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					    RREAL Solar Powered Furnace

Installation Method: Vertical Wall Mount
               Rural Renewable Energy Alliance 501c3
               2330 Dancing Wind Road, SW, Suite 2
               Pine River, MN 56474, USA
               All Rights Reserved 2009
                        Table of Contents                                Introduction to the RREAL SPF

The RREAL SPF Introduction...............                           1    The Solar Powered Furnace is just that, a furnace, a solar air heat
                                                                         (SAH) panel that provides direct forced-air heat to buildings. Using
                                                                         conventional HVAC equipment and controls, conditioned building
Materials and Tools Needed .....................                    2    air is re-circulated through the collectors during the heating season un-
                                                                         der sufficient solar conditions. The SPF is a stand-alone furnace; there-
Bill of Materials..........................................         3    fore, t is recommended that you do not tie this system in to the existing
                                                                         ducting system.
Major Installation Steps.............................               4
                                                                         Solar air heating is a tried and tested method for providing heat to build-
                                                                         ings. First installed in North America in the1880s, solar air heating is an
Overview of Installation...........................                 5    efficient and cost-effective heating system.

Safety first……………..……………....                                        5    The Solar Powered Furnace is designed to be:
                                                                          A stand alone system
Duct Sizing Chart ……………………..                                        9           (not tied into existing ductwork)
                                                                          building integrated,
                                                                          architecturally appealing,
Wiring diagram...........................................           12    durable and timeless,
                                                                          efficient, and
SPF Mechanical Characteristics................                      13    effective at preserving indoor air quality.

