Broken evacuated solar tubes
- February 19, 2016 at 5:52 pm #17752
interested in buying a property but half of the roof is covered with these – at least I think that that is what they are as they are definitely tube shaped. About 25% look black and the estate agent said that these were broken. Vendor agrees but says still used for heating water. So
a) how do they break – never noticed this before and it doesn’t fill me with confidence if they are so fragile. It looks like some have “end caps” missing which you can see when close to the house – the others need binoculars for a good view and didn’t have any at the time.
c) can you replace individual tubes or would the whole installation need to be replaced?
d) not yet made an offer to buy we understand that they were installed about 10 years ago.
- February 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm #17754
Where to begin?
Evacuated solar tubes come in two different types (or they did ten years ago).
‘Heat pipes’ which heat the antifreeze glycol indirectly or ‘direct heat’ systems which heat the solution directly.
As long as the original installation was done to a high standard, there should be no reason why a solar tube system shouldn’t last for thirty years if looked after properly.
If an individual tube fails, shouldn’t mean the whole system fails. You’ll get a slight loss in efficiency, but as these systems can reach between 40-70 degrees Celcius, then a slight loss in performance won’t matter.
Try flushing and recharging the system with fresh glycol and/or check/replace the pump and management system. It could just be a case of a cheap fix that may give you decades of free hot water.
Hope this helps.
- July 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm #18756
Is there anyone who could maintain our existing system.?
- July 21, 2016 at 6:33 am #18759
Although we cannot undertake repairs or maintenance to installations from other companies, their are many companies around who do.
You may find our directory of local installers useful here:
Hope this helps.
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