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bray oil dilemma

doctordon Member Posts: 1
<span style="font-size:16pt">If Bray oil systems by Novan have been perfectly functional for three decades ,why do all the solar service technicians want to drain and switch to propelene glycol ?  My novan system had a seal leak that amounted to 2 quarts of oil collected in 12 years.  I just wanted to replenish the lost oil, even using the oil I collected and the tech wants to change the system over.  How hard is it to find this Bray oil and  what constitutes prohibitve cost ?</span>   <span style="font-size:16pt">If it isn,t broken why does everyone want to fix it ?</span>


  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Narsty stuff....

    Brayco 888 was originally developed as a hydraulic fluid for the space shuttle. It requires special handling, and once a pump is used to pump it, it is trash.

    The real tough part is getting that stuff out of a system. It requires numerous washes with TSP to get it all out before you can induce a glycol back in.

    The other thing is its thermal transfer capabilities. It is slightly better than a rock, and just about as difficult to pump.

    Over a long period of time, the stuff pyrolizes and breaks down to a low pH tar that will eventually cause pipe and heat exchanger fluid passage ways to plug up and or disinigrate. It was a great idea when first introduced, but hadn't really been exposed to the time factor...

    And to be quite honest, I am not even sure it can be found on the open market... A google search has references to it, but I saw no availability and no mention of the manufacturer (Bray Oil Co.)

    Good luck.


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  • Kevin_in_Denver_2
    Kevin_in_Denver_2 Member Posts: 588
    Right, don't fix it

    Is your system still working? What does the pressure gauge say?

    Once the system leaks down to atmospheric pressure, the rate of leakage will be almost zero. If the system is still working, you don't need to replace the fluid or even top it off.

    If you need to replace the leaky pump, you can if it has isolation valves on the flanges. In those days the ball valves were actuated with a slotted screwdriver. Careful, most of these isolation flanges won't work well after 30 years. But the Bray oil should make them pretty easy to turn.

    If that's the answer you really wanted to hear, but still need a tech to do some work, call me. 720 435-5909

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