Fan Sizing Chart.........................................           13
                                                                         The Solar Powered Furnace, brought to you by the Rural Renewable En-
                                                                         ergy Alliance, is the pinnacle of solar air heating technology.
Care and Maintenance…………………                                         14   Distinguishing itself from other solar air heat panels, the Solar Powered
                                                                         Furnace offers:
Trouble Shooting.........................................           14
                                                                            an integrated racking system,
                                                                            easy and hidden fastening system,
Warranty.........................................................   15      modular installations from 1 – 100 or more collectors,
                                                                            high efficiency absorber,
SPF Catalog Pages .......................................           16      easy collector interface system ensuring air-tight seal,
                                                                            turbulent or laminar air low for diverse applications,
                                                                            tempered, and easily replaceable solar glass,
Manufacturer History.................................               17      And an integrated plenum to allow flexibility for supply and
                                                                             return penetrations.
Dealer Opportunities.................................               17
                    Materials Needed                                                       Tools Needed
   Always Keep on Hand                                                     Hanging Collectors
         Tar paper                                                               Personal protection equipment
         Self tapping metal screws                                               Drills and saws
         Sheet metal screws                                                      Long pipe clamp (at least 8’4‖ long)
         Tork screws (all sizes)                                                 Step bit (for holes in hanging rails)
         Silicon/spray foam                                                      Complete metal drill bit set (all sizes of bits)
         Silicon (bronze for collec-                                             Tork bits (for different size tork screws)
          tors)                                                                   Rubber mallet (for minor adjustments to panels)
         Paper towels                                                            Extension ladder (tall jobs)
         Window cleaner                                                          Scaffolding (high jobs)
         Flex conduit                                                            Right angle drill (for mounting panels to rails)
         MC connectors (3/8 in)                                                  Angle grinder (with small grinding wheels)
               Straight and 90 de-                                                Sawz-all w/metal cutting bit (for rail slots)
               gree                                                               Complete set of hex bits (for self-taping screws)
          Wire protectors (for flex                                              6 in hole saw bit (for back of collectors)
          conduit)                                                                4 in hole saw bit (for pre-drilling wall cavity)
         Metal strapping               Order as Needed from RREAL                Long pilot bit (for drilling into wall cavity)
         Plastic strapping                   SPF collectors (1 – 100+)          Hammer stapler
         Flex ducting                        1‖x2‖ Rectangular alumi-           Stud finder (one that works)
         Hose clamps                          num, appropriate length            Small flood light (for attics and crawl spaces)
         Aluminum foil tape                  Stints                             Small 1 in hole saw bit (for drilling snap disk hole)
         Sheet metal                         Back draft dampers (2)             Small pull saw (for smaller/precise cuts)
         Duct wrap insulation                High temperature silicon           Vacuum (for cleaning inside collectors/homes)
         Ducting (6in and 8in)               Return air grills
               Elbows, starter col-           Filters for RAGs            Electrical
               lars, supply boots –           Fan                                Wire cutter (not usually needed)
               90’s and straight              90/110 snap disc sensor            Testing device to tell if wires are hot or not
               boots)                          w/ hi-temp wire                    Hack saw (for cutting conduit)
         Supply registers (usually           Transformer and relay              Metal file (for smoothing conduit and collectors)
          4x10‖ or 4x12)                      Low voltage thermostats            Small 1 in hole saw bit (for mounting snap disk)
         Window flashing roll tape           Metal flashing (pre-bent)
                                              High temperature insula-
                                               tion                        Ducting
                                                                                    Duct crimpers (for ducting)
** Not every material or tool that you will need is listed above, but               Tin snips (for sheet metal and ducting)
 this should provide you with a good starting point for installations
Bill of Materials:                                                 Stint
                                                                   The stints work in connection with the re-
                                                                   ceivers by sliding half-way into each receiver
                                                                   and thereby transversing two collectors to
                                                                   prohibit air leakage between collectors.
              CFM In-line Fan
              If fans are placed in a cold attic or other cold     Return-Air Grille with Filter
              space, they should be mounted vertically so that     RREAL typically uses return air grilles that
              condensation can drain if it collects. Fans and      allow a filter size that is easily available lo-
              ducting in cold space should be well insulated.      cally. If the filter gets dirty and is not re-
                                                                   placed, the efficiency of the fan will be com-
              Back Draft Damper                                    promised.
              Also called, ―check-valves,‖ these components
              should be installed as close to the collectors as    Supply Grille
              possible. They close to keep cold air from travel-
              ing backwards into the building. They should be
              mounted so that the spring are vertically aligned.
                                                                   1”x2” Aluminum Mounting Rail
                                                                   RREAL’s SPFs were specifically designed to
                                                                   mount onto 1‖x2‖ aluminum. This is a com-
              Starter Collar                                       mon aluminum extrusion.
              Starter collars are inserted into the back of
              RREAL’s SPFs (into the header space) in order to
              create inlets (return) and outlets (supply).
                                                                   High Temperature Wire
                                                                   This is to be used to run from the snap-disc
                                                                   in the collector out to the thermostat. The
              Ducting                                              outside is threaded fabric rather than plastic.
              Most systems use 6‖ or 8‖ ducting. This product
              is easily available locally.
                                                                   Snap Disc
                                                                   Side shown is mounted against the collector
              High Temperature 100% Silicone                       floor so that the leads (at bottom) are acces-
              Must be used in connecting:                          sible for connecting to high-temp wire.
                  the starter collar to the collector,
                  the ductwork to the starter collar,             Small Lag Screws/Tork Screws
                  the high-temp insulation to the back of         Small lag screws or tork screws can be used
                      the collector,                               for securing the mounting rail to the build-
                  connections between collectors,                 ing. They must be fastened into the studs in
                  any other connections that come in              order to maintain the strength to hold the
                      contact with the side of the collectors,     collectors.
                      and the
                  connection between stints and receivers.        Self-tapping tek Screws
                                                                   These screws are used to fasten the collector
              High-Temperature Duct Insulation                     body to the mounting rails.
              High Density fiberglass covered with Teflon.
                                                                   Low voltage thermostat, trans-
                                                                   former and relay
              Receiver                                             Standard low voltage indoor thermostats are
              SPF will be delivered with these receivers already   used to let the system know when the resi-
              installed in the ports between collectors. They      dent wants any heat available in the collec-
              ensure air-tight connections.                        tors. If heat is available, the fan will turn on
                                                                   and deliver that heat.
                                                                      The following installation manual provides general guidelines for
                                                                      how to install the Solar Powered Furnace. It is not specific to

Overview of Installation                                              your site or application. Differences between homes, businesses,
                                                                      and applications will require each installation to have its own set
                                                                      of appropriate methods. Each installation is unique—that point
                                                                      can not be emphasized enough. Always consult local building
The following list is of the primary steps of installation to pro-    codes and professionals for appropriate installation methods and
vide an overview of the process                                       regulations. The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance is not respon-
                                                                      sible for errors in your installation. The Solar Powered Furnace
                                                                      must be installed appropriately according to mechanical,
    1. Select and mark out an appropriate location for the SPF        electrical and all other relevant building codes.
    2. Hang mounting rails
    3. Determine optimum location for supply and return
        penetrations into building
    4. Make supply and return penetrations into building
    5. Make supply and return penetrations into the SPFs
    6. Attach snap disk switch or thermistor sensor to the back
        of the duct floor inside the back of the SPF
    7. Hang and attach SPFs to mounting rails
    8. Install additional SPFs to array as desired                                        REMEMBER Safety First!!!
                                                                                          Installing a solar air heat panel can result in
    9. Flash, seal, and trim around SPF array
                                                                                          serious injury or even death. Construction of
    10. Place high temperature insulation stints in the wall cavity                       any sort can pose life-threatening risks to your
    11. Connect ducting to collectors and insert back draft                               health and personal safety. The installation of a
        dampers                                                                           solar air heat panel is no exception. Always
                                                                                          practice safety first!
    12. Hang fan, run necessary ducting and mount supply vents
        and return air grills                                                             Always use personal protection equipment
    13. Consult HVAC contractor regarding air handling and                                such as fall protection, safety glasses, gloves,
        distribution                                                                      and all other necessary equipment to ensure
                                                                                          the safe completion of the project. Do not use
    14. Consult licensed electrical contractor to wire system
                                                                                          inappropriate tools, safety gear or hardware. Do
        controls                                                                          not rush. Follow all relevant safety rules and
Installation Procedure                                                   Other Important Considerations:

