Welcome to the Latitude51 Solar - FAQ. We supply and ship evacuated tube solar
water heating systems across USA, Canada and the Caribbean This FAQ describes some of the
questions we get asked the most about solar water heaters and other solar heating parts.
Q: How long from the time I order until I receive my solar equipment?
A: We try and keep stock on 100% of the items found on our website. If you order a single part we can generally ship out the same day or next business day. For package system please allow unto 2 weeks as we need time properly package the order. All system kits come crated to protect the collectors from being damaged.
Q: How much does a vacuum tube collector weigh?
A: A TZ58 1800 30 R collector with heating fluid in the header weighs about 230 lbs. When installing the collector you don't need to worry about the weight as the light weight aluminum frame goes on first and each tube is added one by one into the manifold.
Q: What are the dimensions of a vacuum tube collector?
A: The TZ58 1800 30R collector is 95.5" wide x 78.5" long
Q: How many collectors can I put in a row?
A: We recommend no more than 5 collectors in a single row. If Installing a large system we recommend parallel banks of 4 collectors per series. So if you have 8 collectors then 4 collectors per bank and two banks would be recommended.
Q: Where should I mount the collectors?
A: While most people choose a roof top mount, we highly recommend you use a wall mount if possible. This removes any snow load problems that can occur as well as makes the installation easier and there is no roof penetration required. Wall mount can still be done at an angle to maximize the performance.
It is very important when choosing the location that the collectors are facing in a southerly direction SW or SE is still optimal. Be sure to watch for shading? Trees in the summer can be obstacles. neighbouring houses in the winter can also provide shade that is not present in the summer.
Q: How many collectors do I need to heat my home or shop?
A: This is a big variable as it will depend on where you are located, how insulated is your house is and how many square feet. When heating with solar you will also need to decide how much storage you want as there will be days that the sun does not shine as well as evening demand when there is zero sun. On average we recommend anywhere from 200-400 square feet for a each collector. The storage will also very but the more storage, the better the system will perform.
Homes or shops that use in floor heat in concrete, can use the concrete as a storage means however they will lack some heat control as the floor will heat up during the day and loose the heat at night. For shop and garages this is a great and affordable way of space heating as there is no need for a large storage tank.
During the summer months a home owner will need to cover up the collectors as there will be no demand unless they also happen to own a pool. If they have a pool then the extra heat in the summer can be used to heat the pool.
Q: What if a tube breaks?
A: Each solar water heater comes with 2 spare tubes per collector. These tubes are rated to 1" hail but in the chance that one does break we have a large selection of spare tubes for sales at about $19 per tube.
Q: What is better an internal heat exchanger or an external?
A: Ultimately an internal heat exchanger will have slightly better performance as all its heat is lost to the water inside the tank and not the air. However an external heat exchanger such as side arm heat exchanger is much more cost effective and is easy to replace and maintain. If you have hard water issues and find you are replacing water tanks frequently then a side arm heat exchanger will be a better choice as it will reduce the costs of maintaining your solar system.