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Dave Yates

Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,365
As we know the German government has been now been enforcing the installation of Alternative energy sources on new Constructions!

I will be doing some Checking on the REGULATIONS and RULES of the Installs.

Growing up in the trade i can warrant that the Inspectors in Germany are very educated and will pick up on nonsense installs; most likely they will give the Installer a couple of weeks to fix the system and follow up make sure that the system is installed to :Accepted Industrie Norms, maybe a DIN norm ? this is Kinda like the Chimney sweepers yearly mandated Inspection for properly functioning boilers and the efficiency thereof and the possible shutting down of inefficient,dilapidated equipment.)

Some towns like Marburg even tried to Mandate(G-Force) this on all Buildings,Even 1200 year old Houses! I am not sure what the outcome was on that.

Also:England and Germany are "Punishing" landlords that have old inefficient Boilers/equipment by making the landlords pay the difference between the new efficient equipment and the old equipment(offset in Fuel usage)...This is: Forcing the old out bringing the new in, opening new jobs/Work and helping reduce the carbon footprint!

Can "WE" come up with some Guidelines? and of most importance can "WE" enforce them?

Who are "WE" and who are we to tell "Them" what to do?

And can "WE" do this with out the Government interfering?

Or can "We" learn something for "Them"?

Maybe "WE" need to reinvent the Wheel?..

Maybe "WE need a Belated "Bailout" from a Industry gone Bad from the 1980 solar era. not sure?..
...:-) Richard


  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    Dave Yates

    Daves "here we go again" article in the Dec. contractor is spot on!!!!! It mirrors my frustration. As a little tyke I carried the tools while dad was out installing solar panels and wood boilers. We would go to home shows to check out the competitions panels etc. There where tons of them,some where junk of course as everybody and his buddy was getting in.

    Now here we are 30 years later and the same thing is happening!! some good stuff on the market some junk. I just looked at a non functioning solar system. An "expert" had installed a single panel horozontal UNDER the overhang of the roof,best part it faces North East!!!!!

    Lets hope we don't go backwards again with shoddy non functioning systems and lets hope we can convince the public to invest in new boilers A/c etc. We have got to do it you and I. Work with your local media to promote what we can do. Every night on the news they rejoice over low oil prices we need to counter that .

    I'm no going to pretend that I'm an expert on solar like Hot Rod and some of the other lurkers here, but North east facing???!!!.

    I asked my 12 yold which way he thought a panel ought to face "Ummm I don't know dad... towards the sun?" Bingo
  • RonWHC
    RonWHC Member Posts: 232
    Ah, Dave.

    Hacks are a given. The government give-a-ways coming down the road assures they will multiply like dandelions in April. Get ready for even more frustration.

    As for now - - Merry Christmas.

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,365

    joel, Can only agree with you!!

    I know nobody wants to be told what to do (Rules and regulations) and I've gotten many negative feed backs over this subject over the years!

    Even one that since we are the Land of the free"we" shall reserve the right to waste as much energy as we want to!

    And that the government shall not and cannot interfere with this market! yet on Automobile standpoint the Emissions testing is mandated and no one has a problem with that!

    I think that every Solar install shall be planned and designed with great care!

    I am seeing some bad Installs as well.and do not want to see the same thing happen like it did in the 1980 ties!

    Just the other day i heard a Plumber taking to Customer over his cell phone and insuring them that: "Yes we can heat your house with 3 Collectors"!!
    Ya think he was talking about a Dog house?

    The consumers needs to be "Protected" from this!

    #1 A solar pathfinder shall indicate the exposure times which this data will also be used to "Justify" the install

    #2 The Collectors shall be approved!(No Junk)

    #3 Just like a Heatloss a Simulation shall be preformed,i.e. Ret screen or T sol.

    #4 A System design shall be submitted (A drawing/Plan of how the system is Interfaced with the Equipment) This information shall remain near the Equipment!

    #5 The system shall be Checked/Inspected on a Yearly Basis to make sure that it is in good working order.

    #6 Minimum Insulation Requirements for piping.

    I do not know all the answers just some suggestions that for sure can be build upon,

    There are Many Great minds and people on the wall and i
    hope you all have Merry Christmas and a Hoppy new Year!
  • Perry_5
    Perry_5 Member Posts: 141
    The advantages of North Daylight....

    You obviously don't understand the advantages of north daylight.

    This is a real gem of a system. If I were selling it I'd likely market using "Diamond" in the name.

    For grading gemstones "North Daylight" is preferred in the northern hemisphere as it is color neutral due to its low level of UV (South Daylight in the southern hemisphere).

    Since mornings tend to be coldest - you also want to maximize morning collection - hence a turn to the East.

    This system was obviously designed for collection of the maximum quality gemstone grading light during the coldest part of the day...

    What a great idea... A "Diamond" of an idea in fact.

