I just got off the phone with a local solar thermal installer. I had quoted him a price on our Fluid Handling System yesterday but he said he wanted to shop around and get some more quotes from other tank suppliers.
He just told me my offer was $10k lower than the competition. (I had quoted him $15k and the other group quoted $25k.) He had called me back to say, “I wanted to make sure you didn’t leave anything out of your quote”. Nope. We then talked about the other quote and the components of the competitor’s tank: poor design, extra 300 gallon ASME “buffer” tank, etc.
A site built system usually has
1. A solar storage tank that must be insulated by an insulation contractor.
2. A external heat exchanger with a pump on either side. This takes up floor space, requires external piping over to the tank, and additional controls to turn on the shell pump.
3. Many components that are not insulated – temperature gauges, isolation valves on the pumps, site gauge, flow sensors, etc. These items waste a lot of energy.
A factory build system is more compact and energy efficienct. All the components are engineered to work together. Installation labor is greatly reduced. Quality control is higher. And many more.
I don’t think it will be long before we’ll be helping this installer design solar hot water systems for their customers using our Fluid Handling System!