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differential controller

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Posted by Yarb on January 6, 2004, 4:15 am
I live in Biloxi, Ms. I have a solar panel on my roof for domestic hot
water assistance. My differential controller malfunctioned last winter
and my plate froze up on one of those rare nights when the temperature
dropped to 30 degrees. I have silver soldered all the leaks in the
copper panel and I am in the process of of repairing the controller. I
have checked the value all the resistors and replaced two that were
out of tolerance. I also replaced one zener diode, six of the seven
capacitors and the triac  All that is left is the I/C chip.
My problem is this. I cannot identify the I/C chip. I have searched
every electronic parts book in town, and did a lot of web searching.
The marking on top of the chip are as follows: H1501 and 8??40. On the
bottom it is marked L120. It is a 16 pin I/C. My panel and controller
was manufactured by General Energy Device down in Clearwater Fl. They
are out of business and have been for years. The controller also has
ARL on the front of it. With the exception of replacing a triac
several years ago the system has operated flawlessly for over 30
years. Any suggestions on how to identify this chip? I have made a
schematic of the board. I have rechecked it several times and I think
it is correct. I will send the schematic if someone will help me
identify the chip. I have also taken voltage readings of each pin and
will attach those as well.

Posted by nicksanspam on January 6, 2004, 7:01 am

Ah, another idiot home-moaner :-) At this point, it might be easier
to replace the controller with something like Grainger's $2.90 3GC96
Goldline controller and give the old one to some electronics hobbyist.
Please forward $2,563.21 for this advice.


Posted by News on January 6, 2004, 12:35 pm

Also add anti-freeze to the solar panel water.  Please forward 13,000,000
for this advice.


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Posted by nicksanspam on January 6, 2004, 1:19 pm

Note the "rare nights."

Let's not kill the guy. Sounds like the controller was supposed to turn on
and circulate pressurized tap water through the panel as the outdoor temp
approached freezing. A redundant controller or power supply or some heat tape
or fin-tube pipe in the house loop could make this system more reliable.


Posted by News on January 6, 2004, 3:41 pm


- Or just make a sealed system using a coiled heat exchanger in the hot
water cylinder.

- Or have a self draining system that drain the water from the panel when
there is no heat to extract.  I like these.

- Or have a plastic panel that expands when it freezes.


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