                                                                            These collectors must be vertically mounted—meaning they must
1) Select and mark out an appropriate                                        be mounted perpendicular to the ground. They should not be
                                                                             mounted at any angle whatsoever.
location for the SPF collectors
                                                                            Ensure the collectors are a minimum of a foot above grade. In
Selecting, marking, and prepping a location on a building                    areas of winter snow cover, snow accumulation can cause
for the SPF system is a critical step, and many factors are                  shading and moisture issues.
involved. This first step will dictate the performance of and satis-        Ensure corresponding supply and return penetrations are
faction with the SPF system.                                                 appropriate for that wall section. (See #3 on page 7.) Do the
                                                                             supply and return penetrations make sense? Is there a
An appropriate location must be selected on the south facing ex-             convenient way to run necessary ducting? Will you encoun-
terior wall. Collectors can be only oriented slightly east or west of        ter water lines, electrical or other infrastructure that cannot
due south. Consult your dealer or RREAL for clarification.                   be moved?
The amount of space that                                                    Ensure that desired location has sufficient framing material
needs to be cleared and free of                                              to fasten solar collectors to.
obstructions on the south fac-
ing wall to accommodate the                                                 Try to avoid straddling the transition from rim joist to founda-
collectors will depend on the                                                tion or concrete basement wall. Straddling the transition
number of collectors that are                                                between rim joist and concrete basement wall or footing makes
being hung.                                                                  flashing, fastening and sealing challenging. Additional
                                                                             sheathing is sometimes required and this often brings the
Collector dimensions        are                                              collector too close to the ground.
listed below:                                                               Ensure panels are mounted a minimum of 6 inches below eves or
                                                                             overhangs to allow for ease while fastening collectors to mounting
SPF 40: 48 1/8‖ x 122 1/8‖                                                   rails.
SPF 32: 48 1/8‖ x 98 1/8‖
SPF26: 48 1/8‖ x 78 1/8‖
                                                                        1a) It is recommended that you mark out the collector
It is recommended that an                                                   dimensions on the exterior wall to ensure that there will
additional 1 inch or so be                                                  be adequate space available. Be sure to include what-
allotted around the perimeter                                               ever measurements necessary to accommodate proper
for the purposes of an                                                      trim and flashing.
architectural reveal as well
as ease of flashing, fastening                                          1b) The panels must be mounted to a flush surface. There-
and sealing.                                                                fore, depending on the type of siding material, the sid-
                                                                            ing may have to be removed to allow for a flush mount.
    * Additional collector dimensions are given on next page *              Consult your contractor for suggestions specific to your
                                                                            siding or cladding materials.
Installation Procedure (continued)                               A graphic depiction of the spacing dimensions for the mounting
                                                                 rails of the SPF 26 can be seen below. Note the dark lines represent
Once you have carefully marked perimeter of array and removed    the outside edges of the mounting rails. The SPF can be mounted in a
enough siding/cladding material to ensure adequate space and a   variety of configurations and the mounting rails need to be installed
flush mount, the next step is to……                               to accommodate these varying configurations. Generally, a top rail
                                                                 and a bottom rail are used, but in some cases, it may be more
2) Hang mounting rails                                           appropriate for a top rail and two side rails to be used. Consult your
                                                                 contractor or installer for structurally sound and appropriate
The RREAL SPF is specifically                                    mounting methods.
designed to have a flexible,
concealed mounting system. The                                   SPF26 MOUNTING RAIL DIMENSIONS
aluminum extrusion frame of the
collector allows it to nest on the
rail thereby concealing the rail
when the installation is complete.
Fasteners are used to attach the
collector to the rail.

