1. Powder Coated Aluminum Casing
2. UV Stabilized Rubber Seals
3. Freeze protected Copper Heat Pipes
4. Metal Heat Transfer Fin
5. 304 Stainless Steel Frame
6. Installer Friendly Frame Design
7. High Efficiency Evacuated Tubes
8. Silver Brazed Copper Header
9. Glass Wool Insulation
Evacuated Tube And Heat Pipe
1.Heat Pipe Condenser
2. HP Stopper
3. Heat Transfer Fin
4. Clear Outer Glass Tube
5. Vacuum Space
6. Inner Black Tube (Absorber)
7. Silicone Rubber Protective Cap
The heat pipe, heat transfer fin and evacuated tube shown above form the heat absorption and transfer portion of the solar collector. Unlike some other evacuated tube heat pipe designs, Apricus evacuated tubes and heat pipes are not joined or fused together. This allows the two components to move independently, allowing for building movement and the expansion and contraction that occurs daily in a solar system.
Copper Header Pipe
The AP solar collector's header is designed to providing excellent heat transfer and corrosion resistance while using a simple"plug in" installation method.
The key features are as follows
1. Heat pipe ports provide simple plug in installation while still ensuring tight contact with the heat pipes for optimal heat transfer. Thermal heat conduction grease is applied to the heat pipes condenser prior to insertion to further enhance heat transfer. Given the high temperatures that the manifold is exposed to, the expansion of the heat pipe condenser and "setting" of the heat conduction paste results in the heat pipe being firmly held in place. This ensures excellent heat transfer for the life of the solar collector. As the heat pipe is extremely reliable and durable, there is no need to ever remove or replace the heat pipe, even if changing a solar tube.
2. The twin header pipes are molded to match the shape of the heat pipe ports in order to maximize contact area. In addition, the heat pipe ports are brazed to the twin header pipes providing a direct metallic connection.
3. The "contoured" header pipe design produces turbulent water flow enhancing heat transfer.
4. The header pipes are brazed using Ag45CuZn, lead free brazing rods, which are suitable for potable water and provide a strong, quality joint.
5. Available in rear port or end port inlet/outlet configuration.
6. 8mm ID copper temperatures sensor ports at both the inlet and outlet which are brazed directly to the header pipe for accurate temperature measurements.
Glass Wool Insulation
Glass wool is a very popular insulation material, used throughout the world in many high temperature insulation applications. Glass wool is also non-flammable, and so an excellent choice for a high temperature solar thermal solar collector. One key advantage of glass wool is that it can be molded into any shape. Via a process similar to baking a cake, the glass wool is "cooked" at high temperatures in a mold to form a spongy brick which matches the shape of the header and solar tubes. Below is a cutaway view of the top and bottom layers of glass wool (header not shown).
Glass wool is:
- An excellent insulator K = 0.043W/mK
- Non-flammable (can withstand temperatures up to 300oC / 572oF)
- Made from 90% recycled glass
- Very Lightweight (~70kg/m3 density - 4.36p/ft3)
The manifold casing serves two main purposes, protecting the header and glass wool insulation from the elements, and making the collector attractive and neat. The casing is made from corrosion resistant grade aluminum and is available in a matt black or silver finish.
The AP solar collector can be installed on most roof surfaces, and a full range of roof angles. A standard frame is provided with all collectors, and additional frame kits are available to suit most common installations. The various frame components can also be used to install on most other non-standard surfaces.
The frames are designed to withstand winds of up to 180km/h / 112mph, however attachment points must also be strong enough to withstand significant pull forces that will occur during strong winds.
For flush installation on a pitched roof, the standard mounting frame is used. The front tracks are secured to a tiled roof using the supplied attachment straps. For corrugated iron roofs or asphalt shingles roofs, the front track can be screwed directly into the roof purlins. Rubber pads are available for corrugated iron roofs to prevent direct contact between the roof and stainless steel frame.
Low Pitched Roof Frame
If the roof pitch is insufficient, a low pitched roof frame can be used to raise the collector angle by 9-27o. Roof tracks are attached to the roof in the same way as the standard frame front tracks. The rear legs can be cut short to reduce the angle of the frame. The rear x brace is required to ensure lateral rigidity of the frame, and can be cut to length according to front track spacing and chosen angle.
1. Bottom Track*
2. Front Track*
3. Roof Track
4. Rear Leg
5. Rear X Brace
* Standard Frame Components
Note: 1) 22 and 30 tube frames have three sets of legs and two sets of rear X braces.
Flat Roof Frame
For installations on a flat surface, an adjustable angled flat roof frame is used. This frame comprises the standard mounting frame with the addition of rear legs, feet and several braces. See the picture below. The rear legs are adjustable height, provided adjustment from angles of 30-50o. Lower angles (5-23o) for use on low angle roof installations can be achieved by cutting the rear legs short to suit.
1. Bottom Track*
2. Round Foot
3. Front Track*
4. Front Brace
5. Diagonal Brace
6. Adjustable Height Leg
7. Rear X Brace
* Standard Frame Components
1) 22 and 30 tube frames have three sets of legs and two sets of rear X braces.
2) Feet must to bolted to the ground/roof
All frame components, including bolts, washers and nuts are made from 304 stainless steel. The angled mounting frame is already partly assembled, making installation very quick and easy. All required nuts & bolts (apart from foot anchoring bolts) are already in place, and a 14mm spanner is provided to tighten bolts.
Unfortunately the frame cannot be made to suit every installation perfectly, so sometimes small modifications are required. This is easy to complete and usually requires drilling extra holes or reducing the rear leg length.