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Does anyone have or know of a source for graphics that can be used to create an HVAC or plumbing schematic?

I have a client with a complex solar thermal heat and domestic water system, and his interface has the ability to place control fields for the various temperature sensors and pump controls onto a graphic representation of the system, problem is there are no tools to create that image. The manufacturer of the system doesn't have anything available, and the system is so complex that the control board was custom built in Germany so support from them is challenging at best.

I can create a scheme, but I need something a little more dumbed down with easy to identify graphic representations of the collectors, storage tanks, pumps, and heat dumps so my retired science teacher client can play with his new toy without actually learning anything about it.

Thanks,

Tom

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I've been meaning to play with sketch up. I have two graphics intense design programs, but one is product driven (cabinets) and only renders in 3D. The other is Cadsoft Envisioneer, and I don't have a machine big enough to run it with out major glitches. Most of it's rendering capabilities are also in 3D, and I have no idea if I can save the images in a format other than DWG. I have a trial version of AutoCad that might be what I need if I have to create all the drawings, but I haven't played with that in a few years.

Tom

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I've used QuickCAD for about 15 years now, but not so much over the last 6 since becoming an HI. It's an AutoDesk product and much lighter than AutoCAD (maybe close to AutoCAD LT?). I don't believe they produce it any longer and I'm guessing it won't work with my, soon to arrive, Windows 7 rig.

I've played with SketchUp a little, and it looks like it will do everything I need it to do. Check it out.

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I've played with SketchUp a little, and it looks like it will do everything I need it to do. Check it out.

You created your own graphics for SketchUp?

Marc

Not yet. I have created my own graphics in QuickCAD, and SketchUp looks like it has many of the necessary drawing features to do it as well.

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Thanks Ramon, that looks very much like what I'm after.

I want to draw a very simple scheme, red lines for supply pipes and blue for returns, with graphic representations of the collectors, the storage tanks, the heat dump, and the various pumps in there approximate locations. I then need to save this as some type of an image file (not sure what file type the controller software needs) so that it can be set as a background and then the control fields can be dragged and dropped onto the diagram. That way my client won't have to remember that S1 is the temp sensor on collector bank 1, it's data field will be in that position on the scheme and be very intuitive to interpret. It will also show him in real time what changing parameters at one control point does to the rest of the system. This graphic interface is only one of the many tricks this controller and data logger combo will do; it monitors every part of the system creating charts, graphs and spread sheets of the performance data, post it to the internet so he can monitor it from anywhere, and can text or email updates and alerts to his cell if he wants it too.

He's already blown a bleeder valve by noodling with the storage temps. He raised the primary tank's target above the trigger temp for the heat dump and didn't reset the collector targets which allowed the collectors to approach stagnation temps before the pumps turned on, thus melting the inards of the bleeder/air scoop valve and showering his roof with glycol at nearly 300 degrees.

When I install my DHW system later this year the conrols will be far simpler requiring only occasional (5-7 years) monitoring and refreshing of the glycol. Just set it and forget it.

Tom

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