The mounting rail is 1‖x2‖ rectan-
gular aluminum tubing with a
minimum wall thickness of 1/8‖.
Mounting rail must be attached
securely to structural members of the
building. Consult your contractor
for fasteners appropriate for the
installation. These rails must be
level and equidistant from one
another, as there is little room for                             2a) Premeasure the wall stud spacing and transfer the locations
error.                                                               onto the aluminum tubing.

                                                                 2b) Drill a hole through the aluminum tubing sufficient for the
                                                                     selected fastener. One wall of the rectangular tubing will
                                                                     have to be opened up more widely to accommodate
                                                                     drivers for the selected fastener. A step drill bit is useful for
                                                                 2c) Fasten aluminum tubing securely through the wall sheath-
                                                                     ing into the supporting structure.

                                                                 ** Mounting dimensions for the SPF 32 and SPF 40 can be
                                                                 found on the following page **
Installation Procedure (continued)   3) Determine optimum location for supply
                                     and return penetrations into building
                                     The supply and return penetrations are a function of where collector
                                     inlets and outlets are located respectfully. The RREAL SPF is
                                     specifically designed to make the inlet and outlet locations as
                                     flexible as possible in order to accommodate inconsistencies in con-
                                     struction of the house and building stock. The inlet and outlet loca-
                                     tions are site based decisions and you will be making these penetra-
                                     tions into the collector.

                                     The RREAL SPF can accommodate inlets and outlets within an
                                     18‖x44‖ area at either end width of the collector. The collector should
                                     not be penetrated elsewhere! The 18‖x44‖ area is located along the
                                     width of collector. Stand-
                                     ing the collector upright,
                                     this section would be the
                                     top and bottom of collec-
                                     tor. The penetrations will
                                     be made in the back of the
                                     collector and will described
                                     in detail in a following sec-

SPF40 MOUNTING RAIL DIMENSIONS       Selecting the supply and return penetrations is influenced by the
                                     following considerations:

                                        Inlet (to collector) and outlet (from collector) must be sepa-
                                         rated vertically as much as possible with warm outlet near the room
                                         ceiling and cold inlet near the floor. This will ensure the greatest
                                         efficiency of operation.

                                        There might be electrical or other infrastructure hidden in wall
                                         where inlet and outlet penetrations will be made. Check to make
                                         sure avoided.

                                        Separating inlet and outlet by an interior wall is acceptable and
                                         desirable. Warm air could be delivered to area of greatest need
                                         during winter heating season through the attic (e.g. a room in
                                         the north side of house or a room without sunlight). Avoid deliver-
                                         ing heat into a room that already receives a great deal of passive
                                         solar gain.
Installation Procedure (continued)                                          4d) Drill holes in building roughly 2 inches larger than ducting size to
                                                                                accommodate for an extra inch of high temperature insulation that
                                                                                will encompass the ducting through the wall cavity. The chart below
 The size of the supply and return penetrations to be made into the             approximates the penetration size needed through the building
 building is a function of the size and number of SPFs being mounted            sheathing according to duct size. From the outside of the building,
 and the necessary size fan and ducting to allow proper air flow for that       cut a hole in the sheathing using either a hole saw, a reciprocating
 size system.                                                                   saw, a jig saw or another appropriate tool. Use caution with a hole
                                                                                saw as it is a powerful tool with enormous torque.
 Prior to making penetrations, consult the fan and duct sizing charts on
 this page and on page13 .
                                                                                                                       DUCT SIZING CHART
Once you have consulted the fan and duct sizing charts and the size of
the supply and return penetrations has been determined…                                                           Ducting Size Penetration Size
4) Make supply and return penetrations into                                                                       5 inches         7 inches
building accordingly                                                                                              6 inches         8 inches
                                                                                                                  8 inches         10 inches
                                                                                                                  8 + inches       Consult RREAL

                                                                             With the penetrations made into the building, the corresponding pene-
                                                                             trations must be made into the SPF collectors.

