Evacuated Tube Collectors
SUNx product, Apricus AP-30 (i.e., evacuated tube solar collectors), converts energy from the sun into usable heat. This energy can be used for hot water heating, pool heating, space heating or even air conditioning.
Evacuated Tube (ET)
Absorbs solar energy and converts it to usable heat. Vacuum between the two glass layers insulates against heat loss.
Heat Pipe (HP)
Copper vacuum pipe that transfers the heat from within the ET up to the manifold.
Insulated box containing the copper header pipe. The header is a pair of contoured copper pipes with dry connect sockets that the heat pipes plug into.
Strong and easy to install with various options to match different mounting methods.
Step 1: The absorber coating on the inner glass tube absorbs sunlight and converts it into heat.
Step 2: Steam forms inside heat pipe which transfers heat rapidly up to the manifold.
Step 3: A pump circulates water or heat transfer fluid through the header pipe, carrying heat back to the storage tank. Gradually throughout the day the tank is heated up.
The tank can be boosted by an electric element, gas/oil boiler, or the solar tank can simply feed an existing water heater tank with solar pre-heated water.
Apricus AP-30 solar collectors can be mounted on a roof, wall or even on the ground. The key is ensuring optimum exposure to the sun through the day. For examples of residential installation photos click here.
The video below shows the typical mounting method for an AP-30 on an asphalt shingle roof. Different mounting hardware is available to suit a wide range of roofing materials.
Evacuated Tube Efficiency
The vacuum space in the evacuated tube greatly reduces heat loss. This greatly increases the conversion efficiency at higher water temperatures or when the outside temperature is very cold. For a thorough understanding of evacuated tubes, click here.
the heat pipe is positioned directly against the glass wall, where the sun is striking. The aluminium heat transfer fins are tightly held against the top inner wall of the evacuated tube as well as the heat pipe with a set of specially designed clips. This is an important design feature as over time with the high temperature, Aluminium will soften, and so the clips ensure long term tight contact, which is essentially for optimal performance.
In contrast to most other header designs that have 2 brazing points per heat pipe (60 for 30tube collector), the Apricus design uses a twin contoured header pipe design that allows "dry" connection ports that don't penetrate the header pipe. This means the header only has 4-6 brazing points in total (depending on inlet/outlet configuration). The result is an extremely reliable design that is able to withstand the rigors of daily thermal cycling.
The manifold casing is made of a strong but lightweight aluminium alloy that is folded to form a strong protective enclose. In addition the glass wool insulation is literally baked like a cake to form a complete structural shell around the header pipe. This design minimises the amount of metal used in the casing, reducing embodied CO2, and making it very lightweight, a feature that installers value when carrying onto the roof. An AP-30 manifold is only 9.2kg / 20.24 lbs, despite being 2196 mm / 86.45" long.
Living outside means that all the components of the collector must be able to withstand all that Mother Nature delivers, from freezing conditions, to the extreme heat and UV radiation of desert locations. Apricus collectors are design with this is mind. A good example is the use of silicone rubber instead of plastics for the tube caps, rubber header seals and manifold covers. Silicone rubber is extremely durable, staying flexible in a wide temperature range, able to withstand over 392F, and extremely resistance to damage from UV light.