a joint initiative of the Australian

,
State and Territory Governments
P|aM|et keIeteate 6a|1e
SOLAR
&
HEAT PUMP
HOT WATER
SYSTEMS
I8f P8â!f-00I 0| 6kffM800!f
|MIfM!|Vf 80I WâIfk !f!Ifh!
Published by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, May 2010
www.climatechange.gov.au
ISBN: 978-1-921298-97-4
© Commonwealth of Australia 2010
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be
reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries
concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration,
Attorney General’s Department, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at www.ag.gov.au/cca
DISCLAIMER
This publication has been compiled as a guideline for the installation and maintenance of solar and heat
pump hot water systems. The information contained in this publication does not override occupational
health and safety legislation, Commonwealth, state or territory standards and manufacturers’ installation
requirements, which should be adhered to at all times. You should not act or fail to act on the basis of
information contained in this publication.
Due to the wide variety of products on the market, the technical diagrams illustrate the general principles of
the technologies and may differ in appearance from actual products. This publication is not a substitute for
independent professional advice and readers should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to
their particular circumstances.
While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct,
the Commonwealth provides no warranties and makes no representations that the information contained
in this publication is correct, complete or reliable. The Commonwealth expressly disclaims liability for any
loss, however caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of or reliance on the
information contained in this publication by any person.
The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian
Government or the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts or the Minister for Climate
Change, Energy Efficiency and Water.
Contents iii
Contents
Introduction 2
1 Solar Radiation 3
1.1 General 4
1.2 Solar fraction 6
2 Design principles 9
2.1 General 10
2.2 Legislation 11
2.2.1 Building permits 11
2.2.2 Licensing 11
2.2.2.1 Water connections 11
2.2.2.2 Gas connections 11
2.2.2.3 Electrical connections 11
2.2.3 Compliance certificate 11
2.2.4 WaterMark compliance 11
2.3 System selection 12
2.3.1 Close-coupled thermosiphon system considerations 12
2.3.2 Forced circulation (split) system considerations 13
2.3.3 Gravity-feed (remote storage) system considerations 14
2.3.4 Drain-back system considerations 15
2.3.5 Heat pump considerations 16
2.3.6 Retrofit considerations 17
2.4 System sizing 18
2.4.1 General 18
2.4.2 Storage tank 18
2.4.3 Collectors 19
2.4.3.1 Flat plate collectors 19
2.4.3.2 Evacuated tube collectors 19
2.5 Installation location 20
2.5.1 Location of storage tank 20
2.5.2 Location of solar collectors 21
2.5.3 Location of roof-mounted tank 21
2.6 Circulating pump 21
2.6.1 Pump controller functions 21
2.6.1.1 Timer operation 22
2.6.1.2 Differential temperature control 22
2.6.1.3 Under-temperature protection (frost protection) 22
2.6.1.4 Over-temperature protection (overheating) 23
2.6.2 Solar collector pump 23
2.6.3 Pump location 23
2.7 Pipework design 23
2.7.1 Heat traps 23
2.7.2 Ring main 24
2.7.3 Pipework exceeding 20 metres 25
2.7.4 Ring main pump 25
iv Contents
3 Solar Collectors 27
3.1 General 28
3.2 Types of collectors 28
3.2.1 Flat plate collectors 28
3.2.2 Heat pipe evacuated tube collectors 29
3.2.3 U-tube evacuated tube collectors 29
3.3 Collector installation considerations 30
3.3.1 Orientation 30
3.3.2 True north and magnetic declination 31
3.3.2.1 Finding north 31
3.3.2.2 Adjusting for true north 32
3.3.3 Inclination (tilt) 32
3.3.4 Shading 35
3.3.4.1 Shading exceptions 35
3.3.4.2 Estimating shading 35
3.3.4.3 Actions to address shading 35
3.3.5 Mountings 36
3.3.6 Frost protection 36
3.3.7 Over-temperature protection 39
3.3.7.1 Solar collectors 39
3.3.7.2 Hot water outlet from storage tank 39
4 Storage tanks 43
4.1 General 44
4.2 Water quality 44
4.2.1 pH measurement 44
4.2.2 TDS 45
4.2.3 Hardness 45
4.3 Types of tanks 46
4.4 Stratification 47
4.5 Heat exchange tanks 49
5 Pipework & Fittings 51
5.1 General 52
5.2 Materials 52
5.2.1 Pipework 52
5.2.2 Fittings 52
5.3 Pipework size 52
5.3.1 Diameter 52
5.3.2 Length 53
5.3.2.1 General 53
5.3.2.2 Drain line from PTR valve 53
5.3.2.3 Tempered water line 53
5.4 Insulation 53
5.4.1 Minimum insulation requirements 53
5.4.1.1 Climate region 54
5.4.1.2 Minimum insulation diameter 55
5.4.1.3 Insulation construction 55
5.4.2 Pipework requiring insulation 55
5.4.3 Insulation considerations 56
5.5 Tempering valves 56
5.5.1 General 56
5.5.2 Location of the tempering valve 58
5.6 Air bleed valve 58
Contents v
6 System Types 59
6.1 Close-coupled systems 60
6.2 Forced circulation systems (split or pumped systems) 61
6.3 Gravity feed systems (remote storage) 63
6.4 Drain-back systems 64
6.5 Heat pump systems 66
6.5.1 General 66
6.5.2 Heat pump compressor 66
6.5.3 Heat pump storage tank 66
6.5.4 Heat pump operation 67
6.5.5 Rate of heating 68
6.6 Retrofit systems 71
6.6.1 Existing gas storage system 71
6.6.2 Existing gas instantaneous system 74
6.6.3 Retrofit to existing electric storage tank 76
7 Boosting 79
7.1 General 80
7.2 Electric boosting 81
7.2.1 Electric storage 81
7.2.1.1 Off-peak tariffs 82
7.2.1.2 Day-rate tariffs/continuous supply 82
7.3 Gas boosting 82
7.3.1 Gas storage 82
7.3.2 Gas instantaneous 83
7.4 Solid fuel boosting 84
7.4.1 Installation considerations 85
8 Occupational Health & Safety 87
8.1 General 88
8.2 Installers’ obligations 88
8.3 Risk assessment 89
8.4 Working at heights 89
8.5 Risk of falls 90
8.6 Three types of control measure/safe operating procedures 90
8.7 Fall arrest systems 91
8.8 Roofs greater than 45° 91
8.9 Brittle or fragile roofs 92
8.10 Other relevant Australian standards for working at heights 92
8.11 Falling objects 92
8.12 Working with heavy equipment 92
8.13 Roof security 93
8.14 Working with metal and collectors 93
8.14.1 Heat hazards 93
8.14.2 Metal hazards 94
8.15 Hazards for working outdoors 94
8.16 Site assessment 94
8.17 Maintenance and service 94
vi Contents
9 Installation Considerations 95
9.1 General 96
9.2 Installation 96
9.2.1 Mounting collectors 96
9.2.1.1 Flat plate collectors 97
9.2.1.2 Evacuated tube collectors 101
9.2.1.3 Cyclone and high-wind mounts (flat plate collectors) 102
9.2.2 Mounting tanks 103
9.2.2.1 Roof-mounted tanks 103
9.2.2.2 In-ceiling tank (gravity feed) 104
9.2.2.3 Ground-mounted tanks 104
9.2.3 Roof flashings 104
9.2.4 Heat pump installation 105
9.2.5 Pumps and pump controllers 106
9.2.6 Thermal sensor cables 106
9.2.7 Electric booster element 106
9.2.8 Gas booster ignition 106
9.2.9 Heat pumps 106
9.2.10 Commissioning 106
9.3 Installation Checklist 107
10 Maintenance 109
10.1 General 110
10.2 Valves 110
10.2.1 Pressure/temperature relief valve 110
10.2.2 Float valve 110
10.2.3 Expansion valve on the cold water supply 110
10.2.4 Non-return valve 110
10.2.5 Isolation valve 110
10.3 Corrosion and scale formation 111
10.3.1 Valves 111
10.3.2 Sacrificial anodes 111
10.3.3 Heating elements (electric boosting) 111
10.4 Sediment 111
11 Temporary Hot Water Installations 113
11.1 General 114
12 Government Incentives 115
12.1 General 116
12.2 Rebates and renewable energy certificates 116
for solar hot water installations
12.2.1 Renewable energy certificates 116
12.2.2 Rebates 118
12.2.3 Australian Government rebates 118
12.2.4 State and territory rebates 119
Contents vii
13 Requirements for New & Existing Homes 121
13.1 General 122
13.2 Phase-out of electric water heaters 122
13.2.1 Stage 1 122
13.2.2 Stage 2 123
13.2.3 Post 2012 123
13.3 Complementary state programs— new and existing buildings 124
13.3.1 Queensland 124
13.3.2 South Australia 124
13.4 Existing state programs—new buildings only 125
14 Glossary 129
15 Australian Standards & Guidelines 137
16 Resources 139
Preface
The Solar and Heat Pump Hot Water Reference Guide is a resource to assist plumbers in installing
solar and heat pump hot water systems. This guide is part of a training program for plumbers
being rolled-out under the National Framework for Energy Efficiency and the National Hot Water
Strategic Framework.
The Solar and Heat Pump Transitional Plumber Training Program is a joint initiative of the Australian
and state and territory governments to provide plumbers and other installers of solar and heat pump
hot water systems with information on solar technologies and their installation. Correct installation
of solar and heat pump hot water systems will ensure they comply with state and territory plumbing
regulations and achieve high performance. This will result in good outcomes for householders and
the environment.
This handbook was written by Global Sustainable Energy Solutions, who acknowledge the
contributions from: ACT Planning and Land Authority, Canberra Institute of Technology,
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Construction and
Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC), Australian Government Department of
Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Queensland Office of Clean Energy and Building Codes
Queensland, Media Valley, National Plumbers Association Alliance, National Plumbing Regulators
Forum, Northern Territory Department of Lands and Planning, SA Water, South Australian (SA)
Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure, Sustainability Victoria, Master Plumbers’ and
Mechanical Services Association of Australia and Western Australian Plumbers Licensing Board.
This handbook builds on the Household Solar Hot Water and Heat Pump Installation and Maintenance
Handbook 2009, developed by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia
on behalf of the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
viii Preface
1
|alte1atl|ea
2 Introduction
|
M
I
k
0
Introduction
The Australian Government and state and territory governments are committed to working together
to phase-out inefficient electric hot water systems.
Currently, 50% of Australian households generate hot water using electric hot water systems.
Electric hot water systems are less energy efficient than other low-emission technologies and, in many
cases, have higher running costs than more energy-efficient options.
The installation of low-emission hot water systems will not only reduce the greenhouse gas emissions
produced by the operation of hot water systems, but also, potentially, save householders money on
their energy bills. Low-emission technologies, such as solar, heat pump and efficient gas systems, are
two and a half to three times more efficient than conventional electric storage water heaters.
Householders should benefit from energy savings if they know which appliance best suits their
circumstances and if plumbers and installers are trained in how to install low-emission water heaters.
With the phase-out of electric storage water heaters in mind, this reference guide aims to:
(a) provide plumbers, builders, architects and engineers with
i. up-to-date technical details for the practical installation of solar and heat pump
hot water systems
ii. information on best practice occupational health and safety
iii. data on available solar radiation
iv. hot water boosting options
v. detailed diagrams of common solar and heat pump hot water system installations
(b) ensure new homes built in Australia meet new building codes and sustainability standards
(c) promote a high standard of installation for solar and heat pump hot water systems.
By achieving those objectives, this reference guide will help ensure:
(a) Consumers have access to continuous hot water as a result of optimum design, installation
and ongoing maintenance procedures.
(b) People are safeguarded from injury or loss of amenity because the risk of the hot water
supply failing as a result of poor installation, maintenance or operation has been reduced.
(c) The quality of the environment is maintained because environmental impacts have been
minimised.
The scope of this reference guide is limited to household solar and heat pump hot water systems
and does not include commercial, hydronic or pool heating or geothermal technologies.
3
lhãplet 1 !e|ãt kã1|ãl|ea
4 Chapter 1: Solar Radiation
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
1.1 General
Irradiation is the energy emitted from the sun that is subsequently absorbed by a solar collector.
The amount of irradiation depends on the latitude of the solar collector.
Figure 1.1 depicts the average daily sunshine hours Australia is exposed to over 12 months.
Figure 1.1 Average daily sunshine hours (annual)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au).
Table 1.1 shows, month by month, the average daily sunshine hours of cities around Australia.
Table 1.1 Average daily sunshine hours of Australian cities, by month
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Annual
average
Adelaide 10 9 8 6 4 4 4 5 6 7 8 9 7
Alice
Springs
10 9 9 9 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 10 9
Brisbane 8 8 7 8 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 9 8
Cairns 7 6 6 7 6 7 7 6 9 8 9 8 7
Canberra 9 8 7 6 5 4 5 6 7 7 8 9 7
Darwin 6 6 7 9 9 9 10 10 10 9 9 8 9
Hobart 8 7 6 4 3 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 5
Melbourne 9 8 6 5 3 3 3 4 5 6 7 7 6
Perth 10 10 9 7 6 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8
Sydney 8 7 6 6 5 5 5 7 7 7 6 7 6
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au).
Chapter 1: Solar Radiation 5
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
The sunshine that is absorbed by solar collectors minimises the amount of electricity required to heat
water. While solar collectors do not generate electricity, the energy savings resulting from the solar
irradiation reduce the amount of electricity used.
Figure 1.2 depicts the average daily solar exposure represented as the equivalent in megajoules of
energy generated in a year per square metre of surface area.
Figure 1.2 Annual average daily solar exposure (MJ/m
2
)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au).
Table 1.2 shows by month the average daily solar exposure (in megajoules per square metre) of cities
around Australia.
Table 1.2 Average daily irradiation, by month, of Australian cities (MJ/m
2
)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Annual
average
Adelaide 27 24 18 12 6 6 6 9 12 18 24 27 15.8
Alice
Springs
27 24 24 18 15 12 15 18 21 24 21 24 20.3
Brisbane 24 21 18 15 12 9 12 15 18 21 21 24 17.5
Cairns 21 21 18 15 15 12 15 18 21 21 21 24 18.5
Canberra 24 21 18 12 9 6 9 12 15 18 21 27 16.0
Darwin 21 18 21 21 18 18 21 21 24 24 21 24 21.0
Hobart 21 18 12 9 6 6 6 9 12 15 21 21 13.0
Melbourne 24 21 15 9 6 6 6 9 12 18 21 24 14.3
Perth 27 24 21 18 9 9 9 12 15 21 24 30 18.3
Sydney 21 21 15 12 9 9 9 12 15 18 21 24 15.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au).
6 Chapter 1: Solar Radiation
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
Factors affecting available solar irradiation are:
(a) latitude
(b) shading
(c) rainfall
(d) cloud cover
(e) orientation of solar collectors
(f) tilt angle of solar collectors
(g) particles in the atmosphere.
1.2 Solar fraction
The solar fraction can be used as an indicative measurement of the relative energy performance
benefit of solar hot water heaters, greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy cost savings.
The solar fraction is calculated as the proportion of the hot water energy demand provided by the
solar collectors in relation to the boosting energy required to keep water at the required temperature.
Table 1.3 shows the average expected solar fraction for Australia’s capital cities. The figures are based
on a household with three to four occupants and a water usage of 150 litres to 200 litres per day.
Table 1.3 Expected solar fraction of capital cities
City Solar fraction
Adelaide 74%
Brisbane 81%
Canberra 67%
Darwin 97%
Hobart 65%
Melbourne 67%
Perth 77%
Sydney 76%
Solar water heaters should always face the sun. In Australia, a north-facing roof is ideal. The tilt angle
of the collectors for best all-round performance will depend on the latitude in which the systems are
being installed. Solar collectors are best located facing due north and elevated from the horizontal to
a tilt angle equal to the location’s latitude.
Chapter 1: Solar Radiation 7
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
Table 1.4 Ideal angle of elevation for solar water heater collectors in capital cities
City Latitude angle
Adelaide 35°
Brisbane 27.5°
Canberra 35.5°
Darwin 12.5°
Hobart 43°
Melbourne 38°
Perth 32°
Sydney 34°
Source: AS/NZS 3500.
Figure 1.3 The variation in altitude angle according to AS/NZS 3500.4
In order to provide 100% of the hot water demand, additional ‘boost’ heating may be required
(see Chapter 7 — Boosting).
Factors affecting the solar fraction for different regions and installations are:
(a) the amount of solar irradiation (i.e. solar access)
(b) the temperature of cold water at the inlet
(c) solar system sizing
(d) actual water consumption
(e) ambient air temperature around tank and collector and solar flow and return
(f) pipework and tank insulation
(g) energy needed for boosting and circulating pump.
Detailed solar radiation data can be obtained from the Australian Solar Radiation Data Handbook
published by the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society.
8
lhãplet 2 0et|¶a Pt|at|p|et
9
10 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.1 General
Solar hot water systems should be designed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications,
where those specifications are not in direct conflict with Australian/New Zealand Standard
AS/NZS 3500.4.
Environmental and consumer requirements should be factored in when planning the installation of a
solar hot water system. Factors affecting the performance of a system and decisions about how the
system should be installed include:
(a) the climate zone of the site and possibility of:
i. shading
ii. frost and freezing
iii. wind
iv. dust
v. hail
vi. corrosion and scaling
(b) the ambient air temperature
(c) the cold water temperature