                                                                             5) Make supply and return penetrations into
                                                                             the SPFs accordingly
4a) Double check selection of supply and return penetrations and               5a) Measuring from the perimeter of array lines that have been
    mark out on building.                                                          marked on building, locate center lines for inlet and outlet port
                                                                                   holes in the back of the collector. Consult picture on page 7 for
4b) Double check weather conditions and ensure that this step                      placement of supply and return penetrations into back of SPF.
    is being done at a weather appropriate time. Cutting holes
    in the building will compromise the building envelope until                5b) Drill port holes in collector back. A hole saw or other appropri-
    the collectors are installed. Use your best judgment regard-                   ate cutting device must be used. This hole must be cut with
    ing temp and moisture and pending precipitation.                               very close tolerances. You should carefully vacuum out the in-
                                                                                   side of the collector of any polyisocyanurate dust that may have
4c) Using a long pilot bit, mark the center hole. CAUTION:                         been created by the cutting process.
    you must have confidence that there are no electrical lines or
    water lines in the walls where you are piloting. When you’ve               5c) Insert and seal starter collars in holes. The number and size of the
    determined the location for the supply and return penetra-                     starter collars and holes in the back of SPF will be a function of the
    tions, you can verify the safety of the selection by opening a                 array size and system design. Prior to inserting starter collars,
    small hole in the interior wall and feeling for existing electri-              100% silicone caulking should be applied to the wall of the starter
    cal or water lines. Triple check!                                              collar that comes in contact with the collector insulation.
Installation Procedure (continued)                                         7) Hang and attach SPFs to mounting rails
6) Attach snap disk switch or thermistor sen-                              Collector Extrusion can be cut out to accommodate a long array rail.
                                                                           For example, if you’re mounting 5 SPFs, you can simply place one
sor to the back of the duct floor inside the                               mounting rail approximately 20’ long across the bottom and top of
back of the SPF                                                            the array. The part of the collector extrusion that accommodates the
                                                                           mounting rail can be cut out using an angle grinder. Be sure to only
There are two methods of wiring the system. Each method involves           cut out the portion necessary to slide collector along rail.
   different sensors which must be installed in the collectors prior to
   mounting. Consulting with a qualified licensed electrician prior
   to mounting the collectors is highly recommended for ease of
   installation. Note that the sensors MUST BE INSTALLED AS
   OF COLLECTORS. Mounting the sensor down low on the hot
   side or on the cold side will result in lack of functionality.

                                                                           View of aluminum rail
                                                                           mounted behind collec-
                                                                           tor. Notice that the
            Thermistor                                       Snap Disk     mounting rail sits inside
                                                                           the SPF, thus hidden
                                                                           from view when SPF is        Use angle grinder with cut off wheel and/or
6a) If using snap disc sensor: Drill a 1” hole through the duct floor in   mounted to flush building    sawzall with metal cutting blade to cut away
    a location where there are no obstructions underneath, being very      surface.                     collector edge to accommodate rail for
    careful to not hit the absorber plate. Place the snap disc in the                                   multiple collectors.
    hole & drill two sheet metal screws through the holes on the sides
    of the snap disc. Pull the wires through the back of the collector,
    taking care to seal the back afterwards with silicone and/or poly-     7a) When the mounting rails are securely fastened to the building,
    iso insulation as needed.                                                  set the collector upon the mounting rails. You could have an
                                  OR                                           additional crew member check inside the building to be certain
                                                                               that the ducting holes in the building line up nicely with the
6a) If using thermistor sensor: Drill a sheet metal screw through the          inlets and outlets cut into the collectors.
    thermistor into the duct floor. Care must be taken to avoid corro-
    sion of the copper and the aluminum duct floor, so use a high-         7b) Hold collector in place securely against building while fasten-
    temperature washer between the thermistor and duct floor, and              ers are driven vertically through collector extrusion and into
    between the fastener and thermistor. Pull the wires through the            mounting rail. Use exterior grade #14x1”, self-drilling screws.
    back of the collector, taking care to seal the back afterwards with        Self drilling screws must have extra long drill tip to successfully
    silicone and/or polyiso insulation as needed.                              drill through both layers of aluminum. Use a minimum of 5
                                                                               per horizontal mounting rail per width of each collector.
  ** Snap disk wires in back of collector must be hi-temp rated **
Installation Procedure (continued)                                           As seen below, additional SPFs can be mated and mounted to-
                                                                             gether in a number of different fashions. The best configuration for
                                                                             each home or building is a site-based decision made prior to instal-
8) Install additional SPFs to array as desired                               lation. RREAL will manufacture custom SPFs per your specific
                                                                             recommended configuration.
When installing additional collectors on the building, collectors can be
mated together to take advantage of the internal manifold system. Using
our Array Interconnect (AI) technology many collectors can be con-
nected together to form a large array. Such arrays essentially function as
a single collector and eliminate the need for cumbersome external mani-

8a) Apply silicon to the surface
   of the AI Stint at 3 loca-
   tions: a) around the entire
   mid section of the stint,
   b) round the east edge and
   c) around the west edge.
   You’ll have three beads of
   caulking running the full
   perimeter of the stint.

8b) After the first collector is
   up, insert the siliconed AI
   Stint in the collector that is
   already hung.

