The procedures in this manual are for all
ProgressivTube Passive Solar Water Heater
models. The only difference in the four
available models is the amount of water each
one holds: PT-30-CN, 30 gallons; PT-35-CN,
35 gallons; PT-40-CN, 41 gallons; PT-50-CN,
51 gallons. All models have a 30-year design
This Owner’s Manual describes the operation of
a 2-way system. The two functional modes of
this system are solar pre-heat and solar by-
pass. Solar pre-heat is the normal mode of
operation. When using this mode, the solar
system pre-heats the water before entering your
conventional water heater. The solar by-pass
mode allows you to shut down the solar
collector and operate with just your conventional
water heater. The by-pas mode is for severe
winter operation or for other reasons that
require complete solar shut down.
Both methods of testing are best performed during
the afternoon of a clear sunny day.
f you leave for vacation, or for some other reason
your system is not to be used for a long period of
time, it is recommended the system be left in the
solar pre-heat mode with the collector filled.
If your system is going to be unused for a long
period of time during potentially severe winter
weather with temperatures falling below 10 F, it is
recommended you place the system in the Solar
By-pass mode and drain the collector.
mass of water held within the heavy copper tanks
is the primary reason for the unit’s freeze Maintenance
resistance. The carefully designed components of
A. Cleaning the Glazing
the unit, such as thick foam insulation; two layers
of glazing; and a special low heat emitting surface
Your ProgressivTube® solar water heating system
on the tanks, all contribute to the unit’s ability to
is virtually maintenance-free. Occasionally, the
glazing of the collector may need to be cleaned.
The best time to clean the glass is early morning
However, in areas where the pipes leading to and
before the collector gets too hot. Use a
from the unit could freeze, your installation
household glass cleaner and soft cloth, just as
contractor has used heavy pipe insulation and
you would for windows.
provided your system with an automatic freeze
protection device. B. Flushing the Solar Collector
If you live in a cold weather climate, the collector Please refer to the system diagrams before
should be shut down by draining in the event of starting this procedure.
outdoor air temperatures below 10 F with As with all conventional water heaters, it is
overcast skies for several days. Good recommended the solar collector be flushed once
performance can be expected from your system a year. With your system positioned in the normal
during daytime conditions of clear skies and Solar Pre-heat mode perform the following:
moderate freezing conditions (20’s and 30’s). 1) Attach a hose to boiler drain 5A located
on the pipe coming from the collector.
2) Open the boiler drain and let the water
Boost Your Savings
run for several minutes. The water should be
Your savings will vary from month to month with
drained to a proper location and precautions taken,
weather and sunlight conditions. You can boost
because the water flowing from your hose will be
Winter Operation the savings from your solar appliance by
The solar collector/storage unit on your roof is scheduling hot water usage (dishwashing and
3) Close boiler drain 5A and remove the
virtually freeze proof in sunbelt areas. The large laundry) in the early afternoon.
WITH ELECTRIC WATER HEATER to a proper drain location. Precautions should be mode. collector and only water is coming from the hose,
taken because the water flowing from your hose 2) Your system is now operating as a close boiler drain 5A. Your solar system is now
could be extremely hot. conventional water heater. back in operation. It is important to purge all the
5) Close the drain fitting, remove the hose 3) Attach hoses to both boiler drains, valves air from the system to prevent sputtering of your
10 and position the system in the Solar Pre-heat 5A and 5B. hot water at the facet
9 mode. 4) Open both boiler drains. Make sure
hoses drain the water to a proper location. Both The solar energy system described by this
6 WITH GAS WATER HEATER boiler drains must be opened so that the collector manual, when properly installed and maintained,
5A 5B is properly vented to the atmosphere. Failure to meets the minimum standards established by the
1 Cold Water
open both boiler drains while draining could Florida Solar Energy Center, in accordance with
4 damage the collector voiding the warranty.
