prevent freeze-up of the collector absorber during occasional freeze conditions to as low as 30F.
Better freeze protection down to 20F is provided with System 2B which has a "Differential Control with Snap Switch Recirculation Freeze Protection" or PV powered System 3B with Snap Switch and Transformer Recirculation Freeze Protection. The snap switch will sense freezing conditions from its roof sensor and will turn on the pump causing a constant flow of water through the collector. The "Thermal Freeze Valve" is important to use in conjunction with the Differential Control in case of power outages. This type of freeze protection is used extensively in Florida, Arizona, California (as far north as Sacramento) and similar climates but draining must still be done in a hard freeze temperatures below 20F.
In the unlikely event that the absorber is freeze damaged, it is exceptionally easy to repair due to its 5 easily removed sections which can be repaired or the damaged section replaced at low cost.
For COMPLETE freeze protection, just add the Thermosiphon "Closed Loop" heat exchanger!
A Differential Control turns the 110V pump
on when heat is available or when freeze recirculation is needed and off
when no energy is available. To do this it uses two sensors, one
in the collector and one at the bottom of the storage tank. The control
electronically senses the temperature difference and when the difference
is enough, typically 12 degrees F, it turns the pump on and when the difference
is within 4 degrees F, it turns the pump off.
Line connections are easily accomplished using the special couplers supplied with the kit. You want your pipe run to be as short as possible for greatest efficiency. Before ordering the system, you want to check your situation to be sure you have a good "pipe run." See Installation Overview
It is desirable that your storage tank be at least 50 gallons, although 30 to 40 gallon water heaters can work well with a single panel. Generally, the larger the water heater the better. You need at least 1 gallon of storage for each square foot of collector area. The standard, easy to make, installation connections are all made at the bottom of your tank. Simply drain the water out of the tank, remove the bottom drain, insert the connection components in its place and tighten.
The complete, preassembled, tank connection unit has a "Hot" collector return tube that goes up into the tank when inserted through your tanks bottom drain hole. You will need enough room around the front area of the tank to allow for the installation of components, usually 10 inches is enough. The supplied illustrated manual makes this process go smoothly.
As a standard electric water heater usually has two elements, having an electrician disconnect the lower element will increase the efficiency of the solar system. When disconnecting the lower element it is important to be aware that you will have less continuous supply of water on cloudy days because only the upper element is heating the water.
Another easy method to increase storage efficiency is to have a 220-volt timer installed by an electrician. It will activate the element for 3 hours in the early morning (say from 5AM to 8AM) for showers etc. and on again in the early evening (say from 4PM to 10PM) for evening use if solar gain hasn't been good that day.
For safety sake, it may be wise to install
a Mixing valve to protect children and the elderly from high temperatures,
especially with larger systems. See installation and O & M manuals
This is an excellent total freeze protection
option! If this heat exchanger is going to be used for freeze protection,
the tank must have a side pressure relief port to allow the water in the
bottom of the tank to "Thermosiphon" from the bottom of the tank, (the
principle that heat rises) through the heat exchanger, and back into the
top of the storage tank through its side pressure relief valve port. This
unit may require minor soldering for installation. Food grade, Propylene
Glycol antifreeze is supplied with this heat exchanger.
Over 20 years of intense field experience by Al C. Rich went into the design of the Fireball 2001. Every one of the thousands of times he went up on a roof to install or work on a solar system, he asked himself how what he was doing could be done better. He sought the highest level of design perfection possible. Extremely simple and very clever solutions emerged. Patents were applied for and a revolution in solar water heating technology began. Never before was it even remotely possible for one person to install a powerful collector and an entire solar water heating system in a few hours. Now it is. It is possible because hours of installation time are eliminated by factory "preassembly" of components leaving virtually nothing to be "figured out" or searched for.
The Fireball 2001 is a true solar advancement.
Just as the Computer with its many benefits is considered highly desirable
by the great majority of people, Solar water heating is also considered
highly desirable. From a mass marketing standpoint, the computers was a
dismal failure until it became "User Friendly" and basically
The new Fireball 2001 solar "SKYLITE"tm water
heating system is the first truly "User Friendly" solar water heater and
is as revolutionary to the water heating field as "Windows" was to the
computer. It is light weight, inexpensive, durable, cost effective and
easy to deal with. It fits in perfectly with today's growing environmental
consciousness and can benefit millions of families.
Can your panels be installed inline, rather than side by side, making
22in. x 24 ft., rather than 44 in. x 12 ft.?
I am impressed with your product. I have a tankless system, an electric
heater with no storage tank. I assume I will need an extra tank but how
well will the Fireball 2001 work with a tankless water heater?
I am from Virginia, what system do you recommend?
Why Measure Solar
Water Heating In kWh?
SOLAR WATER HEATING CEO's POINT TO NEWLY RELEASED STATISTICS
The nation's leading solar water heating manufacturing
companies earlier this year formed a group to forcefully articulate the
benefits of solar thermal applications to national and state and local
government policymakers.The group, "Solar Water Heating National Advocacy
Group" (SWH-NAG) is composed only of the CEOs of the US solar water heating
industry who comprise over 90 percent of the US market. (10 November 2004)
The International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and
major solar thermal trade associations publish new statistics on the global
use of solar thermal energy. The new data – expressed for the first time
in GWth, rather than in square meters of installed collector area – shows
the global installed capacity to be 70 GWth (70.000 MWth). The conclusion:
Worldwide capacity of solar thermal energy greatly underestimated.
Fireball Features and Benefits
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