    It would be a lot more fun to sit at someones table with a collection of small gemstones and wow the people during the sales pitch too... Not only would the system provide heat for the house - but you could even provide a small gemstone of their choice too (Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, Diamond, Etc) as part of the sale.

    Now if that won't warm people up inside.... I don't know what will.


    ps: I do note that gemstone quality has a wide range - and is priced accordingly. Also, like heating systems the price goes up with the size. I am by no means suggesting that you provide a natural relatively flawless and good color gemstones unless it is appropriate for the quality and size of the heating system. Small junk quality gemstones are relatively cheap - and 99+% of people have no idea (just like they have no idea on heating systems either). Of course, I think you would be money ahead to put the $$ into a good quality surge protection system and a few other things; but, without marketing you won't get as many sales.... and this appears to me to be a great marketing strategy... that a lot of people will like up front.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    Ah ha!!!!

    thank you for the epifany all this time i was using a Cubic Zirconia on my sales calls,didn't fool the wife either....
  • Perry_5
    Perry_5 Member Posts: 141
    You expect Cubic Z to make mama happy...

    I am sure you know that if "mama" isn't happy with the heating system (or the proposal for the heating system) - then no one is happy....

    You are using Cubic Zirconium.... Uggg.... a non-starter if not a total turn off.

    You need to use something that will really impress them. Real Emeralds, Rubies, Sapphires, or even Diamonds. High quality Emeralds, Rubies, and Sapphires are more valuable than an similar high quality Diamond (actually gemstone quality Diamond is 5-6 down the list in terms of value). Of course, you don't need to use high quality stones... but "Real" ones - not synthetic - are sure to impress.

    In addition, you need to learn to accessorize. A lot of extra profit in some simple accessories such as some plain rings or simple pendant to set the stones in.

    What other heating contractor is going to have the Wife or S.O. drooling over your presentation and offer? Who else is going to give the husband or B.F a chance to buy gemstones and/or jewelry for her.

    Its so much about marketing ... without marketing you have few sales and limit your business.

  • RonWHC
    RonWHC Member Posts: 232
    Good reason I

    don't take Mama on sa;es calls. If the potential customer saw what's around her neck & on her ear lobes, they'd sign w/ the competitor who drives the Yugo.

    Mounts his panels on the North side. Something about the solar radiation from the North Star. Guarantees 90% from that angle, when the moon is visible. Wool sweaters & thermal socks w/ every signed proposal.

  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931

    Summertime solar stagnation is not a problem! best it will heat the tank to is about 110 on a 90f day. Job security,boys,job security.
  • Thanks


    That was really getting under my skin!

  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611

    I don't think pathfinder plotting or simulation software is a make or break between a hack and someone with integrity.

    I think a compass and a ladder can tell you a lot about the viability of a potential solar instal. Yes it's nifty to be able to quantify and calculate However it doesn't really take much instrumentation for someone who understands the arc of the sun, to tell the difference between a marginal and excellent aplication.

    The problem is that there are currently not that many people who want to invest in solar, and unfortunately their interest may have very little to do with the suitability of their site. Factor in that existing mechanicals are often in a less than ideal location (relative to prime roof area) and I would guess that were I live (lots of trees and hills) maybe one out of ten houses has solar resources that justify the investment.To the installer with integrity it's going to be a drag to have to inform the enthusiastic potential client that the payback may be quite marginal or non-existent.

    It's the marginal locations that really need to be examined carefully, Unfortunately with cheep fuel back again- good instruments and software will probably prove what we wish was not true, that many locations represent a financially questionable investment.

    What we really need is a regulatory device (carbon tax) that can be adjustably applied to maintain consistently high carbon energy costs. How can we expect investment in this field when energy cost are so volatile? Anybody who is behind solar should get behind carbon taxing. Better to have high fossil energy cost drive market based innovation. The hacks will be weeded out quickly in this sort of environment. If it works and saves money it will sell.
  • Radman
    Radman Member Posts: 75

    Carbon tax??? Heatmeister was waaaay closer that's for sure. What would help his suggestions is Performance Based Incentives. If our solar systems were incenivised based upon performance, the problems we all lament here would go away. And when did cheap fuel come back? I realize that there is a brief dip in the price per barrel of oil and my fuel expense is down, but seriously do you really think that those prices are going to be there long given the volume of fiat money that was just piled on our market?
    Careful what you wish for...

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  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611

    How exactly are we going to measure the performance of an installed system? Btu meters and irradiation sensors? This would add significantly to the installed cost don't you think? Yes more real world performance monitoring should be done, perhaps supported by public money. But simple residential DHW systems don't need complicated monitoring to prove viability, what about thermosyphen and batch collectors, it gets tricky doesn't it. You make performance based incentives sound a lot simpler than it really is and simultaneously make something simple a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Do we really want the solar police knocking on doors to inspect our performance monitoring equipment?

    This industry has been dogged from it's inception by the convenience and low cost of fossil based energy.