8c) When hanging the next collector in the array, slide it into
   place to mate with the AI Stint. It is convenient to have one
   person observing the stint entering the receiver to ensure
   the collectors are properly connected. Attach the next
   collector to the rails (as previously described) while it is
   pushed very tightly up against the first collector. There
   should be virtually no open seam between collector bodies.
   A pipe clamp can assist with this process. Custom tools are
   available for large installations depending on the siding
Installation Procedure (continued)                                     10) Place high temperature insulation stints
                                                                       in the wall cavity
9) Flash, seal, and trim around SPF array
                                                                       RREAL recommends using high temperature, rigid, fiberglass insula-
                                                                       tion sleeves around the ducting that passes through the exterior wall.
Flash around collector. Flashing is strongly recommended as a pre-     High temperature sleeves ensure that the ducting connected to the
cautionary measure. There are a variety of suitable methods for        collectors will not conduct heat into the wall cavities when the system
flashing around the collectors, depending upon your siding type and    is not running but is exposed to the sun. These sleeves must be
other important factors. Consult with your building professional for   caulked and sealed to the insulation on the back of the collector. The
flashing methods suitable for your particular application.             high temperature sleeve should be sized to meet and seal to the col-
                                                                       lector insulation on the outside and flush with the inside finish wall
9a) Using appropriate flashing for the climate and application. Seal   on the interior. (Picture below of high temp sleeve inserted into wall)
    around the entire perimeter of array.

9b) Seal seam between collectors. Bronze silicone works well for
    this. Ensure that seam is sealed at top and bottom of collector
    array as well.

                                                                        11) Connect ducting to collectors and insert
                                                                        back draft dampers
                                                                         This step is done from the inside of the building. Insert ducting
                                                                         into starter collar for supply and return penetrations. Insert back
                                                                         draft dampers into duct. (Recommended back draft dampers have
                                                                         gasket and slide into duct.) Triple check correct airflow alignment
                                                                         of back draft dampers. Failure to properly orient the back draft
                                                                         dampers will result in the cavitation and destruction of the fan mo-
                                                                         tor. Back-draft dampers should be aligned with spring vertically
                                                                         oriented. Failure to do so could result in an energy NET LOSS.
                                                                         The back draft dampers are critical to the system’s functionality.
                                                                         On the return (cold) air side, it is highly recommended that a fur-
                                                                         nace filter return air grille be used. Aluminum sheet metal can be
                                                                         attached to the back of the return air grille and a circular hole can
                                                                         be cut into the sheet metal for the ducting. Where the ducting
                                                                         meets the sheet metal, caulking can be applied to seal the seam.
Installation Procedure (continued)
                                                                          14) Consult licensed electrical contractor
                                                                          to wire system controls
12) Hang fan, run necessary ducting and
mount supply vents and return air grills                                  Warning: Contract with a qualified licensed electrician to complete
                                                                          wiring properly. Connections must be made according to code and by
In consideration for the wiring electrician, it is recommended that the   a qualified individual. Attempting to wire a system without proper
fan be mounted on the hot air supply side of the SPF. This is the side    credentials can result in injury, death, and destruction of property.
where the snap disk is located and the high temperature wires are
running out of the back of the collector.                                 There are two possible ways in which a system can be wired up. The
                                                                          wiring diagrams are not provided, so again, please consult a
                                                                          licensed electrical contractor to properly wire the system controls.

                                                                          (1) The first wiring method involves a snap disk switch, low-voltage
                                                                          thermostat, relay, transformer and fan.

                                                                          (2) The second method involves a thermal differential controller with
                                                                          thermistor, thermostat, and fan. A controller is recommended in appli-
                                                                          cations such as workshops, where heat less than 90 degrees should be
                                                                          harvested from the collectors. A controller would also be recom-
                                                                          mended if data collection is required, as this is a built-in feature of the
 ** If the fan is hung in unconditioned space, it should be               Both wiring methods involve a low-voltage sensor in the back of
 hung vertically to avoid moisture issues.                                the collector.

                                                                            Parts for Method (1)                   Parts for Method (2)
 13) Consult HVAC contractor regarding air
 handling and distribution
  Consult with an HVAC contractor for the appropriate, code com-
  pliant methods for distributing the heat. Dozens of possible con-
  figurations exist and these are largely a function of your site and
  application. Ducting can go directly through the walls on both
  supply and return, or the supply duct can go into the attic and run
  to an area of critical heat need. Crawl spaces can also be appropri-     Snap disk switch, low volt-            Thermal differential con-
  ate for distribution ducting.                                            age thermostat, relay, trans-          troller, thermistor, thermo-
                                                                           former and fan                         stat and fan
Panel Configurations
                                                                              Fan Sizing Chart
Sufficient airflow is crucial for the efficient operation of solar air
heat systems. Undersizing the fan or ducting WILL result in effi-                     Series Configuration
ciency loss. Use the chart below to select the correct size fan and      System      (2) SPF 26 (2) SPF 32 (2) SPF 40
ducting.                                                                 Duct Size   6" duct    8" duct    8" duct      SPF Mechanical
SERIES - Collectors are connected end to end, or in another con-
                                                                         Ft.               3.2      4        3
figuration where all air flows through all collectors.                   Fan         AXC150A AXC200A AXC200A
                                                                         Elec Con-
                                                                         sumption    80W          72W      72W