(d) the availability of space and pitch of a suitable north-facing roof
(e) the presence and location of an existing hot water service
(f) the available energy sources (e.g. gas or electricity)
(g) the householder’s hot water usage
(h) the householder’s budget.
Chapter 2: Design Principles 11
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.2 Legislation
2.2.1 Building permits
Regulations concerning building permits for roof-mounted collectors and tanks and modifications to
strengthen the roof structure may vary from state to state.
The installer should ensure that all applicable building permit requirements have been identified and
that permits have been granted before starting the installation.
2.2.2 Licensing
2.2.2.1 Water connections
All water supply connections in solar hot water systems must be made by an installer holding the
relevant state or territory plumbing licence.
2.2.2.2 Gas connections
Where the system is connected to a gas booster, all gas connections must be made by an installer
holding the relevant state or territory gas-fitting licence.
2.2.2.3 Electrical connections
Where the system is connected to an electronic controller or general power outlet, all electrical
connections must be made by a person holding the relevant state or territory electrical licence.
2.2.3 Compliance certificate
Requirements for plumbers to provide a certificate of compliance to the authority with jurisdiction
over the installation of water heaters and to the householder will vary across states and territories.
2.2.4 WaterMark compliance
The WaterMark is a statement of certification of compliance with required specifications and
standards. The compliance is in accordance with MP 52–2005 (Manual of authorization procedures
for plumbing and drainage products). Currently, no uniform system requiring a single certification
mark is in place. MP 52–2005 shows only one certification mark, the ‘WaterMark Level 1 and Level 2’.
The ‘levels’ denote the level of risk of the products and the need for certification — Level 1 has more
stringent requirements than Level 2. Level 1 requires compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 67.2004,
System 5; and Level 2 compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 67.2004, System 1b.
To date, the Plumbing Code of Australia 2004 (PCA) includes the requirements which are necessary
for conformance to WaterMark Level 1 and Level 2. State and territory governments will progressively
replace MP 52–2005 with the PCA.
Plumbers and plumbing suppliers will have to check whether solar and heat pump hot water
system equipment must have WaterMark certification under PCA legislation in their respective
state or territory.
Further information can be found at www.watermark.standards.org.au/cat.asp?catid=5.
12 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.3 System selection
2.3.1 Close-coupled thermosiphon system considerations
Figure 2.1 Close-coupled thermosiphon system
Tempered water
to internal fixtures
Tempering valve
Cold water inlet
Roof-mounted
solar collectors
Roof-mounted
hot water
storage tank
TV
Before installing a close-coupled thermosiphon system, installers should consider the following:
(a) Is the home owner happy with the look of the system on the roof?
(b) Is the roof
i. strong enough to bear the weight of the system when it is full of water or, if not,
ii. can it be strengthened?
(c) Is there access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance?
(d) Have boosting options been considered and discussed with the home owner (e.g. electric
or gas, instantaneous or storage)?
(e) Will safety equipment such as cranes, scaffolding or safety fencing be required, particularly
if the dwelling is double story?
Note that the minimum gradient for the thermosiphon effect is 1:20, unless special piping
arrangements, tanks or valves are used to prevent reverse thermosiphon flow.
Chapter 2: Design Principles 13
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.3.2 Forced circulation (split) system considerations
Figure 2.2 Forced circulation system
Tempering valve
Tempered water to
internal fixtures
Hot water storage tank
Roof-mounted
solar collectors
Cold water inlet
TV
General
power
outlet
Electronic solar
pump & controller
(tank or wall-mounted)
Before installing a forced circulation system, installers should consider the following:
(a) the type and area of collectors to be used (e.g. flat plate or evacuated tubes)
(b) whether a hot water circulation pump may need to be purchased if one is not built
in to the storage tank
(c) the heat losses due to longer pipe runs and that pipes will need to be appropriately
designed and installed
(d) whether there is access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance.
14 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.3.3 Gravity-feed (remote storage) system considerations
Figure 2.3 Gravity-feed system
Before installing a gravity-feed system, installers should consider the following:
(a) Is the roof and ceiling space adequate to allow the tank to be mounted at least 300mm
above the top of the collectors?
(b) Is the ceiling space sufficient to allow the storage tank and support stand to sit on a load
bearing wall and span at least two rafters?
(c) Can the pipework be installed at a 1:20 gradient to allow adequate thermosiphon flow?
(d) Can the safe tray can be installed correctly to ensure water does not leak into the ceiling?
(e) Can a section of roof be removed for installation and replacement of the tank if required?
(f) Is there access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance?
Chapter 2: Design Principles 15
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.3.4 Drain-back system considerations
Figure 2.4 Drain-back system
Tempering valve
Tempered water to
internal fixtures
Cold water inlet
TV
General power outlet
Electronic solar
pump & controller
1:10 grade flow
and return lines
Roof-mounted
solar collectors
Before installing a drain-back system, installers should consider the following:
(a) Flow and return pipework should be installed at a 1:10–1:20 slope to allow adequate drain
back to the storage tank.
(b) The distance between the top of the storage tank and the bottom of the solar collectors can
be a minimum of 500mm.
(c) The total height of pipework from the storage tank to the collectors is no greater than 7.5m.
(d) There is access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance.
16 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.3.5 Heat pump considerations
Figure 2.5 Heat pump system
Tempering
valve
Tempered water to
internal fixtures
Hot water
outlet
Cold water inlet
General
power outlet
Electric
controller
Heat pump
TV
Before installing a heat pump system, installers should consult manufacturer’s instructions on
minimum ventilation requirements and should also ensure that:
(a) The heat pump can be positioned in the warmest and sunniest location.
(b) There is enough empty space around the heat pump to allow adequate air flow.
(c) There is access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance.
(d) There is at least 1.2m clearance from bedroom windows to minimise the effects of
the noise generated by the heat pump.
Chapter 2: Design Principles 17
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.3.6 Retrofit considerations
Figure 2.6 Pre-heater split system retrofit to existing storage tank
General
power outlet
Cold water inlet
Electronic solar
pump & controller
(tank or wall-mounted)
Existing electric or
gas storage tank
Solar pre-heater
storage tank
Tempered water to
internal fixtures
Tempering
valve
Roof-mounted
solar collectors
TV
Note: For more system diagrams, see Chapter 6 — System types.
Before retrofitting a pre-heater split system to an existing storage tank, installers should consider
the following:
(a) Is the demand for hot water high? If it is, a second pre-heater storage may be required.
(b) Is the system able to accept solar pre-heated water?
(c) Is the homeowner happy having two storage tanks (where the existing system is gas storage)
and aware of the costs of maintaining two storage tanks?
(d) Is there adequate space to install a second ground-mounted tank near the existing
storage tank (if required)?
(e) Where a close-coupled system is installed, is the roof
i. strong enough to bear the weight of the system full of water, or
ii. able to be strengthened?
(f) Is there access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance?
18 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.4 System sizing
2.4.1 General
When sizing a system, both the solar collector area and tank storage must be sized according to the
daily hot water needs of the household.
The actual hot water usage will vary from household to household but, as a rule of thumb, Australians
use an average of 50–70 litres of hot water per day.
In solar hot water systems, a larger, well-insulated storage tank is better than more collectors, which
will result in overheating of water. The exception to this is the heat pump, which, rather than relying
on storage, operates more continuously to maintain hot water supply.
Table 2.1 shows the approximate daily hot water demand of various sized households.
Table 2.1 Approximate daily hot water demand and storage requirements for residential households
No. of
occupants
Daily hot water
demand (litres)
Approximate size of
storage tank required (litres)
1–2 120 160–250
3–4 200 250–330
5–6+ 300+ 400+
Source: Adapted from Sustainability Victoria, Choosing Hot Water System Fact Sheet 2002.
Where possible, the future water needs of the family should be factored in as new members to the
family or young children growing up can have an impact on hot water demand and the type of system
that best suits these needs.
2.4.2 Storage tank
It is recommended that households have at least one and a half to two days of hot water in storage
in the event of zero solar input for a day. Table 2.1 has taken account of this storage need in the
calculations of tank sizes for different size households.
Chapter 2: Design Principles 19
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.4.3 Collectors
Solar collector requirements will vary, depending on whether flat plate or evacuated tube collectors
are used.
The level of performance of collectors will depend on the manufacture. Manufacturers’
recommendations should be followed.
2.4.3.1 Flat plate collectors
It is recommended that a one square metre area of collector space be used per occupant and
for each major appliance using hot water from the solar hot water system (e.g. a dishwasher or
washing machine).
A typical flat plate collector has a surface area of two square metres. Table 2.2 shows the approximate
number of collectors required for various sized households.
Table 2.2 Approximate flat plate collector requirements for residential households
No. of
occupants
Daily hot water
demand (litres)
Approximate
flat plate
collector area (m
2
)
Approximate
number of flat
plate collectors
1–2 120 2–3m
2
1–2
3–4 200 3–6m
2
2–3
5–6+ 300+ 6m
2
+ 3+
2.4.3.2 Evacuated tube collectors
It is recommended that one square metre of evacuated tubes be used per occupant and for
each major appliance using hot water from the solar hot water system (e.g. dishwasher or
washing machine).
A typical 10-tube system has a surface area of 1.8m
2
. Table 2.3 shows the approximate number
of evacuated tubes required for various sized households.
Table 2.3 Approximate evacuated tube collector requirements for residential households
No. of
occupants
Daily hot water
demand (litres)
Approximate
evacuated tube
collector area (m
2
)
Approximate
number of evacuated
tube collectors
1–2 120 1.8–3.6m
2
10–20
3–4 200 3.6–5.4m
2
20–30
5–6+ 300+ 5.4m
2
+ 30+
20 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.5 Installation location
2.5.1 Location of storage tank
The storage tank should be located as close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use — the
bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. This will minimise heat losses through the use of shorter pipes from
the tank to the taps.
In cold climates, locating the tank internally or in a semi-enclosed area may help prevent heat losses.
Figure 2.7 shows the possible positioning of the storage tank for a home where the main areas of hot
water use are located on the same side of the house.
Figure 2.7 Location of storage tank relative to main areas of household hot water use (single side)
Recommended location of
ground-mounted hot water tank
Possible location of
solar collectors
Main areas of hot water use
Dining
Lounge Bed Bed Bed
Bed
Toilet
Bath Kitchen Living Laundry
Not all households have all the areas of hot water use on the same side and, depending on the
demand generated by the additional area, the tank may need to be positioned slightly nearer to
the additional areas, as shown in Figure 2.8.
Chapter 2: Design Principles 21
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
Figure 2.8 Location of storage tank relative to main areas of household hot water use (multiple sides)
Recommended location of
ground-mounted hot water tank
Main areas of hot water use
Possible location of
solar collectors
Dining
Lounge Bed Bed
Bed
Bed
Ensuite
Toilet
Bath Kitchen Living Laundry
2.5.2 Location of solar collectors
Solar collectors should be located as close as practicable to the tank, taking account of their
orientation and inclination (see Chapter 3 — Solar collectors).
2.5.3 Location of roof-mounted tank
Where the solar hot water system is entirely roof mounted, as in a close-coupled system, the tank
should be mounted as close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use (the bathrooms,
kitchen and laundry).
2.6 Circulating pump
A circulating pump is used in systems to circulate the water from a ground-mounted storage tank
to the collectors.
2.6.1 Pump controller functions
A pump without a pump controller would continuously circulate water at all times of the day,
regardless of whether the water it is required or not. A pump controller functions to operate the
pump efficiently so that water is circulated through the system only when it requires heating.
22 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
Figure 2.9 Typical pump controller
Cold water flow
to collectors
Cold water inlet
from storage tank
Power supply cable
to general power outlet
Circulating pump
Controller circuit
board
Controller housing
(Tank or wall-mounted)
Cold water temperature
sensor to storage tank
Hot water temperature
sensor to solar collectors
2.6.1.1 Timer operation
The controller can be set to operate the pump between certain hours of the day
(e.g. between 9am and 3pm).
2.6.1.2 Differential temperature control
The controller uses information from a sensor located at the hot water outlet on the collectors
and one or more sensors on the storage tank. When the controller detects that the storage tank
temperature is lower than the temperature of the collectors, it will engage the pump to circulate the
water until the difference is reduced. This temperature difference varies between solar hot water
systems but is usually between 7°C and 10°C.
2.6.1.3 Under-temperature protection (frost protection)
The controller can detect when the water in the collectors drops to a predetermined temperature,
usually 3°C to 5°C. When this occurs, the pump will be turned on to circulate warm water from the
storage tank through the collectors to prevent freezing. When the temperature reaches 7°C to 10°C
the pump will be turned off.
Chapter 2: Design Principles 23
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.6.1.4 Over-temperature protection (overheating)
The controller can use the sensor at the storage tank to detect when the temperature of the water
is too high. In vitreous enamel storage tanks, over heating can damage the lining. As water only
needs to reach 60°C, the controller can be set to turn the pump off if the temperature exceeds 70°C
(see section 3.3.7—Over-temperature protection).
2.6.2 Solar collector pump
In most cases, manufacturers will include or recommend a pump for their solar hot water system.
Only those pumps provided or suggested by manufacturers should be installed.
2.6.3 Pump location
Some storage tanks are built with the pump enclosed at the bottom or on the outside casing of the
tank. Other storage tanks may need to have a pump installed on the flow line between the storage
tank and the collectors. In both cases, the pump is operated from mains electricity, though some
pumps may be powered using photovoltaic (solar electric) panels.
2.7 Pipework design
Pipework should take the shortest possible distance from one connection to the next to minimise
heat loss from long pipe runs.
2.7.1 Heat traps
A heat trap is a U-shaped curving of the pipework at the hot water outlet of the storage tank.
Heat traps are required in those systems where the pipes from the storage tank move vertically
upwards on exiting the tank.
Figure 2.10 Heat trap
Storage tank
Heat trap
Hot water return
from collectors
Tempering
valve
Tempered water
to internal fixtures
Cold water inlet
Cold water flow
to collectors
TV
250mm
24 Chapter 2: Design Principles
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
Because heat rises, the bend in the pipework minimises heat losses from heat travelling back up the
hot water pipework.
In accordance with AS/NZS 3500.4, a heat trap is required in new and replacement installations and
must be within one metre from the outlet of the storage tank before the first branch, with a drop of
250mm from the outlet. This is not required if a heat trap is integrated within the storage tank.
Where an external heat trap is required, installers need to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.
2.7.2 Ring main
Where fixtures are located on the opposite side of the house to the storage tank, a ring main may be
installed to supply the fixtures and return the remaining water in the pipe back to the storage tank for
reheating, as shown in Figure 2.11.
Advice on a suitable system for a ring main installation should be sought from manufacturers.
Figure 2.11 Ring main layout
Dining
Lounge
Bed
Bed
Ensuite
Toilet
Bath
Kitchen
Living
Laundry
Bed
Study
Bed
Bed
Toilet
Bath
Storage tank
Ring main
Chapter 2: Design Principles 25
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

