Feedback on the AET Solar Water Heating Package

This is feedback from a person owning the AET closed loop, antifreeze, PV powered pump system with two collectors:

I have a 2 panel PV pumped kit. It came with all the basics. Things I didn't like were small ball valves (1/2”)supplied for mainline isolation instead of 3/4”, but  this was minor.

What was less minor was an undersized PV panel. A 20 watt probably works well in Florida but not in NH.

The mounting brackets were nice, they slide in the PV frame so its easy to line up with rafter spacing. I do wish they offered a deeper lower mounting bracket for northern climates.  When I ran the supply pipe up through the roof and did a 90 degree elbow into the lower header, it was quite difficult to flash the pipe due to the low elevation of the header. A higher channel would get the header up off the roof a bit. I did get a water tight seal on the roof but it required some innovation. 

I really like the heat exchanger integrated into the outside of the storage tank. Makes for easy piping and no chance of cross contamination. I do run PEG but really don't need to as there is no way anti freeze can get into the DHW.

Knock on wood, the panels have been on line for several years and no issues plus they are holding up to northern NH weather with no visible deterioration. They supplied a “march” brand mag drive seal less pump, I have a spare but this one just keeps running. It definitely isn't super quiet but I haven't seen many DC pumps that are.

I pulled the anode on the hot water tank last summer after 6 or 7 years, no real deterioration visible. The tank is just a relabeled Rheem.

AET also used to sell and may still sell the collector ribbons which consist of the risers swedged to the absorber plates. The rest of the collector is just some basic metalworking and plumbing so it may be handy for someone who has frame materials and glass on hand.


Feb 22, 2012





Gary February 22, 2012