INSTALLATION – SOLAR COLLECTORS
WARNING: Plumber – Be Aware
The solar hot and solar cold pipes between the solar storage tank and the solar collectors MUST BE of
copper. All compression fittings must use brass or copper olives.
The full length of the solar hot and solar cold pipes MUST BE insulated.
The insulation must:
be of a closed cell type or equivalent, suitable for a solar water heating application and capable of
withstanding the temperature of the closed circuit fluid generated by the solar collectors under
The specification of the chosen insulation material should be checked with the insulation
manufacturer prior to installation as different materials may vary in temperature tolerance.
be at least 13 mm thick, however thicker insulation may be required to comply with the
requirements of AS/NZS 3500.4
be weatherproof and UV resistant if exposed
extend through any penetrations in the eaves, ceiling and roof
cover valves and fittings in the solar pipe work
be fitted up to and cover the connections on both the solar storage tank and the solar collectors.
The insulation will offer protection to a metal roof against corrosion due to water running off the copper
pipes, assist in avoiding accidental contact with the solar pipe work as very high temperature closed
circuit fluid can flow from the solar collectors to the solar storage tank, and also reduce pipe heat losses.
The highest point of the solar hot and solar cold pipes must be where they connect to the solar
collectors. There MUST BE a continuous fall of a minimum 5° (1 in 10 grade) in the pipe work from
the solar collectors to the solar storage tank for efficient and complete drain back of the closed circuit
fluid to occur.
The system has NO WARRANTY for freeze damage if there is not a continuous fall in the solar hot and
solar cold pipes, or they are not insulated in accordance with the installation instructions, or the closed
circuit fluid has been incorrectly mixed.
The insulated copper pipe work:
should be fixed at suitable locations to prevent or reduce the possibility of noise from water hammer
and vibration from occurring
is not to be placed or installed in contact with plastic pipe work.
Likewise, plastic pipe work is not to be placed or installed in contact with the insulated copper pipe
work after the solar circuit is installed.
Plastic pipe MUST NOT be used, as it will not withstand the temperature of the closed circuit fluid
generated by the solar collectors under stagnation conditions. Extremely high closed circuit fluid
temperatures up to 150°C for non-selective surface collectors and greater than 200°C for selective
surface collectors can be generated under these conditions. Plastic pipe cannot withstand these
temperatures and MUST NOT be used. Failure of plastic pipe can lead to the release of high
temperature closed circuit fluid and cause severe water damage and flooding.
The pressure applied to the solar circuit and solar collectors during a pressure test of a closed circuit
system MUST NOT exceed 200 kPa, otherwise damage may result. Refer to “Pressure Testing” on