2
2.7.3 Pipework exceeding 20 metres
Where pipework length exceeds 20 metres or is supplying multistorey dwellings, a hydraulic
consultant will need to advise on the size of the pipes and on the pump requirements for appropriate
water circulation.
2.7.4 Ring main pump
Installers should consider the following issues when selecting a pump:
(a) temperature of the water
(b) water pressure and velocity (speed required)
(c) friction losses ( e.g. number of 90° bends in pipework)
(d) pipe length and diameter.
Pumps should be correctly sized as friction losses can adversely affect the performance of the system.
The manufacturer should be consulted for an appropriate pump for the chosen system.
26
27
lhãplet I !e|ãt le||etlett
28 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
3.1 General
Solar collectors are the core component of the solar hot water system. Solar collectors absorb
the sun’s energy and heat water by means of:
(a) direct heating — the water is heated as it circulates through the collectors
or
(b) indirect heating — another fluid such as glycol anti-freeze is heated and transfers heat to
the water in the storage tank by heat exchange.
Solar collectors must be designed and constructed in accordance with AS/NZS 2712 and installed
to the manufacturer’s instructions, where that standard and instructions are not in conflict with
AS/NZS 3500.4.
3.2 Types of collectors
Solar collectors are either flat plate collectors or evacuated tubes.
3.2.1 Flat plate collectors
Flat plate collectors consist of a darkened absorber plate in a glass-fronted box.
Solar radiation is collected by the absorber plate, converted to heat energy and transferred to the
liquid (water or glycol) in the riser tubes attached to the absorber plate. The number of riser tubes
and their size may vary between collectors.
As the liquid warms, it rises to the top of the collectors by thermosiphon flow.
A layer of insulation helps keep the temperature inside the box higher than the ambient temperature.
Collectors can be joined together to form an array when the hot water demand is higher.
Figure 3.1 Typical flat plate collector
Transparent hardened
glass cover
Collector box
Absorber plate
Header tube
Riser tubes
Ìnsulation
Termination plug or connection
to collector, valve or cold
water flow
Header connections to
valves, collector or hot
water return
Header connection to
collector, valve or cold
water flow
Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 29
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
3.2.2 Heat pipe evacuated tube collectors
Evacuated tube collectors, shown in Figure 3.2, are formed from an array of hardened glass evacuated
tubes joined to a manifold through which the heat-transfer liquid (water or glycol) flows.
Individual tubes are made up of a copper heat pipe that contains a very small amount of water in a
partial vacuum. The heat pipe is encased in a hardened dark glass tube with an evacuated layer that
absorbs the sun’s energy, traps it like a thermos flask and uses it to heat the copper heat pipe inside.
As the copper heat pipe increases in temperature, the small amount of water inside vaporizes
(<30° C) and rises to the top of the heat pipe into the heat exchanger in the manifold. The cold
water is heated as it flows through the manifold and, at the same time, cools the vapour inside
the copper heat pipe, where it condenses and falls to the bottom of the heat pipe. The process is
repeated, thus creating a highly efficient thermal engine for transferring the sun’s energy from the
tubes into the water supply.
Figure 3.2 Typical heat pipe evacuated tube array
3.2.3 U-tube evacuated tube collectors
Evacuated U-tube collectors look similar to regular evacuated tubes; however, unlike regular
evacuated tubes, U-tubes use direct heating principles to heat the water.
U-tube evacuated tubes pass the water supply through the evacuated tube inside a U-shaped copper
pipe. The sun’s energy is absorbed, heating the copper pipe and the water flowing inside (Figure 3.3).
30 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
Figure 3.3 Typical evacuated U-tube array
3.3 Collector installation considerations
3.3.1 Orientation
To produce the maximum quantity of hot water from the sun, solar collectors need to face the sun
directly for as long as possible throughout the day.
Collectors should face true north where possible or up to 45° east or west of true north (Figure 3.4).
Figure 3.4 Collector orientation
E W
N
45º 45º
Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 31
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
Notes:
1. Collectors positioned 45° east or west of true north can suffer efficiency losses of up to 25%.
2. Some state regulations allow for higher orientation angles and should therefore be checked
to ascertain the maximum orientation angle allowable (e.g. Victorian regulations allow for
orientations of 50° east and 75° west of true north).
3. For solar water heater collectors, AS/NZS 3500:2005 recommends that the orientation of
the collectors be:
• between 50° east and 70° west for Victoria
• between northeast (45°) and northwest (315°) for all other states.
3.3.2 True north and magnetic declination
3.3.2.1 Finding north
A compass will point to magnetic north, which has a variation from true north. This is called magnetic
declination. While the difference may have little effect, it is recommended that magnetic declination
be compensated for to achieve optimal performance from the collectors.
Figure 3.5 Magnetic declination (Perth and Hobart)
S
E W
N
Magnetic
North
True North
Hobart =14.7º E
True North
Perth = 1.4º W
Table 3.1 Magnetic declination angles of major cities
City Declination angle (east/
west of magnetic north)
Adelaide 8.2° East
Alice Springs 5.1° East
Brisbane 11° East
Cairns 8.5° East
Canberra 12.3° East
Darwin 3.4° East
Hobart 14.7° East
Melbourne 11.5° East
Perth 1.4° West
Sydney 12.5° East
Source: Geoscience Australia (www.ga.gov.au).
32 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
Figure 3.6 Magnetic declination topographical map
LONGITUDE
L
A
T
I
T
U
D
E
Magnetic decIination
© Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2009
3.3.2.2 Adjusting for true north
The magnetic declination angle for the location should be added to the compass reading for north to
obtain the true north heading.
3.3.3 Inclination (tilt)
Collectors should be tilted to the latitude angle of the location of installation, ideally with a variance
of no more than 20° of this angle.
Table 3.2 Latitude angle for major cities
City Latitude angle
Adelaide 34.5°
Alice Springs 23.4°
Brisbane 27.2°
Cairns 22.3°
Canberra 35.1°
Darwin 12.2°
Hobart 42.5°
Melbourne 37.4°
Perth 31.5°
Sydney 33.5°
Source: Geoscience Australia (www.ga.gov.au).
Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 33
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
The minimum inclination angle is 10° to allow adequate thermosiphon flow. Most standard residential
‘pitched’ roofs are between 22.5° (1/4 pitch) and 30°. Figure 3.7 compares the latitude angle of Darwin
(which has the lowest latitude angle) and Hobart (which has the highest latitude angle).
Figure 3.7 Graphical representation of latitude angles of Darwin and Hobart
12.2º
Horizon
Latitude A
ngle 42.5º
Horizon
L
a
t
i
t
u
d
e

A
n
g
l
e
(a) Darwin
(b) Hobart
Winter performance can be improved by an inclination angle that is higher than the latitude
angle. This is possible due to the sun following a lower path in the sky in winter (Figure 3.8). The
performance gains and losses at inclinations that vary from the latitude angle are shown in Table 3.3.
Figure 3.8 Comparative summer and winter sun path (Sydney)
Summer sun path
(SE to SW)
Winter sun path
(NE to NW)
N
S
E
W
Collector orientation
range 45ºE / 45ºW
77.1º
Noon sun
angle
33.3º
Table 3.3 Average irradiation gain/loss of some Australian cities (MJ/m
2
) at inclinations
varied from the latitude
City/
Collector
inclination
variance Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Adelaide
-15° 7.5% 4.3% -0.7% -6.9% -12.0% -14.8% -13.9% -8.7% -2.9% 2.3% 6.6% 8.4% -0.6%
+15° -15.0% -10.2% -4.4% 1.0% 4.6% 7.0% 5.9% 2.5% -2.5% -7.9% -13.5% -15.7% -4.8%
Alice Springs
-15° -12.4% -8.5% -3.2% 2.0% 6.3% 8.2% 7.7% 3.5% -1.3% -7.3% -12.0% -13.5% -1.3%
+15° 6.0% 2.5% -1.9% -7.1% -11.4% -13.9% -13.1% -8.7% -3.9% 1.4% 5.5% 6.3% -4.0%
34 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
City/
Collector
inclination
variance Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Brisbane
-15° 6.9% 3.5% -0.6% -6.0% -11.1% -14.8% -13.5% -9.5% -3.3% 2.1% 6.2% 7.8% -1.2%
+15° -11.9% -8.1% -4.4% 0.4% 4.9% 7.3% 6.3% 3.2% -2.1% -7.3% -11.2% -12.8% -3.6%
Cairns
-15° -13.3% -9.4% -3.8% 2.0% 6.7% 1.5% 7.4% 3.5% -1.4% -8.0% -13.8% -14.9% -2.6%
+15° 6.3% 3.1% -1.7% -7.1% -12.2% -6.7% -12.9% -8.6% -3.9% 1.8% 6.7% 7.5% -2.8%
Canberra
-15° 7.7% 4.4% -0.9% -7.0% -11.9% -15.2% -13.8% -8.5% -3.0% 2.4% 6.9% 8.5% -0.6%
+15° -13.1% -9.4% -4.5% 0.8% 5.3% 7.3% 6.3% 2.5% -2.5% -7.7% -12.0% -14.0% -4.8%
Darwin
-15° -1.1% 0.6% -0.5% -5.5% -11.2% -14.3% -13.0% -8.3% -2.8% 2.0% -1.2% -1.9% -4.6%
+15° -2.9% -4.8% -3.7% 1.7% 7.4% 10.3% 9.2% 4.5% -1.6% -7.1% -3.2% -2.2% 0.8%
Hobart
-15° 7.6% 4.6% 0.0% -5.6% -11.2% -14.9% -13.2% -8.1% -2.5% 3.2% 6.9% 8.6% 0.2%
+15° -12.8% -9.5% -4.9% 0.0% 4.3% 7.2% 6.2% 2.3% -3.1% -8.2% -12.0% -13.4% -5.3%
Melbourne
-15° 7.5% 4.4% -0.6% -6.5% -11.1% -13.7% -12.4% -7.6% -2.2% 2.6% 6.6% 8.2% 0.0%
+15° -12.8% -9.5% -4.6% 0.5% 4.7% 6.7% 5.7% 1.9% -3.1% -7.7% -11.6% -13.3% -4.9%
Perth
-15° 8.3% 4.2% -1.6% -7.5% -12.1% -14.9% -13.5% -8.9% -3.6% 2.0% 7.1% 9.3% -0.2%
+15° -14.0% -9.7% -4.0% 1.7% 5.4% 7.5% 6.5% 3.0% -1.9% -7.4% -12.8% -15.1% -5.1%
Sydney
-15° 6.9% 4.1% -0.4% -6.0% -11.6% -15.5% -13.9% -9.1% -3.1% 2.3% 6.4% 7.9% -1.0%
+15° -12.1% -9.0% -4.6% 0.7% 4.9% 7.5% 6.7% 2.8% -2.3% -7.3% -11.4% -13.1% -3.9%
Source: Adapted from Bureau of Meteorology irradiation maps using variation formulas from NASA irradiation tables.

Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 35
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
3.3.4 Shading
Collectors should be located in the sunniest area, avoiding shade between 9am and 3pm each day.
This is of particular importance in winter when solar irradiation is less than in summer and demand
for hot water may be higher.
3.3.4.1 Shading exceptions
As per AS/NZS 3500.4, partial shading from small objects such as flues, chimneys or TV antennas is
permissible.
3.3.4.2 Estimating shading
To ascertain whether or not the collectors will be subjected to shading, it is important to know where
the sun’s position will be at its lowest point in the year, in midwinter.
An inclinometer can be used to measure the altitude angle of any potential obstructions and
compared with the data in Table 3.4 to ascertain if the object will cast a shadow on the collector.
Table 3.4 Sun’s midwinter (June) angle above the horizon for capital cities
City
Latitude
angle Angle of sun (°)
9am Noon 3pm
Adelaide 34.5° 24.1 31.3 24.1
Brisbane 27.2° 21.4 39.5 21.4
Canberra 35.1° 18.2 31.7 18.2
Darwin 12.2° 46.6 49.8 46.6
Hobart 42.5° 13.6 24.3 13.6
Melbourne 37.4° 18.8 29.1 18.8
Perth 31.5° 34.4 26.2 34.4
Sydney 33.5° 18.3 33.3 18.3
Source: NASA (www.nasa.gov).
Alternatively, Australian Standard AS/NZS 3500.4 (Appendix I) provides a simple cardboard tool
for assessing shading. Refer to the standard for more details.
3.3.4.3 Actions to address shading
If all the collectors are shaded in the middle of the day, they should be moved if a less shaded
position can be found. Shade will significantly reduce the hot water output potential of the collectors.
Where the collectors are subjected to shading between 9am and 3pm eastern standard time,
the following actions may be taken:
(a) Remove the source of shading (e.g. where shading is caused by a tree or other plant
life, pruning or removal of the plant may be possible).
(b) Relocate the collectors
i. Collectors may be installed higher on the roof or on another part of the roof that will
not be shaded.
ii. It is possible that if the collectors are a long way from the point of use, a close-coupled
36 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
system should be replaced by a pump-circulated system, with the storage tank installed
near the main point of hot water use (kitchen or bathroom) and the collectors further
away. Pipe insulation is critical for minimising heat losses.
(c) Add additional collectors to compensate for the effect of shading.
(d) Use an alternative form of solar water heating such as a heat pump or some other form
of water heating.
3.3.5 Mountings
Collectors should be mounted directly on to the roof structure or on to mounting frames supplied
by the manufacturer, in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
The standard mounting frame kit for a solar water heater system includes:
(a) two horizontal mounting rails
(b) four vertical straps to attach the rails to the roof
(c) appropriate screws.
Timber is not a suitable framing product.
It is important to consider the wind loads in the location where the collectors are being installed.
In extreme wind or cyclone areas it may be a requirement that collectors have cyclone mounts.
Manufacturers have information on best practice installation for collectors in non-cyclone and cyclone
areas and they should be consulted when required. AS/NZS 1170.1 is the relevant standard for wind
loadings on such structures.
Where a suitable north-facing section of roof is unavailable, a mounting frame will be required.
Figure 3.9 Mounting frame configurations for different roofs
N
N
N
N
(a) Standard Pitch Mount (b) Side Pitch Mount
(c) Reverse Pitch Mount (d) Flat Pitch Mount
East-facing
roof
Collectors
Side
pitch frame
South-facing roof
(inadequate north-
facing area)
Standard pitch
north-facing
roof
Reverse
pitch frame
Standard collector straps
(Under tiles or on metal roof)
Flat pitch
north-facing
roof
Collectors
Collectors
Collectors
Standard
inclined frame
3.3.6 Frost protection
As the outside temperature drops, water can freeze. When water freezes it expands, causing a
pressure build up that is capable of bursting copper pipes. In frost prone areas frost protection
techniques will prevent system failure resulting from frozen or burst pipes.
It is important to identify the likelihood of frost in a particular area to ascertain whether or not it
will pose a threat to the system. Figure 3.10 shows the number of potential frost days in Australia.
Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 37
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
Figure 3.10 Annual potential frost days
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au).
Table 3.5 Annual potential frost days for some Australian cities
City Number of days
Adelaide 0–10
Alice Springs 30–40
Brisbane 0–10
Cairns 0–10
Canberra 100–150
Darwin 0–10
Hobart 150+
Melbourne 0–10
Perth 0–10
Sydney 0–10
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au).
38 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
Techniques to address the hazard posed by frost include:
(a) Using glycol-based ‘anti-freeze’. This is a common solution in heavy frost or snow areas.
(b) Using a frost dump valve (mains pressure systems only). Frost dump valves open up as the
water temperature drops between 2°C and 5°C, allowing warmer water to flow through the
pipework and into the solar collectors to prevent freezing.
(c) Using a circulating pump. A circulating pump can be activated when the water temperature
drops to a certain level to circulate warmer water through the pipes to prevent freezing. This
is done via a temperature sensor in the collectors.
(d) Using a gravity ‘drain-back’ system, which will drain the collectors of liquid when the
temperature in the storage tank is higher than that of the solar collectors. This means the
collectors cannot freeze because there is no water in them to freeze.
(e) Using evacuated tubes. The small volume of liquid in the heat pipe means that even if the
liquid freezes it will not cause the pipe to burst.
Figure 3.11 Example of close-coupled thermosiphon system using antifreeze
High density
tank insulation
Glycol flow to
solar collectors
Glycol flow around
inner cylinder
Cold water Ìnlet
Hot water
outlet to tap
or tempering valve
Anode (Vitreous
enamel tanks)
Heat exchanger / outer cylinder
(Heat is transferred to inner cylinder)
Outer casing Ìnner cylinder
Anode cap
Solar collectors
Glycol return from
solar collectors
Stratification of water
Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 39
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
3.3.7 Over-temperature protection
3.3.7.1 Solar collectors
Figure 3.12 Typical flat plate collector
Transparent hardened
glass cover
Collector box
Absorber plate
Header tube
Riser tubes
Ìnsulation
Termination plug or connection
to collector, valve or cold
water flow
Header connections to
valves, collector or hot
water return
Header connection to
collector, valve or cold
water flow
The water inside solar collectors can reach boiling point (100°C). The collectors themselves cannot
stop heating water and, regardless of the demand for hot water, the collectors will continue to feed
the storage tank with boiling water.
To reduce the risk of system failure, it is important that the water in the storage tank does not exceed
70°C. This can be achieved by:
(a) a solar control valve on the cold water flow line to the collectors that detects when the water
in the storage tank reaches 70°C and closes to prevent hot water flowing to the collectors.
As hot water is drawn off and cold water enters the tank and reduces the water temperature,
the valve will open to allow water to flow to the collectors.
(b) the circulating pump controller (in split systems), which turns the pump off when the
temperature in the storage tank reaches 70°C, preventing water being circulated to the
collectors.
Solar collectors have either one or two ports at each end. Both ports are interchangeable and can
function as either inlet or outlet ports. Although both ports have the capacity to take a temperature
sensor, it is the outlet port that takes the temperature sensor. Manufacturer’s instructions for installing
the temperature sensor should be followed.
3.3.7.2 Hot water outlet from storage tank
Hot water exits the storage tank via a pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valve, which protects against
excessive temperature (>99°C) and pressure (>1MPa) (typical pressure setting is 500 kPa AS/NZS
3500.4). If either of these conditions is exceeded, the valve opens and dumps a large quantity of hot
water through a drain or soakage trench.
40 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
According to AS/NZS 3500.4:2003, clause 2.4.3 (Plastic pipes and fittings), no plastic pipes or fittings
can be used as drain lines from the PTR valve. AS 1432-approved copper pipe should be used.
AS/NZS 3500.4:2003 clause 1.9.2 (Sanitary fixtures delivery temperature) and clause 1.9.3
(Acceptable solutions for control of delivery temperatures) should be referenced when selecting
temperature control devices and reviewing requirements for them..
AS/NZS 2712 states that solar hot water systems provide over-temperature protection without
draining water. The manufacturer’s specifications will indicate the type of over-temperature protection
that is available, including:
• systems using a pump — the pump controller will shut down if the water temperature
is greater than 70°C
• thermosiphon systems — if suitable, low-efficiency collectors can be used to minimise
the high water temperatures; arrestor valves are installed for temperatures >75°C
Figure 3.13 shows an instantaneous gas split system, with all valves.
Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 41
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

I
Figure 3.13 Instantaneous gas split system layout showing all valves
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

p
l
i
n
t
h
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
s

t
o

c
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

o
f

e
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
G
e
n
e
r
a
l

p
o
w
e
r

o
u
t
l
e
t
E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

s
o
l
a
r
p
u
m
p

c
o
n
t
r
o
l
l
e
r
(
t
a
n
k

o
r

w
a
l
l
-
m
o
u
n
t
e
d
)
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n

f
i
t
t
i
n
g
s
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

s
e
n
s
o
r
B
l
a
n
k
e
d

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n

t
o

t
a
n
k
Ø

1
5
m
m

c
o
p
p
e
r
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
A
V
S
W
F
V
G
a
s

i
n
l
e
t
(
i
f

g
a
s

b
o
o
s
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
S
o
l
a
r

p
r
e
-
h
e
a
t
e
r

s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
A
i
r

r
e
l
i
e
f

v
a
l
v
e
F
r
o
s
t

p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e

(
i
f

r
e
q
u
i
r
e
d
)
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n

i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
T
V
S
e
n
s
o
r

w
e
l
l
S
W
A
V
F
V
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
T
V
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t
1
m

m
i
n
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
1
m

m
i
n
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

f
r
o
m

t
a
n
k
Ø

1
5
m
m

c
o
p
p
e
r
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
R
e
t
a
i
n
i
n
g

b
r
a
c
k
e
t
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
S
T
D
r
a
i
n
E
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

i
n
s
t
a
n
t
a
n
e
o
u
s
w
a
t
e
r

h
e
a
t
e
r

s
u
i
t
a
b
l
e

t
o
r
e
c
e
i
v
e

s
o
l
a
r

h
e
a
t
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

42
lhãplet 4
43
!letã¶e Iãakt
44 Chapter 4: Storage Tanks
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
4.1 General
Water storage tanks used in solar hot water installations must be designed and constructed
in accordance with AS/NZS 2712:2007 and AS/NZS 4692.1 and they must be installed to the
manufacturer’s instructions, where those instructions are not in conflict with AS/NZS 3500.4.
4.2 Water quality
The quality of water can determine which type of tank to use in a solar hot water system.
Water quality is measured against numerous factors, including pH (a measure of the acidity or
alkalinity of a solution), TDS (total dissolved solids) and water hardness. The collective levels of pH,
TDS and water hardness, can significantly affect the life of a storage tank and even the entire solar
hot water system.
4.2.1 pH measurement
pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14 (Table 4.1).
Table 4.1 pH level classification
pH Classification
0 Strong acid
5 Weak acid
7 Neutral
9 Weak alkaline
14 Strong alkaline
Source: Adapted from the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 — Factsheet: pH
pH levels outside the range of 6.5 and 8.5 can be associated with corrosion and
pipe blockage due to calcium build up.
Chapter 4: Storage Tanks 45
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
4.2.2 TDS
TDS or total dissolved solids are particles of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate,
bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, fluoride, iron, manganese, nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and other
organic matter that is dissolved in the potable water supply.
TDS values above 500mg/L can be associated with scaling inside tanks, pipework and household
appliances. Corrosion may also be a problem with higher TDS levels. Table 4.2 rates the water quality
at different TDS values.
Table 4.2 TDS water quality classification
mg/L Quality
<80 Excellent
80–500 Good
500–800 Fair
800–1,000 Poor
>1,000 Unacceptable
Source: Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 — Fact sheets: Total dissolved solids.
4.2.3 Hardness
Water hardness is measured by the concentration of calcium and magnesium (calcium carbonate
equivalent) in water. Table 4.3 rates the water quality at different classifications.
Table 4.3 Water hardness classification
mg/L Classification
<60 Soft but possibly corrosive
60–200 Good quality
200–500 Increasing scaling problems
>500 Severe scaling
Source: Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 — Fact sheets: Hardness (as calcium carbonate)
Note: Soft water may lead to corrosion of pipes but is dependent on the alkalinity (pH) of the water.
Water hardness above 200mg/L is associated with excessive scaling of pipes and fittings and may
also cause blockage in pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valves.
46 Chapter 4: Storage Tanks
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
4.3 Types of tanks
Storage tanks are typically made of the following materials:
(a) stainless steel
(b) copper
(c) vitreous enamel lined steel
(d) plastic or rubber (for atmospheric pressure formats).
Stainless steel and copper storage tanks tend to have a longer life where the water quality is good
but, as with all storage tanks, they suffer from corrosion if the water quality is poor.
Vitreous enamel storage tanks can withstand poor quality water due to the enamel coating inside
the tank. However, corrosion is a potential problem.
Figure 4.1 shows a typical horizontal storage tank with water stratification.
Figure 4.1 Typical horizontal storage tank
Sacrificial anodes are commonly used with vitreous enamel tanks and are usually constructed of
magnesium, with small percentages of manganese, aluminium or zinc.
The purpose of the sacrificial anode, as the name suggests, is to increase the life of the storage tank
by attracting the total dissolved solids in the water and corroding or sacrificing the anode (rod)
instead of the storage tank.
Chapter 4: Storage Tanks 47
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
4.4 Stratification
Stratification is the layering of water at different temperatures within the water tank, with hot water at
the top and cold water at the bottom. Stratification is caused by hot water (which is less dense) rising
to the top of the tank.
Storage tanks are designed to minimise the mixing of hot water and cold water. Solar collectors are
more efficient when heating cold water, thus excessive mixing of hot and cold water can reduce the
efficiency of the solar system.
Some solar storage tanks are designed so that the inlet and outlet ports allow for a laminar flow of
water entering and leaving the tank, thus minimising turbulent mixing inside the tank.
In some cases, cold water may be fed into the bottom of the tank through a spreader pipe that slows
the water velocity and spreads it along the bottom of the tank.
Water returning from the solar collector should be fed back into the tank at a higher position than
the cold water outlet. Figure 4.2 shows a close-coupled thermosiphon system with stratification or
temperature induced water circulation.
Figure 4.2 Close-coupled thermosiphon system showing stratification
The hot water outlet should be drawn from the top of the tank to ensure that:
(a) the water at the highest temperature is drawn
(b) the likelihood of mixing water is reduced.
Figures 4.3 and 4.4 show typical un-boosted vertical and horizontal storage tanks.
48 Chapter 4: Storage Tanks
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
Figure 4.3 Typical vertical storage tank
Hot water return
from solar collectors
Cold water flow
to solar collectors
Anode cap
Hot water outlet
to tempering valve
Cold water Ìnlet
Outer casing
Dip tube
(retrofit)
Anode (Vitreous enamel tanks)
Cylinder
Stratification of water
High density
tank insulation
Dip tube (standard solar)
Dip tube (standard solar)
Figure 4.4 Typical horizontal storage tank
Ìnsulation
Cold water to
collectors
Cold water Ìnlet
Hot water outlet
Anode
Outer casing
Ìnner Cylinder
Hot water from
solar collectors
Stratification of water
Chapter 4: Storage Tanks 49
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
4.5 Heat exchange tanks
In frost prone areas or where the water quality is very poor, a heat exchanger can be used to separate
the potable water from the water circulating through the collectors.
In this type of tank, a corrosion inhibiting antifreeze liquid, such as glycol, is circulated through the
solar collectors and returned through the heat exchanger. The heat is then transferred to the water
in the storage tank by contact with the copper pipe.
Heat exchangers are commonly designed by integrating:
(a) an outer tank or ‘jacket’ around the cylinder (Figure 4.5)
(b) a coil arrangement of copper pipework inside or around the cylinder (Figure 4.6)
Figure 4.5 Horizontal storage tank with jacket heat exchanger
High density
tank insulation
Cold water / glycol
flow to solar collectors
Cold water Ìnlet
Hot water
outlet to tap
or tempering valve
Anode (Vitreous
enamel tanks)
Heat exchanger
(Heat transfers to
inner cylinder)
Outer casing
Anode cap
Cylinder
Hot water / glycol return
from solar collectors
Stratification of water
Note: This type of storage tank can also be manufactured as a vertical tank.
50 Chapter 4: Storage Tanks
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

