RHP1 photo montage

The Story of RHP1

This system was our first solar installation (on the owner's house) and much was learned! It is over-engineered with some design elements we no longer use. And yet, in a testament to the robustness of solar thermal, it works fine! We created this system from used flat panels sold/given to us. The panels were made in the 1970s and 1980s. There is no measurable loss in panel performance. The evacuated tube panels are scratch-and-dents from our own installations (actually the scratches and dents come from those he-men at FedEx Ground).

The system was installed in 2006 as a retrofit. At that time the County inspectors had the enlightened view that the house is already built, just put them up. {This is presented as a tongue in cheek critique of our modern building departments - hard working folks, one and all, just a little paranoid about a non-problem in this case: They now require about 50 pages of documentation that your panels won't crush the roof, collapse the trusses and end up in your living room - where one supposes they would continue through your floor, through any framing or lower floors and, due to their immense weight, actually end up in the center of the earth, where the gravitational forces would equalize. (this ends the tongue-in-cheek critique - thanks for understanding that even hard working solar professionals can get frustrated by hyper-vigilant building departments)}

Panels collapsing your roof is virtually impossible - the weight of the panels is about 4 pounds per square foot - no house built with at least 2X6 roof rafters or 2X4 roof trusses will have an issue, although, depending on the span, problems are theoretically possible. The vast majority of buildings in America can support the load of solar panels, be they PV or solar thermal. But convincing your local code authority is another matter.