An Engineer in Wonderland – Teamwork, roofs and solar heating
I spent 13 hours up ladders yesterday, acting as a plumber’s mate fitting solar thermal panels. It was the first time for all three of us, which is why it took such a long time, but it was very satisfying.
Firstly because even with no liquid in, the panels were happily generating hot air from their outlet pipes. I know this shouldn’t surprise me as I understand the theory, but it was nice to feel it in action.
Secondly, it was good to work in a team where everyone is competent and pulling in the same direction. No egos, no shouting, just dedication to doing a good job.
And lastly because the panels (2 x Greenskies FKC-1S solar panel, pictured) and fitting kit (Roof integrated FKI5 portrait basic 2 coll tile) supplied by the manufacturer, Worcester Bosch, were first class.
Despite having a lot of parts, everything fitted, clipped, screwed and stuck together as it was supposed to – even the large complex thin sheet metal flashing that seals the roof around the panels. This could easily have been sloppily made, but it was better than millimetre perfect where it needed to be while being flexible enough to accommodate the vagaries of an old roof.
The instructions were also excellent, although a couple of extra detail diagrams would have saved some contemplation, and there are four foam strips which seem to have been introduced since the instructions were printed.
‘Don’t assume, check’, is the mantra so a phone call will be required to confirm, or not, they actually fit where they look like they fit.
I can’t report on the effectiveness of the system yet as there is a fair amount of plumbing left before it can be filled, but I am expecting great things.