4
Figure 4.6 Vertical tank with submersed coil heat exchanger
Hot water / glycol return
from solar collectors
Cold water /glycol flow
to solar collectors
Anode cap
Hot water
outlet to tap
or tempering valve
Cold water Ìnlet
Outer casing
Anode
(Vitreous enamel tanks)
Cylinder
Stratification of water
Heat exchanger coil
High density
insulation
lhãplet ¡
51
P|peWetk & ||ll|a¶t
52 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
5.1 General
All pipework, connectors and fixtures used in a solar or heat pump hot water system must be copper
or metal to avoid the potential melting and deforming of polymer pipes.
If the water pipe system contains conductive (e.g. metal) water pipe that is accessible within the
building and is continuously conductive from inside the building to the point of contact within the
ground, this pipe must be equipotentially bonded to the earthing system of the electrical installation.
Where copper or metal pipework in any part of a system is replaced with polymer or equivalent
non-conductive pipework, the equipotential bonding of the system components must be
re-established (reference, AS/NZS 3000:2007).
Pipework and fittings used in solar hot water installations must be installed in accordance
with manufacturers’ specifications where those specifications are not in direct conflict with
AS/NZS 3500.4.
5.2 Materials
5.2.1 Pipework
The following guidelines for pipe materials should be followed:
(a) Flow and return lines should be copper or copper alloy.
(b) Pipework from the storage tank to the tempering valve should be copper or copper alloy.
(c) Pipework from the tempering valve into the building can be of any approved
pipework material.
(d) As per AS/NZS 3500.4, plastic pipework should not be used
i. in between the solar collectors or other uncontrolled heat sources and the storage tank
ii. for the drain line from the pressure temperature relief valve
iii. to support isolation valves, non-return valves and equipment used to connect to
water heaters.
5.2.2 Fittings
Compression fittings and valves should be constructed of brass or copper. Plastic fittings should
not be used.
5.3 Pipework size
5.3.1 Diameter
The following guidelines for pipework diameters should be followed:
(a) Pipe diameter between the storage tank and the solar collectors needs to be sized
appropriately to AS/NZS 3500 taking into consideration
i. flow
ii. pressure
iii. pipework length.
Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings 53
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
(b) Flow and return lines should be a minimum of 15mm copper for mains pressure and pumped
systems. The velocity and pressure of water flow between the storage tank and collectors
can vary greatly in solar hot water systems. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
(c) Pipework in a system driven by thermosiphon flow should be 25mm.
5.3.2 Length
5.3.2.1 General
Pipe length should be kept as short as possible to minimise heat loss from water.
5.3.2.2 Drain line from PTR valve
Drain lines from the PTR valve should terminate:
(a) at least 1m from the storage tank
(b) 200–300mm above ground level
(c) above a drain.
5.3.2.3 Tempered water line
Tempered water lines must run at least 1m from the tempering valve to fixtures.
5.4 Insulation
Insulation is required to prevent heat loss through pipework. Insulation will minimise water wastage
and energy consumption when hot water flows to fixtures. All hot and cold water pipes and valves
running between a storage tank and the solar collector or heat pump should be insulated when
installing a solar water heater or heat pump system.
5.4.1 Minimum insulation requirements
Heat loss from pipes can have a significant effect on system performance. Insulation is also important
for safety as the temperature of water exiting a solar water heater can be far greater than that in a
standard hot water system: some components of a solar collector system can reach as much as 170°C.
Temperatures in different parts of the system will determine the thickness of insulation required,
However, all insulation should be between 13mm and 25mm, with thicker insulation used
wherever possible.
Where the insulation is outdoors, or exposed to the elements, it should be UV (ultraviolet) rated
and weather resistant to ensure longevity and effectiveness.
See AS/NZS 3500.4, sections 8.2 and 8.3, for more details on the insulation requirements for hot
water installations; for example, the requirement that all pipework, including hot and cold water
flow and return lines, connecting the tank and collectors should be insulated.
54 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
5.4.1.1 Climate region
The climate region where the solar hot water system is located will determine the minimum R-value
for insulation. AS/NZS 3500.4, Section 8, has detailed climate maps of Australia. Table 5.1 shows the
climate regions for capital cities in Australia; Table 5.2 shows the minimum insulation R-value for
climate zones, including Alpine areas, in Australia.
Table 5.1 Climate regions for capital cities
City Climate region
Adelaide A
Brisbane A
Canberra C
Darwin A
Hobart C
Melbourne B
Perth A
Sydney A
Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500.4 — Regions for Hot Water Supply System — Insulation Maps
Table 5.2 Minimum insulation R-value for Australian climate zones
Climate region Internal locations External locations
Pipes Valves Pipes Valves
A 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.2
B 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.2
C
(Non-Alpine areas) 0.3 0.2 0.6
1
0.2
C
(Alpine areas) 0.3 0.2 1.0
1
0.2
Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500.4.
Notes:
1. If the pipe length is greater than 1m, the R-value needs to increase to 1.0.
2. An alpine area is defined as an area in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory or
Victoria with an elevation of 1,200m above sea level and, in Tasmania, 900m above sea level.
Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings 55
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
5.4.1.2 Minimum insulation diameter
The minimum diameter of insulation can be determined by using the R-value in Table 5.2 and the
corresponding diameter in Table 5.3.
Table 5.3 R-values and minimum insulation diameters
R-value
Insulation
diameter
0.2 9mm
0.3 13mm
0.6 25mm
1.0 38mm
Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500.4.
5.4.1.3 Insulation construction
Insulation should be made of closed-cell polymer with a UV resistant coating. Closed-cell polymer
can be defined as a high-density synthetic foam (Figure 5.1).
Figure 5.1 Cross-section of closed-cell polymer insulation
UV resistant
coating
Closed-cell
foam
Pipework
opening
5.4.2 Pipework requiring insulation
It is best practice to ensure that all internal and external hot water pipework is insulated to the
required R-value.
At a minimum, the following pipework should be insulated:
(a) flow and return lines from the tank to the collectors
(b) hot water pipework from the tank to the tempering valve
(c) all pipework between the storage tank and hot water unit (if applicable)
(d) tempered water pipework to the internal fixtures.
56 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
5.4.3 Insulation considerations
Continuity in pipework insulation must be maintained, although, sometimes, many lengths may need
to be joined to cover the full length of pipework. In those instances, the join should be taped, and UV-
resistant tape used where the join is made on external pipework.
Where pipework penetrates the roof material, the insulation should go through the penetration with
the pipework, as shown in Figure 5.2.
Figure 5.2 Insulation continuity through roof penetrations
Ceiling cavity
UV protected insulated
flow and return lines
Storage tank
Insulation continuing
through roof ceiling
penetration
Tempering
valve
Tempered water
to internal fixtures
Cold water inlet
TV
5.5 Tempering valves
5.5.1 General
AS/NZS 3500 requires water to be heated to a minimum of 60°C in order to kill and prohibit growth
of Legionella and other bacteria. Water at this temperature is too hot for use in bathrooms and
a tempering valve must be fitted to reduce the temperature to prevent scalding hot water being
delivered to the fixture.
A tempering valve is a three-way valve that mixes water from the hot and cold pipes to a pre-defined
temperature (50°C), which is then taken through the third outlet to the fixture (Figure 5.3).
Tempering valves used in solar hot water installations should be high-temperature solar rated valves.
Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings 57
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
Figure 5.3 Tempering valve
+
&
Cold water
from mains
Temperature adjustor
sits below cap
50° tempered water
to fixtures
Flow direction
indicator
Water inlet
indicators
Hot water
from tank
Equal water pressure from the cold and hot water supplies makes for better operation of the system,
and especially improves the performance of the tempering valve.
Figure 5.4 Location of tempering valve
Tempering Valve
Tempered
Water to House
Cold Water Inlet
TV
58 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
5.5.2 Location of the tempering valve
The tempering valve should be located as close as practicable to the storage tank to ensure that
the whole house can access tempered water. Tank positioning (see Chapter 4 — Storage tanks) is
important as the tempered water will continue to lose heat as it flows to the various outlets. For
this reason, it is equally important that the tempering valve be installed as central to the main
points of tempered water use as possible.
NOTE: A tempering valve reduces the risk of scalding and, under AS/NZS 3500.4:2003, must be
installed for all new and replacement water heaters. It is the responsibility of the installer to check
local regulations as requirements for installing tempering valves in domestic and commercial hot
water systems can vary between jurisdictions.
Under AS/NZS 3500.4:2003, the tempering valve must be installed in a position which is
readily accessible.
5.6 Air bleed valve
The air bleed valve is installed in many split (pumped) systems to allow air generated within the
collectors to escape. This valve is installed at the highest point of the collectors, at the hot water
return line.
The exception to this rule is in drain-back systems where this valve is situated on the top of the
storage tank. This is due to air build up when the water is drained from the collectors into the storage
tank. Figure 5.5 shows an air bleed valve assembly as it is commonly installed at the collector.
Figure 5.5 Air bleed valve assembly

Air bleed valve
(must point to the sky
at 90º from the horizon)
Air bleed valve cap
(must be open)
Temperature sensor
(to electronic controller)
Sensor well
Hot water return
to tank
Collector connection
Cross piece
lhãplet 6
59
!;tleM I;pet
60 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.1 Close-coupled systems
Close-coupled systems comprise the solar collectors mounted together with the tank on the roof.
Water supplied to the storage tank from the main cold-water inlet flows to the bottom of the
solar collectors.
The water is heated by the collectors and, by thermosiphon flow, the hot water rises to the top
of the collectors and back to the storage tank via a short return pipe on the opposite side of the
storage tank.
The hot water from the upper section of the tank is then supplied to the tempering valve where it is
mixed with cold water from the main cold-water inlet and then distributed to the household fixtures.
A thermostat controls the water storage temperature and, if needed, will ‘boost’ the water
temperature by electricity or gas. Figure 6.1 shows a close-coupled thermosiphon system fitted with
a tempering valve.
Figure 6.1 Thermosiphon system with a tempering valve fitted
Tempered Water
to House
Tempering Valve
Cold Water Inlet
Hot Water Return
Roof Mounted
Solar Collectors
Roof Mounted Hot
Water Storage Tank
TV
Chapter 6: System Types 61
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.2 Forced circulation systems
(split or pumped systems)
Split or pumped systems, unlike the close-coupled system, comprise roof-mounted collectors and a
ground-level storage tank. Because the storage tank is on the ground, a pump is required to circulate
the water up to the collectors and back to the storage tank.
Water supplied to the storage tank from the main cold-water inlet is pumped up to the bottom of the
solar collectors by a pump built into the bottom of the tank or by an external pump.
The pump is operated by a controller which detects water temperature using sensors in both the solar
collectors and the storage tank. When the water in the storage tank is lower than that of the solar
collectors, the pump is switched on to circulate the hotter water to the storage tank and the cooler
water up to the solar collectors for heating.
In split systems, the collectors may be of the flat plate (Figure 6.2) or evacuated tube type
(Figure 6.3).
The water is then heated by the solar collectors and returned to the storage tank via the hot water
return line at the top of the collectors.
Where evacuated tube collectors are installed, the water flows through one side of the manifold along
the top of the tubes and is returned through the opposite side in a left-to-right manner or vice versa.
The hot water from the upper section of the tank is then supplied to the tempering valve where it is
mixed with cold water from the main cold-water inlet and then distributed to the household fixtures.
Figure 6.2 Forced circulation system (flat plate collectors) split system installation diagram
TV
AV
SW
FV
Tempered Water
to House
Plinth
Cold Water Inlet
GPO
Electronic
Controller
Collectors
Flashing
Retaining Bracket
PTR Valve
PTR Drain
Stop tap (Isolation valve)
Non-return valve
Pressure limiting valve
Cold water expansion valve
PTR valve
Line strainer
Tempering valve
Air relief valve
Frost protection valve
(if required)
TV
Sensor well
SW
AV
FV
Tempered water pipework
(insulated)
Hot water pipework
(insulated)
Cold water pipework
(insulated solar flow/return)
Five-way Valve
Dip Tube
Cold water expansion valve
should discharge away from the
base of heater and footings
62 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.3 Forced circulation system (evacuated tube collectors) installation diagram
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

W
a
t
e
r

t
o

H
o
u
s
e
C
o
l
d

W
a
t
e
r

I
n
l
e
t
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
s
h
o
u
l
d

d
i
s
c
h
a
r
g
e

a
w
a
y

f
r
o
m

t
h
e

b
a
s
e

o
f

h
e
a
t
e
r

a
n
d

f
o
o
t
i
n
g
s
P
u
m
p
E
v
a
c
u
a
t
e
d

T
u
b
e
C
o
l
l
e
c
t
o
r
P
u
m
p

C
o
n
t
r
o
l
F
l
o
w

L
i
n
e
s
t
o

C
o
l
l
e
c
t
o
r
G
a
s

B
o
o
s
t
e
r
T
V
S
T
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
F
l
o
o
r

D
r
a
i
n

f
o
r

P
T
R
A
V
S
W
S
t
o
p

t
a
p

(
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
)
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
S
o
l
a
r

t
r
a
n
s
f
e
r

v
a
l
v
e
G
a
s

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
T
V
S
T
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d

s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n
)
Chapter 6: System Types 63
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.3 Gravity feed systems (remote storage)
Gravity feed systems are low-pressure systems that rely solely on thermosiphon flow principles
to operate. These systems have been used in homes not serviced by reticulated mains water.
Similar to split systems, the storage tank is not located with the collectors. The tank is located above
the collectors, in a remote location such as the roof cavity.
Positioning the tank above the collectors is critical as it will prevent reverse thermosiphon flow,
which would cause cold water to flow to the storage tank, leaving the hot water in the collectors.
Using thermosiphon flow, the colder water in the tank flows to the bottom of the collectors where
it is heated and then returned through the top of the collectors to the tank.
A feed tank (usually a rainwater tank) with a float valve control similar to that in a toilet cistern keeps
the storage tank full. This reduces the pressure in the feed tank to one atmosphere.
A safe tray with a drain line is fitted under the tank to prevent any spillage onto the ceiling.
Gravity feed systems can be boosted by a wood fire heater commonly referred to as a ‘wetback’
(see Chapter 7 — Boosting). Figure 6.4 shows a gravity feed, remote storage, system.
Figure 6.4 Gravity feed (remote storage) system installation diagram

