Sunday, January 01, 2006

snow load

I had been concerned about getting the parabolic solar pool heater ready for winter.

Those of you in a warmer climate probably won't need to worry about what happens when the snow falls. Here in southern Ontario, Canada, there is a good six months when the collectors, if left in their operational position, will fill with snow like they are here. If it doesn't look that bad, consider that its a fairly warm day, just above freezing, and it has been raining too, so the snow you see is saturated with water and fills the whole length of the collector, eight feet.

I'd estimate that there is about two to three hundred pounds of extra weight in each collector when the picture was taken. They don't move very well, in fact, the motor drive is removed for the winter.

I'd considered turning them upside down for the winter, or removing them from the frame altogether and storing them inside for the winter. But I've left these four to their fate, to see what happens.

So far, they are doing quite well. I can look down the collector tube to check if the tube is sagging and it doesn't seem to be. If there is damage, or distortion of the reflector, I won't see that until the snow melts.

Incidently, water from the melting snow runs out the holes in the white hanger plate quite nicely.

Warm and dry inside, I am working on the motor drive and solar tracker for the Spring.

Happy New Year and Best wishes for a peaceful 2006!