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Jt Reed

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since Nov 04, 2012
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Recent posts by Jt Reed

I built a collector for my hot water system and used .018" aluminum I think. I don't know the grade of metal. It was Amerimax(?) flashing, painted. I probably overdid the silicone, but the 36 sf collector easily produces 21,000+ BTU on a 70F day in 4-5 hours of sun. Copper tube spacing was about 5.75" if I remember. I did not do the "coil in a tub" like many/most builtitsolar projects. Used a plate exchanger. Waiting to see how it holds up while exposed to city chlorine. Seems ok after 9 months.
6 years ago
I've never "wired my own," but I would not recommend tape for anything more than testing. Maybe not even that. The primary reason is that panels get hot and the adhesion would probably loosen & break the connection(s). As for voltage, test them individually first. If *ANY* of them are bad, you will get nothing. This is because they're wired in series ...to increase voltage. Test them one by one to weed out any bad ones first. Then you can isolate the problem. For better soldering, you'll need flux. Otherwise the solder may just ball up and not create a useful film/bond between metals. Good luck!

Oh... and there's a polarity to them (you probably knew this), so make sure positive connects to negative of next panel, repeat, until only one positive & negative are left.
6 years ago