The problems we encounter with solar thermal systems are pretty typical. There's not a whole lot of different components on a system, so troubleshooting techniques are pretty standard. The solutions may vary because different companies did things different ways. We found work arounds for many situations where original components just arent avaiable anynore. Below are some examples of common problems that develope over time.

broken glass
You would be surprised how uncommon it is for glass to break in a panel. Roofs get destroyed with hail and the glass is still intact. Glass usually breaks from things being thrown at them.

broken corner
The corners of panels commonly seperate under pressure of glass and gravity. If seperation has just started, its best to take care of it before it gets worse and the panel suffers from heat leaks.

backing out
The expansion and contraction of metals inside a panel is a factor. These temps can go from 0 to 300F in a day and is bound to cause some problems. Here a piece of panel backing works itself loose over 30 years.

This fiberglass was clear 30 years ago. Now it needs to be replaced with tempered glass to let the ultraviolet rays in.

These tracker panels are suppose to track the sun's rotation during the day and maximize the direct light on the focal tube which carries a solar fluid. This system requires alot of moving parts and something is always broke in the complicated system.

Roofers can puncture copper pipes as they strip the old roof off.

Furnace wiring can be disrupted for a number of reasons such as new furnace install and improper control settings.

rusted union
Corrosion at tank ports is common because of electrical currents that reach termination.

leaky bulkhead
This bulkhead pentration is leaking from not being installed carefully.

air panel build
Time lapse of converting a flat plate fluid panel into a flat plate air panel and installing.

Heat exchangers are the heart of the system and usually everything is built around them. Sometimes they fail and need to be replaced. This time lapse demonstrates a Novan heat exchanger replacement.