64 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.4 Drain-back systems
A drain-back system is similar to a standard forced circulation (split) system in that it comprises roof-
mounted solar collectors and a ground-mounted storage tank.
This type of system usually operates using indirect heating: a pump is used to circulate heat transfer
liquid (glycol) to the collectors, where it is heated and returned to the heat exchanger in the storage
tank which heats the water.
The fundamental difference with a drain-back system is that when the water temperature in the
collectors is excessively high or nearing freezing point, the circulating pump is switched off and the
liquid drains down into a reservoir in the storage tank.
This prevents the collectors from overheating or freezing and is achieved by installing the return lines
on a 5° decline to allow the heat transfer liquid to use gravity to drain down into the reservoir.
Chapter 6: System Types 65
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.5 Drain-back system installation diagram
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
T
o

h
e
a
t

e
x
c
h
a
n
g
e
r
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

p
l
i
n
t
h
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t
T
V
1
m

m
i
n
G
e
n
e
r
a
l

p
o
w
e
r

o
u
t
l
e
t
E
l
e
c
t
r
o
n
i
c

s
o
l
a
r
p
u
m
p

&

c
o
n
t
r
o
l
l
e
r
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n

f
i
t
t
i
n
g
s
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n

t
o

t
a
n
k
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

s
e
n
s
o
r
B
l
a
n
k
e
d

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

f
r
o
m

t
a
n
k
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
R
e
t
a
i
n
i
n
g

b
r
a
c
k
e
t
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
D
r
a
i
n
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
A
i
r

r
e
l
i
e
f

v
a
l
v
e
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d

s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n
)
T
V
S
e
n
s
o
r

w
e
l
l
S
W
A
V
S
W
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
1
:
1
0

g
r
a
d
e

f
l
o
w
a
n
d

r
e
t
u
r
n

l
i
n
e
s
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
A
V
1
m

m
i
n
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
66 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.5 Heat pump systems
6.5.1 General
A heat pump system is a form of solar water heating that uses the standard refrigeration cycle to
transfer heat from the ambient outside air temperature into the water in the storage tank or solar
radiation to directly heat a refrigerant fluid in a collector.
6.5.2 Heat pump compressor
The heat pump compressor is considered a solar collector even though it does not rely on direct
sunlight to heat water. A heat pump relies on the ambient air temperature for its solar gain.
Heat pump compressors operate on the refrigeration principle in that they extract the heat from
the ambient air to heat a pressurised refrigerant that is circulated from the evaporator through
the condenser. The heat is then transferred to the water in the storage tank. Figure 6.6 shows the
configuration of a standard heat pump compressor.
Figure 6.6 Heat pump compressor
Exhaust fan
Condenser
Air intake
vent
Evaporator
Cooled refrigerant
(liquid) return to
evaporator
Hot refrigerant (vapour)
flow to tank
Expelled cold air
Warm air flow
Air-heated refrigerant
(vapour)
flow to condenser
Note: The configuration of the heat pump compressor may vary between manufacturers.
6.5.3 Heat pump storage tank
The heat pump storage tank operates on the heat exchange principle. Vapour from the compressor
flows through a coil or mantle arrangement of copper pipework submersed inside the cylinder or
wrapped around it. The heat is transferred to the water in the storage tank by contact with the
copper pipe. Figure 6.7 shows a typical heat pump storage tank.
Chapter 6: System Types 67
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.7 Heat pump tank
Hot water outlet
to tempering valve
Cold water Ìnlet
Heated refrigerant
from condenser
Cooled refrigerant
return to condenser
Outer casing
Anode (Vitreous
enamel tanks)
Cylinder
Stratification of water
Heat exchanger coil
High density
tank insulation
Anode cap
PTR valve
PTR drain line
6.5.4 Heat pump operation
A heat pump is made up of an evaporator, condenser, compressor and the storage tank.
The refrigerant in the evaporator absorbs heat from the surrounding air before it flows to the
compressor, where it is pressurised. When the refrigerant is pressurised it naturally heats up to
approximately 60°C and is pumped through the condenser as a hot gas.
The condenser can be a coil of tube wrapped around the inner shell of the storage tank or coiled
inside the tank itself. It may also be a mantle-type array of channels in contact with the inner shell
of the tank.
As the water in the tank is at lower temperature than the refrigerant, the heat is transferred from
the condenser to the water. This process cools the refrigerant which is then pumped through the
expansion valve further reducing its temperature and pressure as it flows back into the evaporator
(Figure 6.8).
By the time the refrigerant enters the evaporator, its temperature is lower than the ambient outside
air temperature and it is able to absorb the heat from the surrounding air through the evaporator,
where the process repeats.
68 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
The compressor can be mounted on top of the storage tank (compact system—Figure 6.9) or
separately mounted beside the tank (split system—Figure 6.10).
The heat pump must be connected to the continuous electric tariff and have unrestricted airflow.
The heat pump may run on a timer in areas where noise is an issue.
Figure 6.8 Heat pump system with external heat exchanger

Warm Air Flow
Outer Casing
Stratified Water
PTR Valve
PTR Drain Line
Evaporator
Compressor
Cylinder
Condenser / Heat Exchanger
Accumulator
Expansion
Valve
Cold Water Ìnlet
Hot Water Outlet
Ìnsulation
Expelled Cold Air
Exhaust Fan
Anode
Air Vent
Dip Tube
Air Vent
Heated Refrigerant
from Compressor
Cooled Refrigerant
Return to Evaporator
Thermostat
Electric Element
(if required)
Non-return Valve
6.5.5 Rate of heating
The rate at which a heat pump heats water is determined by a number of factors, which include:
(a) ambient air temperature
(b) relative humidity
(c) cold-water inlet temperature
(d) size of the storage tank.
Table 6.1 shows the average rate of heating for a 250 litre tank.
Chapter 6: System Types 69
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Table 6.1 Heat pump, rate of heating
Ambient
temperature (°C)
Litres of water per hour with a
25°C rise in temperature
35° 124
30° 111
25° 98
20° 83
15° 65
10° 53
5° 42
0° 34
-5° 29
-10° 27
Notes:
• These figures are intended to illustrate the effects of higher ambient air temperature on
the rate of heating compared to the effects of lower temperatures and do not represent
actual heat pump heating rates.
• These figures do not factor in relative humidity. A higher relative humidity will mean
a quicker rate of heating.
Figure 6.9 Heat pump system showing clearances
Tempering
valve
Tempered water to
internal fixtures
Hot water
outlet
Clearances to manufacturers specifications
Cold water inlet plumbing
(Check with local authority)
General power outlet
Electric
controller
PTR valve
Drain line
Concrete plinth
Heat pump
Isolation valve
Non-return valve
Pressure limiting valve
Cold water expansion valve
PTR valve
Line strainer
Tempering valve
Cold water pipework
TV
1m min
1.2m
m
in from
bedroom
windows
200-300mm
TV
Tempered water pipework
(insulated)
Hot water pipework
(insulated)
Drain
70 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.10 Split heat pump system installation diagram
G
e
n
e
r
a
l

p
o
w
e
r

o
u
t
l
e
t
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
H
e
a
t

p
u
m
p
c
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
o
r
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

p
l
i
n
t
h
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
T
V
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

c
o
n
t
r
o
l
l
e
r
H
e
a
t

p
u
m
p
s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

o
u
t
l
e
t
C
l
e
a
r
a
n
c
e
s

t
o

m
a
n
u
f
a
c
t
u
r
e
r
s

s
p
e
c
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
n
s
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n
t
o

s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w
f
r
o
m

s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
T
V
1
m

m
i
n
D
r
a
i
n
Chapter 6: System Types 71
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.6 Retrofit systems
A retrofit system is one where a solar hot water system is installed or integrated into an existing hot
water system.
A fundamental point is that a solar hot water system must have hot water storage, as it is not possible
for solar collectors to provide continuous hot water at the required temperature all year round.
Retrofit systems are commonly installed using close-coupled or split systems; however, a gravity feed
system can also be used.
6.6.1 Existing gas storage system
In this type of installation the solar hot water system acts as a pre-heater to the existing gas storage
system. This means that there are two storage tanks:
i. the solar storage tank, which holds the pre-heated water from the collectors.
ii. the existing gas storage tank, which boosts the water from the solar storage tank and
supplies the internal fixtures.
Figure 6.11 shows a close-coupled retrofit system and Figure 6.12 shows a split system retrofit.
72 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.11 Pre-heater close-coupled system retrofit to existing storage tank installation diagram

1
m

m
i
n
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
s
T
w
o
-
w
a
y

u
n
i
o
n
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
F
V
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
F
r
o
s
t

p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
T
V
F
V
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d

s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n
)
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n

f
i
t
t
i
n
g
s
S
u
p
p
o
r
t

b
r
a
c
k
e
t
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n

t
o
g
r
o
u
n
d
-
m
o
u
n
t
e
d
s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n
t
o

t
a
n
k
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

f
r
o
m

t
a
n
k
P
T
R

d
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
E
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

h
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

h
e
a
t
e
r
s
u
i
t
a
b
l
e

t
o

r
e
c
e
i
v
e

s
o
l
a
r
h
e
a
t
e
d

w
a
t
e
r
B
l
a
n
k
e
d

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

p
l
i
n
t
h
T
V
1
m

m
i
n
D
r
a
i
n
Chapter 6: System Types 73
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.12 Pre-heater split system retrofit to existing storage tank installation diagram
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

p
l
i
n
t
h
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
s

t
o

c
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

o
f

e
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
G
e
n
e
r
a
l

p
o
w
e
r

o
u
t
l
e
t
E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c

s
o
l
a
r
p
u
m
p

c
o
n
t
r
o
l
l
e
r
(
t
a
n
k

o
r

w
a
l
l
-
m
o
u
n
t
e
d
)
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n

f
i
t
t
i
n
g
s
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

s
e
n
s
o
r
B
l
a
n
k
e
d

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n

t
o

t
a
n
k
Ø

1
5
m
m

c
o
p
p
e
r
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
A
V
S
W
F
V
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
S
o
l
a
r

p
r
e
-
h
e
a
t
e
r

s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
A
i
r

r
e
l
i
e
f

v
a
l
v
e
F
r
o
s
t

p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e

(
i
f

r
e
q
u
i
r
e
d
)
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n

i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
T
V
S
e
n
s
o
r

w
e
l
l
S
W
A
V
F
V
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
T
V
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t
1
m

m
i
n
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
1
m

m
i
n
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

f
r
o
m

t
a
n
k
Ø

1
5
m
m

c
o
p
p
e
r
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
R
e
t
a
i
n
i
n
g

b
r
a
c
k
e
t
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
D
r
a
i
n
E
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

h
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

h
e
a
t
e
r
s
u
i
t
a
b
l
e

t
o

r
e
c
e
i
v
e

s
o
l
a
r
h
e
a
t
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

74 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.6.2 Existing gas instantaneous system
The existing gas instantaneous system does not have a storage tank. Therefore, as with the
gas storage system, the solar hot water system is used as a pre-heater to the existing instantaneous
system, which then boosts the water from the storage tank and supplies the internal fixtures.
Figure 6.13 shows a pre-heater close-coupled retrofit to an existing gas instantaneous system.
Figure 6.14 shows a pre-heater split system retrofit to an existing gas instantaneous system.
Figure 6.13 Pre-heater close-coupled retrofit to existing gas instantaneous system installation diagram
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
s
T
w
o
-
w
a
y

u
n
i
o
n
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
F
V
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
F
r
o
s
t

p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
S
o
l
a
r

t
r
a
n
s
f
e
r

v
a
l
v
e
T
V
F
V
S
T
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d

s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n
)
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n

f
i
t
t
i
n
g
s
S
u
p
p
o
r
t

b
r
a
c
k
e
t
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n

t
o
g
r
o
u
n
d
-
m
o
u
n
t
e
d
s
t
o
r
a
g
e

t
a
n
k
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n
l
i
n
e

t
o

t
a
n
k
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t
Ø

1
5
m
m

c
o
p
p
e
r
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

l
i
n
e

f
r
o
m

t
a
n
k
P
T
R

d
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
E
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

i
n
s
t
a
n
t
a
n
e
o
u
s
w
a
t
e
r

h
e
a
t
e
r

s
u
i
t
a
b
l
e

t
o
r
e
c
e
i
v
e

s
o
l
a
r

h
e
a
t
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

B
l
a
n
k
e
d

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
1
m

m
i
n
S
T
T
V
G
a
s

s
u
p
p
l
y
D
r
a
i
n
Chapter 6: System Types 75
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.14 Pre-heater split retrofit to existing gas instantaneous system installation diagram
Solar Hot Water
Outlet
GPO
Pump Control Unit
Compression
Fittings
Flashing
AV
SW
FV
Gas Supply Line
Solar Hot
Water Tank
Tempered Water
to House
PTR valve
Tempering valve
Air relief valve
Frost protection valve
(if required)
Tempered water pipework
(insulated)
Hot water pipework
(insulated)
Cold water pipework
(solar flow/return insulated)
TV
Sensor well SW
AV
FV
PTR Valve
Drain Line
TV
Cold Water
Flow Line
Retaining Bracket
ST
Drain
Existing Instantaneous
Gas Unit
76 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
6.6.3 Retrofit to existing electric storage tank
An existing electric storage system is more suitable for retrofitting than gas storage and instantaneous
systems. In these types of installations solar collectors can be mounted on the roof without the need
for an additional storage tank.
Depending on whether the existing storage tank has solar flow and return connections, the installation
may be exactly the same as a regular split system.
If the storage tank has only one cold inlet and one hot outlet a five-way connector will need to be
fitted, which will provide the required connections for the flow and return lines to the solar collectors.
Figure 6.15 shows a five-way connector fitted to the cold-water inlet of an existing storage tank.
Figure 6.15 Five-way connector (top view)
5-way connector
Thermal sensor well
Hot water return
from collectors
Dip tube
Cold water flow
to and from storage tank
Cold water flow to pump
for circulation to collectors
Cold water inlet
In the five-way connector, cold water flows through one connection supplying the storage tank. The
circulation pump then draws water from the storage tank, through another outlet on the connector,
and circulates it to the solar collectors, where the water is heated.
The heated water returns to the storage tank through the hot-water inlet in the five-way connector
and is then distributed to the middle of the tank via an upward-turned dip tube. Figure 6.16 shows a
five-way connector fitted to an existing electric storage tank.
Chapter 6: System Types 77
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.16 Five-way connector fitted to an existing electric storage tank
5-way connector
Hot water return
from collectors
Hot water flow to
tempering valve
Cold water inlet
Thermostat
Electric booster element
Repositioned
dip tube
Dip tube
Cold water flow to pump
for circulation to collectors
Thermal sensor to solar
pump controller
Note: The dip tube is positioned upward to promote stratification in the storage tank and prevent the heated water from being redrawn from the
outlet to the collectors.
78 Chapter 6: System Types
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

