What About Antifreeze

Don't use ordinary — and poisonous — automotive antifreeze. The very best antifreeze for solar collectors is something called "non-toxic propylene glycol." You should be able to find it in any plumbing supply store. If not, order Sunsol 60 from Sunworks, Box 1004, New Haven, Connecticut 06508. (Also see appendix.)

Five gallons should be more than enough for a two to three-collector system in a normal house. (You'll need just about 1/2 gallon of unmixed propylene glycol for each 24-square-foot collec

Float Type Air Ven!

Solar Heat Collector Hot Water from Collector

Hot Water to House

Air Inlet Drain Cock

Check Valve

CoW Water from Source

Pump Controls Solar Storage Tank

Cold Water toCoiiector

Tank Dram Pressure Relief Valve Circulating Pump Check Valve Water Drain Cock

Figure 76. When you're all finished your system might look something like this. Notice the drain at the bottom of the system and the pressure relief at the top.

Float Type Air Ven!

Solar Heat Collector Hot Water from Collector

Hot Water to House

Air Inlet Drain Cock

Check Valve

CoW Water from Source

Pump Controls Solar Storage Tank

Cold Water toCoiiector

Tank Dram Pressure Relief Valve Circulating Pump Check Valve Water Drain Cock

Figure 76. When you're all finished your system might look something like this. Notice the drain at the bottom of the system and the pressure relief at the top.

tor.) Other special mixes come already blended to protect your collectors to at least -34 degrees Fahrenheit.

Naturally the whole collector loop should be "flushed" every few years and the solution changed, just the way you would change the antifreeze in your car's radiator. Propylene glycol is only effective for 2 to 3 years. If you use some other solution — specially earmarked for solar systems — read the label on the container to learn how often it should be changed.

One last bit of advice: In spite of what the Wright Brothers said, plumbing doesn't always go exactly as planned — no matter how complete your sketches are. (We all know what the poet Robert Bums said about the "best laid plans of mice and men ...") Be flexible. And if you get in a real snag, don't be too proud to ask an expert for help.

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Responses

  • rhoda
    What about antifreeze?
    8 years ago

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