Hot Water Cold Water
1. Supply shut off valve Caution: water may be extremely hot!
2. 3-way shut off valve
1. SupplyBall Valve: Bronze
2. 3-way Ball Valve: Bronze
4. 2-way Ball Valve
3. Tempering Valve:Bronze 9 5) After all water has been drained from the
7 4. Tempering Valve
5. Boiler Drain: Bronze
6. Pressure Relief Valve:150 psi
5. Boiler Drain: Bronze collector, close both boiler drains and remove
7. Conventional Water Heater
6. Pressure Relief Valve:150 psi
8. Conventional Water Heater
7. Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve:
210 f / 150 psi
8. Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve: 6 hoses.
210 f / 150
9. Roof Jacks psi
9. Freeze Prevention Valve (optional)*
10. Roof Jacks 3 5B
11. Hot Water 4
How to Refill Your Solar Collector
C. Flushing the Conventional Water Hot Water
Inlet After Draining
1. Supply shut off valve
3-way Ball Valve: Bronze
2-way Ball Valve:Bronze Please refer to the system control diagrams before
4. Tempering Valve
Please refer to the system diagrams before 7
Boiler Drain: Bronze
Pressure Relief Valve:150 psi starting this procedure.
7. Conventional Water Heater
starting this procedure. 8. Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve:
210 f / 150 psi 1) Attach a hose to boiler drain 5A on the
9. Roof Jacks
10. Freeze prevention Valve (optional)*
11. PROGRESSIVTUBE pipe coming from the collector.
1) Position the system in the Solar By-pass 2) Open the boiler drain all the way.
mode. How to Drain the Solar Collector 3) Position the system in the Solar Pre-heat
2) Attach a hose to the drain fitting at the mode. The three-way ball valve, #2, should be
bottom of your conventional water heater. Please refer to the system control diagrams before the last valve moved into its solar pre-heat
3) Open the drain fitting. starting this procedure. position.
4) Allow the water to run for several minutes 1) Position the system in the Solar By-pass 4) After all the air has been purged from the
Congratulations! electrical power that adds cost to your utility bill.
PROGRESSIVTUBE When hot water is used, solar pre-heated water
As the owner of a ProgressivTube® solar water flows from the water within the solar collector into
Solar Water heating system, you are on the leading edge of your conventional water heater, reducing or
the effort to reduce the use of conventional fuels eliminating gas or electricity usage for heating
Heater and take advantage of the sun’s free energy. water.
The ProgressivTube® solar water heater works
Owners simply on sunlight and your local water pressure.
There is no electrical energy needed to make it
function. Once the system has been filled, it will
To ensure a continuous supply of hot water, the
thermostat on your conventional water heater must
be left on as a back-up heat source. For greater
Manual operate on the pressure or flow rates that are
normal to your household. The uncomplicated
design and quality construction of the solar
savings the setting can be reduced to 105 F.
However, if you have heavy water usage or an
automatic dishwasher without a booster element,
collector will provide you with years of energy- the thermostat should be set at 120 F.
saving, trouble-free operation. This manual is
furnished as your guide to the operation, freeze
protection and preventative maintenance Is My System Working?
procedures of your solar appliance.
You can tell if your system is working by turning
How the System Works on a hot water faucet in the house and allowing it
The ProgressivTube® solar water heater is a pre- to run for several minutes. Compare by touch, the
heater to your conventional gas or electric water temperature of boiler drain 5B on the pipe going to
heater. The system is installed so you can by- the collector with the temperature of the boiler
pass the solar collector if necessary, and operate drain 5A on the pipe coming from the collector.
only from your conventional water heater. Boiler drain 5A should feel significantly warmer
The system has no moving parts and operates than boiler drain 5B.
whenever solar energy is available. It uses no
For a more precise measurement, place a bucket
under boiler drain 5A and fill it with water after
letting a hot water faucet in the house run for
several minutes. Use a thermometer and compare
the difference in temperature of the water in the
bucket with water coming from a cold water faucet.
Section 377.705, Florida Statutes. This
certification does not imply endorsement or
warranty of this product by the Florida Solar
Energy Center or the State of Florida.