                                                                                   Parallel Configuration
                                       End to End Series
                                                                         System    (1) SPF 26 (1) SPF 32 (1) SPF 40
                                                                         Duct Size 5 " duct 5" duct       6" duct
                                        U-shape Series                   Ft.                 4          3          4
                                                                         Fan       AXC125A AXC125A AXC150A
PARALLEL - Collectors are connected side by side. A particular           Elec Con-
air molecule will travel through the middle of only one collector.       sumption 62W          62W        80W

                                                                         System      (2) SPF 26 (2) SPF 32 (2) SPF 40
                                                                         Duct Size   6" duct    6" duct    8" duct
                                                                         Ft.               3.4     2.7     3.4
                                                                         Fan         AXC150A AXC150A AXC200A
                                                                         Elec Con-
                                                                         sumption    80W          80W      72W
                                          Parallel Configuration

When the building allows, parallel configuration is preferable, al-      System      (3) SPF 26 (3) SPF 32 (3) SPF 40
though series works well when properly sized.                            Duct Size   8" duct    8" duct    8" duct
  Systems in series require more fan power than parallel systems         Ft.                  4    3.5     2.8
since the air needs to be pushed twice as far. Due to the increased      Fan         AXC200A AXC200A AXC200A
fan power required, we do not recommend series configuration for         Elec Con-
an array of more than 2 collectors. For systems larger than covered      sumption    72W          72W      72W
in this chart, you may need more than one fan. Please call RREAL
for additional sizing information.
Care and maintenance of SPF system                                                          Troubleshooting
Performing minimal but routine maintenance on your Solar Powered
Furnace(s) and the associated components will ensure that you will     Observed
continue to receive significant output of clean, renewable heat from   Issue    Problem                             Solution
the sun. The following is a list of items that you should check
regularly to be certain of optimal performance:
                                                                       Fan isn't    Electrical issue, snap disk,    Call electrician, replace snap
                                                                       running      defective fan                   disk, replace fan
      If the Solar Powered Furnaces are mounted close to
       the ground or a deck, be certain that snow does not             Fan is
       pile up in front of them. This will cause shading and           always       Faulty snap disk, faulty        Replace snap disk, replace
       reduce production.                                              running      thermostat                      thermostat
      Be sure that the glass is free of dust and dirt to as-
                                                                       Air isn't    Faulty snap disk, sealing       Replace snap disk, check seal
       sure maximum solar transmittance. Do not pressure
                                                                       warm         around collector has failed     around collectors
       wash your SPF.
      If you purchase RREAL’s Solar Powered Furnaces
       but do not install them right away, cover the side              Fan is loud Fan has lived usefull life       Replace fan
       ports with a tape to ensure that dust and/or debris             Fan is on,                                    Reorient back draft damper,
       are not introduced to the inside of the collector.              but little of Misaligned or faulty back draft replace back draft damper,
      Replace air filters before every heating season to              no air        damper, faulty fan              replace fan
       ensure adequate and contiguous air flow at the
       recommended cubic feet per minute. Replacing air                Lots of cold Misaligned or faulty back draft Reorient back draft damper,
       filters will ensure that nothing such as pet/human              air at night damper                           replace back draft damper
       hair gets into the back of the collectors and causes a                       Some collectors will burn off Continue operation and
       burnt odor. Mind the air flow direction on the filters.         Smoke        some oils and/or dust when       maintain adequate
                                                                       emerging     first deployed - similar to wood ventilation. Smoke will
      Check back-draft dampers to be sure that they open              from supply stoves                            subside with operation.
       and close without sticking or leaking. Some back-
       draft dampers (also called “check valves”) may be
       difficult to see once your system has been installed.           If for any reason, you observe one of above problems and are
                                                                       unable to remedy the issue, please contact RREAL. We will do our
      Annually check the flashing, sealing, and trim                  best to diagnose and remedy the problem as quick as possible.
       around the Solar Powered Furnace(s). Leakage of
       water behind the collectors could result in heat loss                                 Contact info is listed below:
       and/or rotting of sheathing.
                                                                                     RREAL: Rural Renewable Energy Alliance
   Limited Warranty
Full Ten Year Warranty on the Solar Powered Furnace Series Solar Collectors manufactured          B. Limitation on Exclusion from Coverage
by Rural Renewable Energy Alliance                                                                Conditions that may occur in the normal operation of the collector shall not be invoked
                                                                                                  by Rural Renewable
1. Scope of Coverage                                                                              Energy Alliance to reduce the coverage of this warranty.
This warranty applies to a new solar collector purchased by the end user. The warranty cov-
ers the collector as a whole including all of its components and parts. It extends to the irst    6. Other Rights and Remedies
buyer of the collector for a total of ten (10) years from the date of purchase.
                                                                                                  A. Consequential and Incidental Damages
2. Warranty on the Collector                                                                      Rural Renewable Energy Alliance shall not be liable for:
Rural Renewable Energy Alliance fully warrants its solar collectors to be free from defects in    (1) Consequential damages to the system in which the improperly functioning collector is
both material and workmanship for a total period of ten (10) years from date of installation      installed, (2) Consequential or Incidental damages to the system in which the collector is
acceptance by the original owner. If a failure does occur during the warranty period, Rural       improperly installed, and (3) Incidental expenses incurred to replace, as necessary, any
Renewable Energy Alliance will provide a new part, or at Rural Renewable Energy Alliance’s        other obligations or liability in connection with the collector.
option, have repaired any part of the collector. A new warranty shall apply to any replace-
ment part, but shall be limited in time to the remainder of the original war-                     B. No Other Expressed Warranties
ranty period. This warranty applies to collectors installed for use as a heat collector to pro-   Unless otherwise explicitly agreed to in writing, it is understood that these are the only
vide energy for use in medium temperature range applications (110 to 210 degrees Fahren-          written warranties given by Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, and Rural Renewable En-
heit) only.                                                                                       ergy Alliance neither assumes nor authorizes anyone to assume for it any other obligations
                                                                                                  or liability in connection with the collector.
3. Service Labor Responsibility
This warranty covers labor expenses for removal and reinstallation. Rural Renewable Energy        C. Implied Warranties
Alliance will pay up to seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per collector for such expenses.            This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which
                                                                                                  vary from state to state.
4. Absorber Surface
Rural Renewable Energy Alliance warrants fully for a period of ten (10) years against any deg-    D. Right to Arbitration
radation of the absorber surface which would significantly affect the collector performance.      Any dispute between the buyer and Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, pertaining to this
                                                                                                  warranty may, at the option of the buyer, be resolved by arbitration in the state installed
5. Warranty Exclusions                                                                            according to the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

