Thermal Products, Inc. Hydronic Heating and Solar Thermal Wholesaler

Apricus Announces New Buy American Approved Evacuated Tube Collector

May 17th, 2011

Apricus Inc. has announced the June launch of their newest commercial collector the AP-30C, which fully meets and exceeds the ARRA requirements on public stimulus projects. The collector has two new features not found on standard AP-30 collectors which are a stainless steel manifold casing and 4 heavy duty mounting points, in place of the standard 6,  for faster installation.

Give us a call for pricing information in a few days and look for updated specs in the products section of the website soon.

PolyPropylene Venting at Thermal Products

August 23rd, 2010

We are proud to announce that PolyPro from Duravent is at Thermal Products! Check out the Catalog and get familiar with the future of Venting. Check it out here

Also, please be sure to let us know if you have any particular piece of venting that you can’t live without and we’ll look into bringing it in for you!

Shoreline Solar Festival a Success

July 20th, 2010

I thought that I would share a few pics from the 2010 Shoreline Solar Festival. There seemed to be lots of public support for the renewable energy sector as well interest in learning more about what can be done to lessen ones energy bills and environmental impact (unless the goal is to make a large POSITIVE environmental impact!).

All that being said, while it was fun to see the interest and exciting to realize that there are more and more venues out there to push solar andother renewables as mainstream energy sources…Solar Thermal is still a less attractive option for a lot of people! It’s hard for me to see why, when it can pay back in less time than the photovoltaic solar systems without a lot of the incentive programs that are needed to make that latter technology remotely viable.

The other thing that puzzles me about the whole deal is that solar electric (pv) is great for other parts of the country where high energy costs can be seen driving the market. Here in the NW, howeveA & R Solarr, we pay such low rates / kW (approx. 8 cents, I believe?) that after paying for your system that produces, let’s say 3 kW, and imagining that you get 10 hours of light with the collector receiving full light for the whole day….(computing now)…. outside of government incentives, you just saved $2.40!!!

Lastly, you’re buying a pv collector (if it’s a great collector)  with efficiency ratings of 15-20%. That means that 15-20% of the total solar energy that is collected is converted into usable, grid-stable AC current (due in large part by the inverter). Compare this with the 80% efficiency rating of a solar thermal (solar hot water) collector and it seems rather silly to get so excited over running (more like crawling) your meter backwards.

Though I am OBVIOUSLY biased, it is still a welcome site to see that Solar and other renewable energies are making headway in the marketplace. Hopefully, with time and education, solar hot water will get the kudos it deserves and will finally step out of the shadows and into the light!

Take Care,

Ryan Burgett

Not illegal…but a terrible idea

July 1st, 2010

I got a call from a contractor asking about proper practices and regulations regarding the use of Pex or Pex-al-Pex in a Solar Thermal System and figured this would be as good a time as any to weigh in on this controversial topic.


Pex pipe or other flexible piping is not rated for the types of temperatures or pressures that you can see in a solar thermal loop. You’re looking at typical maximum temperature and pressure ratings on the Pex tubing of 200 °F and 200 psi respectively and the latter (pressure rating) has a negative correlation to the temperature so it’s not REALLY 200 psi at those higher temps. All that being said, I have had a VERY difficult time finding information on and off the web that says in clear, plain english (or even unintelligible garbled english) that

Pex pipe should not be used for Solar Thermal applications because of the inherent temperature and pressure limitations of the material. Even in the Uniform Solar Energy Code for 2009 it doesn’t mention much useful info on this topic. On top of that, the SRCC had a committee vote and decided to ALLOW Pex and Pex-al-Pex in drainback, open loop (atmospheric pressure) systems as long as it meets certain requirements.

Read the Letter and see for yourself!

So until the regulatory bodies wise up and start working towards properly protecting the consumer, it’s up to us! Understand the limitations of Pex and the liability of the entire system to both you as the installer, and the consumer. Lastly, a system done right, always costs less in the long run than a system done cheap.

P.S.~ If ANYONE can send me a link to an official document of ANY kind calling out Pex as not suitable for Solar Hot Water, I would be very appreciative.

~Ryan Burgett

Thermal Products Head of Technology

We’re going live in 1,2,3

June 11th, 2010

Hooray for our new website!

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