    Incentives are a flawed means of promoting alternatives,the first solar boom is proof of this. It's a perfectly cogent argument to suggest that the best innovation and performance is usually driven by free market forces. Making carbon based energy predictively expensive will make alternatives viable on their own, without the regulatory red tape, potential cheating, and host of other issue that plague incentive based stimulus.

    It's not like I'm pulling this out of nowhere. Lot's of smart people have drawn these conclusions.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 4,461
    Get used to it..........................

    History repeats itself...OVER and OVER and OVER again....Most people are "sheeple" and - generationally - will repeat the same STUPID mistakes. The Sheeple always want a "good deal," and Learn what "getting what one pays for" ONLY when they get screwed. I've gotten tired of trying to "learn 'em" now I just sit back and make $$$ on the repairs - sad but true....it doesn't KILL me anymore... Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Metro Solar Inc.

    I ran into Dave Woycio (Metro Solar) in San Diego during the Solar Power International show and discussed the incentives issues. Dave had a really intriguing idea as to how the industry could resolve the issues: give the incentives to certified mfgrs whose systems, or components, have passed established standards for performance and let those financial incentives lower the overall cost (providing they're passed through to the end users via the free marketing system already in place - competition) to the end users.

    The more I've thought about what he said, the more sense it makes.

    As for the "North Star" solar installers? If, and only if, the installers bother to obtain permits and if, and only if, the inspectors are properly trained so they know what to look for - then, and only then, the end user will be somewhat, and only somewhat, more assured of system performance. In the end, it still will boil down to the integrity of the installer(s) & designer(s) - no matter how deep you can pile on regulations and performance-tied incentives because the installer will have already been paid.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931

    Hey i've never heard that term before that's interesting and your right about the history thing.

    I mean didn't the Russians invade Afganistan? How'd that work out for them?

    When the U.S. invaded Iraq my dad asked what I thought.
    I said it looked like it could be Vietnam in the sand instead of a jungle.

    When my wife pointed out Obama catching on I thought wow this dude sounds like a modern day Jimmy Carter. B

    But there is hope Mad Dog. My phone stopped ringing when oil prices and the ensuing full blown panic slowed down. However I talk with people and everybody says they know that these low prices will not last.
  • Radman
    Radman Member Posts: 75
    Ahh, but that now exists...

    Currently, the SRCC is what we have to work with in the US for system & component certification. The SRCC is overloaded as it is. That doesn't stop contractors from putting non-certified equipment and customers from still taking the tax incentive. Dave and I have talked about this before and it makes sense, but first challenge is verification. As in Scott's point, who's going to verify these installations? At least with performance based incentive, the infrastructure for the monitoring is in place. The existing electric grid is able to be monitored by RF (and is), and BTU metering is now standard equipment on SEVERAL solar controls that easily connects to the internet. In any case, you are adding costs to a system before they are removed. Manufacturers will still need to pay for testing & certification. Those costs will be passed along first. There is no easy solution, but taxing people on carbon emissions is absolutely no better. How effective do you think government will be at administering those tax dollars? Where is the RPA? Where is IAPMO? Where is BOCA? Where is the ICC? We have all of the infrastructure and know-how needed to manage these issues built right into the industry. I don't see anyone rushing forward to take ahold of their own problems. So, we sheeple will just turn to the government "hero" and cross our fingers.
    I am for the industry fixing this problem by organizing and standing for our principals. In the mean time, I stand with Mad Dog.

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  • Metro Man
    Metro Man Member Posts: 220
    Grand Pa Pa

    Good seeing you in SD Dave. Those shows are fun but skewed to solar PV (like 90-1). Still the interest is there and when shown the difference most intelligent consumers will look towards solar thermal for heating and cooling. And heating and cooling in most of the country is the highest annual utility cost.

    I stand behind the gov't backing to manufactures, just so it is watched very closely. Something our gov't seems to forget. They are responsible for keeping subsidized companies from gouging the tax payer. By not having to inspect every installation in the country, they're overall costs for these programs could be significantly reduced and enable them to react quickly to technologies that are proving to be best for space heating/cooling, domestic hot water, pools, etc...

    What I also would like to see are codes adopted for new construction to mandate a "pre-plumbing and pre-wiring" of a home or business for a possible future solar heating or PV system. Spending $500 or so additionally to a home is not going to break the bank when building a home.

    You mentioned back in another post about forming a group that would come up with unified solar thermal codes or guidelines. I am a board member of a national solar thermal professional group and we are discussing issues such as these and how to implement them. Even though I work with these "pros" I feel that some of the pros that frequent this site are more qualified given they're background(s). I would be glad to participate in an informal group to see what could be done. Possibly get some participation from "NATE" and like groups that already have clout and funding necessary to put together training programs. If nothing else an excuse to meet from time to time and throw down a couple of brews.

    Happy Solar New Year!

    Metro Man

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,365
    Met Roman

    Given sie a call to me jaawohl ?!!Richard..
This discussion has been closed.