A. This Warranty will not apply to the following exclusions:                                      E. Right to Indemnity
        1) To defects or malfunctions resulting from failure to properly install, operate or      Rural Renewable Energy Alliance will fully indemnify a licensed contractor who installs
        maintain the collector.                                                                   the collector and gives a written warranty in the amount of any liability to the buyer under
        2) To damage from abuse, accident, fire, flood, hail, wind or other Acts of Nature.       such warranty to a breech that is also a breech of the Manufacturer’s warranty to the
        3) To glass breakage.                                                                     buyer.
        4) To collector failure which occurs due to damage caused by heat transfer fluids.
        5) If the collector is moved from the original installation location.                     F. Filing a Claim
        6) To damage from when the collector is not installed directly against a building.        All claims should be filed with the contractor or dealer from whom the collector was pur-
        7) To damage from when the collector is installed at any angle other than 90 de-          chased. If unable to do so, please contact: Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL), at
        grees from the ground, or vertical to the ground.                               

SPF Catalog Pages
Manufacturer’s History
 RREAL is a 501c3 non-profit
 organization dedicated to making
 solar energy accessible to people
 of all income levels. Established
 in November of 2000, RREAL
 accomplishes its mission through
 our flagship program, Solar
 Assistance. Solar Assistance
 provides solar heating systems to
 low-income families qualifying for
 energy assistance, at no cost to the
 homeowner. As part of RREAL’s
 efforts to achieve our mission, we
 have designed one of the most
 efficient and effective solar
 heating collectors available. We
 hope you agree. And by your
 purchase of RREAL’s Solar
 Powered Furnace, you are helping
 RREAL achieve its mission. You
 are making solar energy accessible
 to people of all income levels.
 Learn more at

  For more information contact:

 Rural Renewable Energy Alliance
   2330 Dancing Wind Rd SW
             Suite #2
      Pine River, MN 56474


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