6
Figure 6.17 Retrofit conversion of existing electric storage tank installation diagram
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

t
o

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
l

f
i
x
t
u
r
e
s
C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

p
l
i
n
t
h
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t

p
l
u
m
b
i
n
g
(
C
h
e
c
k

w
i
t
h

l
o
c
a
l

a
u
t
h
o
r
i
t
y
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

i
n
l
e
t
T
V
1
m

m
i
n
1
m

m
i
n
G
e
n
e
r
a
l

p
o
w
e
r

o
u
t
l
e
t
E
l
e
c
t
r
o
n
i
c

s
o
l
a
r
p
u
m
p

&

c
o
n
t
r
o
l
l
e
r
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n

f
i
t
t
i
n
g
s
H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

r
e
t
u
r
n

t
o

t
a
n
k
H
o
t

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

s
e
n
s
o
r
B
l
a
n
k
e
d

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

f
l
o
w

f
r
o
m

t
a
n
k
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
R
o
o
f

f
l
a
s
h
i
n
g
R
e
t
a
i
n
i
n
g

b
r
a
c
k
e
t
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
D
r
a
i
n

l
i
n
e
S
t
o
p

t
a
p

(
I
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
)
N
o
n
-
r
e
t
u
r
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

l
i
m
i
t
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

e
x
p
a
n
s
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e
P
T
R

v
a
l
v
e
L
i
n
e

s
t
r
a
i
n
e
r
T
e
m
p
e
r
i
n
g

v
a
l
v
e
A
i
r

r
e
l
i
e
f

v
a
l
v
e
F
r
o
s
t

p
r
o
t
e
c
t
i
o
n

v
a
l
v
e

(
i
f

r
e
q
u
i
r
e
d
)
T
V
S
e
n
s
o
r

w
e
l
l
S
W
A
V
F
V
T
e
m
p
e
r
e
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)

H
o
t

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d
)
C
o
l
d

w
a
t
e
r

p
i
p
e
w
o
r
k
(
i
n
s
u
l
a
t
e
d

s
o
l
a
r

f
l
o
w
/
r
e
t
u
r
n
)
A
V
S
W
F
V
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
2
0
0
-
3
0
0
m
m
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
5
0
0
m
m

m
i
n
F
i
v
e
-
w
a
y

c
o
n
n
e
c
t
o
r
D
i
p

t
u
b
e
D
r
a
i
n
lhãplet ¡
79
8eetl|a¶
80 Chapter 7: Boosting
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
7.1 General
In many locations the solar fraction is less than required for a solar hot water system to run on its own
all year (see Table 1.3 — Expected solar fraction of capital cities).
In those cases the solar hot water system will require additional boosting to ensure that water can be
heated to 60°C at times of low solar gain (i.e. during cloudy or rainy days).
AS/NZS 3500 requires that the storage tank water be heated to a minimum of 60°C in order to kill and
prohibit growth of Legionella and other bacteria.
Boosting can be achieved by:
(a) an internal electric booster element (in the tank)
(b) an internal gas burner (below the tank)
(c) an instantaneous gas unit fed from the solar hot water system
(d) a gas storage system fed from the solar hot water system
(e) a solid fuel boiler.
Notes:
1. In the case of (b) and (c) the solar hot water system acts as a pre-heater to the gas hot
water system.
2. Heat pumps do not require additional boosting as this is done within the storage tank with
an electric element.
The amount of boosting necessary is dependent on:
(a) the quantity of hot water required
(b) the required temperature of the hot water
(c) the amount of solar irradiation
(d) the ambient air temperature
(e) the cold water temperature at the inlet
(f) the efficiency of the solar collectors and storage tank
(g) the efficiency of the booster.
Figure 7.1 Respective contributions from SHW systems & boosting to reach average water
temperature of 65°C: Major Australian cities
Chapter 7: Boosting 81
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
Figure 7.2 Respective energy contributions from solar input & booster input to reach water
temperature of 65°C: Major Australian cities
7.2 Electric boosting
7.2.1 Electric storage
In electric-boosted storage systems, one or two electric elements are immersed inside the storage
tank. An electric element is curved in shape and can be positioned so the curve points up or down to
provide varying amounts of boosted hot water.
A thermostat controls the boosting element by switching it on when the water temperature drops to
a pre-determined temperature and switching it off when the temperature reaches 60°C. Figure 7.3
shows the configuration of an electric-boosted storage tank.
Figure 7.3 Electric boosted storage tank
Hot water return
from solar collectors
Cold water flow
to solar collectors
Anode cap
Hot water outlet
to tempering valve
Cold water Ìnlet
Outer casing
Thermostat
Dip tube
(retrofit)
Anode Cylinder
Thermostat
Stratification of water
High density
tank insulation
Electric element
(where boosted)
Dip tube (standard solar)
Dip tube (standard solar)
82 Chapter 7: Boosting
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
7.2.1.1 Off-peak tariffs
Where available, an electric element can be supplied by the electricity supply company during
off-peak hours. These hours may vary between states but can be between 9pm and 7am (the
booster is only active in the evening/night hours).
The system size requirements to qualify for off-peak electric rates vary between states and should
be checked with the householder’s electricity supply company.
In off-peak boosting, the booster cannot be turned on during the day if additional hot water
is required.
7.2.1.2 Day-rate tariffs/continuous supply
Electricity supply on a day-rate tariff is charged at a higher rate than off peak; however, the hot
water supply should not be affected because the electric booster will be available at all times.
7.3 Gas boosting
If the household is located in a natural gas reticulated area natural gas can be supplied to the booster
by tapping into mains gas supply. Alternatively, if natural gas is unavailable, an LP gas cylinder can be
installed by a gas supplier or plumber.
7.3.1 Gas storage
Gas boosting in the storage tank occurs by means of a burner that is thermostatically controlled.
The burner will ignite when the water temperature drops to a pre-defined temperature and it will
then heat the water to 60°C. Figure 7.4 shows the configuration of a gas storage tank.
Figure 7.4 Gas storage tank
Flue outlet
(Clearances to comply
with AS 5601)
Hot water outlet to
tempering valve
Cold water Ìnlet
Thermostat
Gas supply
Gas control
housing
Hot water return
from solar collectors
PTR Valve
Cold water flow
to solar collectors
Outer casing
Electronic solar pump controller
(tank or wall-mounted)
PTR drain line
Flue
Anode
(Vitreous enamel tanks)
Cylinder
High density tank insulation
Ìnner tank casing
Gas burner
Power lead to outlet
Thermal sensor lead
to collector
Chapter 7: Boosting 83
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
7.3.2 Gas instantaneous
As with the electric-boosted instantaneous unit, gas boosting does not occur inside the tank.
An in-line gas instantaneous unit is fitted between the tank and the hot water pipework into the
building. This unit is usually mounted directly onto the storage tank but may also be separately
mounted to a wall.
The solar hot water system is used to pre-heat the water before it flows through the instantaneous
unit. The gas burner will only ignite if the water temperature is not at the required temperature
(60°C), otherwise it will bypass without additional boosting. Figure 7.5 shows a gas instantaneous
boosted storage tank.
Figure 7.5 Gas instantaneous boosted storage tank
Hot water return
from solar collectors
Gas supply
Ìnstantaneous gas booster
(tank or wal-mounted)
Cold water flow
to solar collectors
Hot water outlet
gas booster
Boosted hot
water outlet to
tempering valve
Cold water Ìnlet
Thermal sensor
lead to collector
Storage Tank
Tempering valve
Tempered water
to interal fixtures
Solar transfer valve
(optional)
Booster / pump
controller housing
Flue outlet
(Clearances to comply
with AS 5601)
Anode cap
PTR valve
PTR drain line
ST
TV
84 Chapter 7: Boosting
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
7.4 Solid fuel boosting
Slow-combustion heaters can be used to provide boost heating by burning solid fuels instead of gas
or using electricity.
Solid-fuel heaters are more likely to be installed in rural areas where access to electricity and gas is
limited or non-existent and there is a supply of firewood.
The most common forms of solid fuels are:
(a) wood chips
(b) timber
(c) coal
(d) sawdust pellets
(e) peat
(f) straw
(g) briquettes.
In a remote storage system, the heated water rises from the solar collectors to the tank by
thermosiphon flow. The heated water then flows from the storage tank to the boiler where it is
heated further, rising back into the tank by thermosiphon flow. Figure 7.6 shows how water
temperature in remote storage systems is boosted by solid fuels.
Figure 7.6 Solid fuel boosting for remote storage systems
Solid fuel boiler
(ground level)
Heat
exchanger
Boosted hot water return
to tank Ø 25mm copper
Hot water flow line to
booster Ø 25mm copper
In-ceiling
storage tank
Hot water return
from collectors
Cold water flow
to collectors
Hot water flow to
tempering valve
Cold supply
to tank
The solid-fuel boosted heater is an uncontrolled energy source that may produce unexpected
surges in water pressure and temperature. This system should be low pressure and open vented,
with the header tank lower than the open vent.
Chapter 7: Boosting 85
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

¡
7.4.1 Installation considerations
When installing a boiler as a booster, the following issues should be considered:
(a) The heat source should be located below the storage tank to allow thermosiphon flow.
(b) The flow and return lines from the storage tank to the boiler should:
i be copper
ii rise or fall in a continuous gradient
iii have no valves fitted to them
iv have no dissimilar metals in them
v have no elbows fitted to them
vi have a diameter relative to the length specified in Table 7.2;
vii connect separately from those lines to the collectors to prevent interference between
the two systems
viii be insulated to the required R-value so as not to be a hazard.
(c) The storage tank must be copper or stainless steel. Vitreous enamel tanks should not be
used as the enamel can dissolve at high temperatures.
(d) The system must be open vented to the atmosphere to prevent any pressure build up in
the boiler.
(e) Pressure/temperature relief valves must not be used.
(f) Boilers must not be connected directly to mains pressure storage tanks.
(g) A tempering valve must be fitted to the hot-water line to the house
Table 7.1 Minimum pipe diameter for thermosiphon systems
Vertical distance (m) Horizontal distance (m)
2 4 6 8 10
1 20 20 25 32 32
2 20 20 25 32 32
3 20 20 20 25 32
4 18 20 20 25 25
5 18 20 20 20 25
6 18 18 20 20 25

Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500.4, clause 7.3.1.
86
87
0ttapãl|eaã| 8eã|lh
& !ãIel;
lhãplet 8
88 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
8.1 General
The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency cannot accept responsibility for any errors
and omissions contained in this information. This section is intended as a guide to the principles of
occupational health and safety as they relate to the domestic installation of solar water heating and
heat pumps.
Specialist advice is recommended in particular for current health and safety requirements.
Installers need to be aware of:
(a) height hazard assessments
(b) working at height procedures
(c) assessment/use/wearing of correct height safety equipment (harnesses et cetera)
(d) all other relevant safety factors specific to the work
(e) occupational, health and safety regulations/codes.
Australian states and territories have different occupational health and safety legislation, regulations,
codes and principles and they need to be observed for all solar water heating and heat pump
installations. State and territory-specific requirements can be found online.
State Website related to
occupational health and safety
QLD www.justice.qld.gov.au
ACT www.ors.act.gov.au
NSW www.workcover.nsw.gov.au
VIC www.workcover.vic.gov.au
SA www.safework.sa.gov.au
WA www.docep.wa.gov.au/WorkSafe
NT www.worksafe.nt.gov.au
TAS www.workcover.tas.gov.au
8.2 Installers’ obligations
All employers and self-employed people are required under Commonwealth, state and territory
laws to do the following:
(a) provide a workplace and safe system of work so employees are not exposed to any hazards
(b) give employees training, information, instruction and supervision to allow them to work in
a safe manner
(c) consult with their employees about safety issues
(d) provide protective clothing and equipment to protect employees where it is not possible to
eliminate hazards from the workplace.
Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety 89
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
Employers also need to develop policies for each workplace, or each job site, to make sure that
they maintain a safe standard of work. This is done through:
(a) hazard identification, risk assessment, and control processes
(b) specified safe work procedures
(c) monitoring performance and reviewing control measures regularly
(d) consulting with employees
(e) training programs covering how to report hazards, hazards relevant to each worker, and
how to access health and safety information that the law requires employers to provide
(f) maintenance programs
(g) a system for reporting hazards or important safety information
(h) emergency rescue procedures.
This is as vital for solar water heating and heat pump installations as for any other workplace activity.
8.3 Risk assessment
Installers must comply with local regulations and undertake an on-site risk assessment or safety audit
prior to beginning the installation of a solar or heat pump hot water system.
The purpose of the risk assessment or safety audit is to enable the installer time to inspect the site
and assess the likely hazards. Whilst undertaking this risk assessment, it is usual to plan how to safely
undertake the job.
The risk assessment considerations for traditional hot water installations and heat pump and solar hot
water installations are very similar, but the installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems also
involve some specific risks.
This section aims to highlight the major safety concerns relating to the installation of heat pumps and
solar water heaters. This list is not comprehensive, and issues can be different from site to site, so
installers must still carry out a full risk assessment for each and every site before commencing work.
8.4 Working at heights
Installers should know and work according to relevant requirements for lifting and working at heights.
In addition to general occupational health and safety and work safety legislation, the National Code of
Practice for the Prevention of Falls in General Construction, deals with safe work practices when work
is undertaken at heights of more than 1.8 metres. Installers can contact their local Workcover or use
the links provided in this reference guide to check for existing or updated instructions or standards.
The National Code of Practice can be accessed at:
www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/swa/AboutUs/Publications/NationalStandards/
NationalCodeofPracticeforthePreventionofFallsinGeneralConstruction.htm
State and territory governments also produce information guidelines and codes of practice
for working at heights and working in or on roofs.
As a general guide to the risks involved in working at heights, the following factors should be
considered:
(a) The surface of the roof — is it unstable, fragile or brittle, or slippery; is it a combination of
different surface types; is it strong enough to support the loads involved; does it slope
more than 7°, or is it heavily sloped (more than 45°)?
(b) The ground — is it even and stable enough to support a ladder, scaffold or work platform
if necessary?
90 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
(c) Scaffolding or work area platforms — are these crowded or cluttered; are they erected and
dismantled properly and safely?
(d) Hand grips — do workers working at heights have hand grips?
(e) Unsafe areas — are there openings, holes, or unguarded excavation sites; are there power lines
close to the work area?
(f) Access and egress — are there any obstructions or safety hazards in the entrance or exit
routes for the work site?
(g) Lighting — depending on weather, and location, is there sufficient light for workers to work
safely (this is especially relevant when working in roof cavities)?
(h) Inexperienced employees — are there inexperienced staff or installers on site, who may be
unfamiliar with a task and who present a risk or hazard that needs special attention and risk
control measures?
(i) The interior of the roof — is a confined space licence required? Is the enclosed working area
safe and have all hazards been identified?
IMPORTANT NOTE: This list is not exclusive. The total list of risk factors to be assessed will differ
for every installation, and will depend on the site, the residence, the type of system being installed,
and the installer’s methods.
8.5 Risk of falls
The first priority when working at heights is always to prevent falls. Safe working procedures and
suitable barriers will help prevent falls.
Commonwealth, state and territory OH&S regulations in Australian do not specify a particular height
at which it becomes necessary to introduce safe procedures for ‘working at heights’. But in New South
Wales the Safe Work on Roofs publications specify that if a physical restraint or harness is used, it
needs to be able to stop a fall from 2m or more.
8.6 Three types of control measure/
safe operating procedures
Three types of control measures and safe operating procedures can be used to minimise the
risk of falls.
1. The provision and maintenance of a stable and securely fenced work platform
(including scaffolding or any other form of portable work platform)
2. The provision and maintenance of secure perimeter screens, fencing, handrails or
other physical barriers to prevent falls
3. Personal protective equipment to arrest the fall of a person.
According to national and state and territory regulations and guidelines, fall arrest equipment is a type
of personal protective equipment and should not be chosen unless other systems — which provide a
higher level of fall protection — such as scaffolding or elevating work platforms, are impracticable.
Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety 91
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
8.7 Fall arrest systems
These are the most common options for those installing solar and heat pump water heaters.
Under national OH&S regulations, installers are required to use fall prevention systems type 1 or type 2
(described above) when working at heights, unless it is reasonably impractical to do so.
However, in most residential homes the installation period (less than one day) and the small area of
roof that the installer will be working on mean that scaffolding, platforms and perimeter screens are
impractical options for solar water heater installations.
A fall-arrest system is preferred in some special cases, including where there is a chance a worker may
fall through the surface of the roof due to fragile roofing material.
Fall-arrest require significant skill to use safely and, in the event of a fall, it is likely that even when the
system works correctly there will still be some physical injury to the user.
People using a fall-arrest system must always wear head protection.
Fall-arrest systems comprise:
(a) an anchorage point of static line (also known as the safety line or horizontal lifeline)
(b) energy absorber
(c) inertia reel or fall-arrest device
(d) fall arrest harness
(e) lanyard or lanyard assembly.
All systems differ, so installers will also need to consult with the suppliers of their safety equipment
about how to use and maintain their systems.
Installers are required by Commonwealth and state and territory regulations to ensure that the fall-
arrest harness is connected to a static anchorage point on the ground or on a solid residence or
construction.
An anchor point needs to be carefully chosen to minimise the distance of a fall, and to ensure that the
line does not encounter snags, obstructions, or edges. This can result in the fall-safety system failing.
Installers are also required to make sure that the fall-arrest system used does not create new hazards,
including trip hazards.
Fall-arrest systems and harnesses can only be used by one person at a time. They must never be used
unless there is at least one other person present on site to rescue an installer after a fall. In some cases
two people will be needed for a successful rescue.
All fall-arrest systems must comply with AS/NZS 1891 — Industrial fall arrest systems and devices.
8.8 Roofs greater than 45°
For a solar hot water installation where the roof pitch exceeds 45°, the risk assessment also needs to
take account of the additional difficulty associated with steep roof pitches. This will usually require
additional safety precautions. Although those requirements will vary from site to site, installers may
need to use a wider platform, a higher guardrail, scaffolding or a cherry-picker as well as, or instead
of, a fall-arrest system.
92 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
8.9 Brittle or fragile roofs
Where portions of the roof are brittle or fragile, an employer must ensure that the risk is
controlled by either:
(a) permanent walkways
(b) appropriately secured temporary walkways over the affected parts of the roof.
8.10 Other relevant Australian standards for
working at heights
Installers should contact their state or territory government or local council for additional requirements.
8.11 Falling objects
When working on rooftops installers are sometimes at risk from falling objects. Potential risks include:
(a) Collectors, tanks and equipment may fall while being lifted to roof height, or being installed
at height.
(b) On tile roofs, when tiles are slid aside so that the straps to support the tank can be attached
to trusses/rafters or trusses underneath there is a high risk that tiles will fall.
On tile roofs, heavy plastic sheet or aluminium sheet can be laid under hot water storage tanks when
they are roof mounted to ensure that if the tank fractures any tiles, no debris will fall into the roof space.
Plastic or other sheeting can also be used to stop small equipment or tools falling into the roof cavity
or puncturing ceiling material.
Employer/installer obligations include:
(a) ensuring all staff have received adequate training for any work that is carried out
(b) providing a safe means of raising and lowering equipment, material or debris on site
(c) where possible, creating a secure physical barrier to prevent objects falling from buildings or
structures in or around the site
(d) where it is not possible to create such a barrier, introducing measures to stop the fall of
objects (this could include creating a platform with scaffolding, a roof protection system, or
positioning a toeboard on a guardrail)
(e) ensuring all workers wear personal protective equipment to minimise the risk from falling objects.
Control and safety measures include creating a perimeter fence on top of scaffolding around a house
during installation — this may be practicable when a house is having solar or heat pumps water heaters
installed during the construction phase. This offers a work platform for plumbers, and protects workers
from falling objects.
8.12 Working with heavy equipment
As a general guideline, a person standing should not lift anything that weighs more than 16kg
without mechanical assistance or assistance from other people. Local, state or territory guidelines
differ, but mechanical lifting equipment is recommended for all objects more than 16kg to 20kg.
Providing adequate mechanical lifting equipment for collectors, tanks, and other equipment is another
occupational, health and safety obligation.
As most solar systems (collectors only, or collectors and tank) are roof mounted, installers need to
devise a plan to move all equipment onto the roof prior to beginning work.
Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety 93
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
Some common solutions:
(a) hiring a small crane to lift roof components quickly and safely
(b) engaging suppliers who will deliver all components to the site and onto the rooftop.
Rope and pulley solutions are slow, and can easily result in injury to installers, so they are not
recommended.
Whenever mechanical lifting equipment is used, installers must assess all risks associated with the
equipment and introduce appropriate control measures to contain the risks. The following list is not
comprehensive; however, examples include:
(a) the risk of manual handling injuries to workers while using equipment can be controlled by
guarding the drive mechanisms and nip points on the elevator belt.
(b) barricading the area around the equipment to prevent access by untrained people and
limiting the risk of falling objects hitting people below
(c) training people to use equipment (in some circumstances, people will be required to hold
certificates of competency; for example, for operating a builders hoist.
8.13 Roof security
There will be risks involved in mounting heavy equipment onto a residential roof or ceiling when
installing remote thermosiphon systems (tank installed in a domestic roof space) or a close
thermosiphon system (tank installed on rooftop).
Prior to lifting any equipment onto the roof or into the ceiling cavity, the roof or ceiling must be
checked to ensure it is strong enough to carry the equipment.
Control measures for roofs or ceilings that are insufficient to hold total equipment weight include:
(a) strengthening roof structures to hold system weight (see installation instructions for details).
(b) locating system equipment over roof-supporting framework only
(c) l ocating collectors so they span at least two roof-supporting trusses or trusses/rafters to
adequately support the collector weight.
(d) introducing weight-bearing pathways within the ceiling cavity to ensure that all weight rests
on trusses/rafters/support beams.
Any in-roof tanks must be mounted over internal joining walls in accordance with the Australian
Building Standard.
8.14 Working with metal and collectors
8.14.1 Heat hazards
Site and risk assessments for installations that involve the use of metals and glass need to consider
the dangers from materials over-heating and injuring workers. Such risks are multiplied when solar
hot water systems are installed because collectors are designed to become hot on exposure to solar
irradiation. This can occur even on overcast and cold days.
Measures to control the burn risks associated with working with metal, dark-coloured plastics, glass
and solar collectors include:
(a) storing equipment in a shaded or covered location before and during installation
(b) If necessary, organising covers for solar collectors during roof installation, where collectors
are placed on roof scaffolding or platform while tiles are moved or the collectors’ security
lines or installation points are checked.
94 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

8
Metal heat hazards can also include metal fittings in fall-arrest systems (buckles and D-rings,
snaphooks on lanyards, karabiners and other specific system fittings).
8.14.2 Metal hazards
Aside from general heat concerns (see above) solar water heating and heat pump installations also
require installers to cut down metal lengths for the installation of tanks and collectors, creating risks
of cuts and injuries. Measures to reduce those risks include using personal protective gear, including
covered boots, gloves and protective eye-wear.
8.15 Hazards for working outdoors
As for any site work, installers must include hazards relating to working outdoors in their risk
assessment. The major risk factor is always working in the sun, especially during the months
September to April.
The most effective means of reducing sun exposure is a combination of protection methods.
The following controls are listed in order of effectiveness:
(a) reorganising work times to avoid the UV peak of the day
(b) making use of natural or artificial shade
(c) wearing appropriate protective clothing, hats and sunglasses
(d) using sunscreen.
Other weather hazards include heavy rain, dew or wind, as well as poor light in certain weather
conditions. Those conditions need to be assessed, unsafe hazards avoided where possible or dealt
with on site, keeping in mind occupational health and safety regulations and best practice.
8.16 Site assessment
Sites should be assessed for:
(a) natural features and environment
(b) under and above-ground services (e.g. gas, phone, electrical, sewer, water)
(c) site/roof conditions and materials
(d) buildings and other structures
(e) suitable access.
8.17 Maintenance and service
The entire system, including the following services, should be shut down before any maintenance
is performed:
(a) electricity or gas
(b) generators
(c) pumps
(d) mains water supply
(e) gravity water supply.
lhãplet 9
95
|atlã||ãl|ea
leat|1etãl|eat
96 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.1 General
Solar and heat pump hot water system installations should comply with all relevant standards
and manufacturers’ requirements. Installation requirements for solar water heater and heat pump
systems include the following:
(a) AS/NZS 3500:2003 Part 4 — Heated Water Services, Section 6 Installation of
Solar Water Heaters
(b) AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules
(c) AS 5601 Gas Installations
(d) any other applicable standards (e.g. AS/NZS 1170 Wind Loadings; AS 2712 Solar and
Heat Pump Water Heaters — Design & Construction; AS 4234 Heated Water Systems:
Calculation of energy consumption; AS/NZS 4692.1 Electric water heaters — Energy
consumption, performance and general requirements
(e) Plumbing Code of Australia
(f) manufacturer’s recommendations
(g) local government requirements (which the installer is responsible for confirming;
responsibility the scope of this element will vary across state, territory and local
government areas.
(h) OH&S requirements (see Chapter 8).
(i) trade and insurance licensing requirements (the installer is responsible for confirming
compliance with those. The scope of this element will vary across state, territory and local
government areas).
(j) any other requirements that impact on a particular installation (e.g. heritage-listed buildings;
building with asbestos roofing materials; streetscape planning).
Almost every installation will have different requirements, including requirements for access to the
site, roof tilt, materials, climate, level of water use or the need for additional trades people (such as
electricians). All elements of Chapter 8, relating to OH&S obligations, should be considered prior to
pre-installation discussions and inspections.
AS/NZS 3500 requires that the storage tank be installed as close as possible to the main hot water
usage points. Some jurisdictions may have additional requirements regarding this. For example, in
Queensland, under the Queensland Plumbing and Waste Water Code (legislated), after 1 January 2010
water heaters for any new Class 1 building and Class 1 building for replacement are to be installed as
close as practicable to the common bathroom.
9.2 Installation
9.2.1 Mounting collectors
Roof-mounted solar collectors and storage tanks should be mounted in accordance with local OH&S
regulations (see section 8.13 for information on the safety measures that need to be observed when
lifting collectors and storage tanks onto roofs).
In all cases, manufacturer’s instructions should be followed carefully, and only those support straps
and retainers supplied with the system should be used.
Where possible, collectors should be mounted with a minimum clearance of 500mm from gutters
(roof edge) on all sides. This clearance helps with access to panels for installation and maintenance.
It also helps protect the panels from wind and stop run-off from rain jumping the gutter.
Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 97
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.2.1.1 Flat plate collectors
Flat plate collectors can be installed flush with the roof in most standard installations. However,
in systems that do not incorporate a PTR or air-bleed valve at their highest point, the outlet side
should be mounted 10mm above the inlet side to ensure that air bubbles exit the collector.
In close-coupled systems, the position of the collectors will be relative to the location of the
storage tank (see section 6.1).
The lower support straps supplied with the solar collectors should be affixed to the retaining
bracket at approximately 200mm from either end (see Figure 9.1).
Figure 9.1 Collector straps mounted to a tile roof
Rafters
Tile battens
Lower collector support straps
attached 200mm from the outer
edge of the retaining bracket
Solar collectors
Upper retaining bracket
screwed into rafters
Upper collector support
straps screwed into rafters
Lower retaining bracket
screwed into rafters
(30mm higher on the hot
water outlet side)
On tiled roofs, support straps will need to be screwed firmly onto the rafters (roof structure),
not tile battens. This will require the removal of a section of tiles at each strap to expose the rafters.
The support strap should be bent to run flush with the rafters (Figure 9.2 and Figure 9.3).
98 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
Figure 9.2 Collector strap moulded to rafter (tiled roof)
Rafters
Tile battens
Collector support straps
attached 200mm from the outer
edge of the retaining bracket
Collector support straps moulded
around the roof structure and tucked
under upper tile
Lower retaining bracket
screwed into rafters
(30mm higher on the hot
water outlet side)
Figure 9.3 Collector strap mounted to rafter cross-section (tiled roof)
Collector strap
Rubber grommet
Roofing screw
Rafter
Roof batten
Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 99
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
On metal roofs, roofing screws may be used to screw the support bracket through the roof and into
the rafters (roof structure). Rubber grommets should be used with the roofing screws to lift the metal
frame off the roofing material to prevent corrosion.
The installer must ensure that for metal roofs the solar hot and cold pipes between the water storage
tank and the solar collectors are:
(a) copper
(b) fully insulated (according to AS/NZS 3500.4 clause 8.2.1(c)(Plumbing and Drainage; Heated
Water Services)) of a suitable material and thickness (minimum thickness 13mm)
(c) weatherproof
(d) UV resistant, if exposed.
The insulation provides protection for the metal roof against any water run-off over the copper pipe.
It will also reduce heat losses in the pipe and protect against accidental contact with the hot solar
pipe work.
Manufacturers’ instructions, relating to the specific model of thermosiphon solar water heater
to be installed, must be followed to ensure that the appropriate insulation has been fitted to the
connections on both the solar collectors and the storage tank.
Figure 9.4 shows how collector straps are mounted to a metal roof. Figure 9.5 shows a collector
bracket mounted to a rafter on a metal roof.
Figure 9.4 Collector straps mounted to a metal roof
Rafters
Roof battens
Lower collector support straps
attached 200mm from the outer
edge of the retaining bracket
Upper retaining bracket
screwed into rafters
Storage tank
Solar collectors
Upper tank support straps
screwed into rafters
Lower retaining bracket
100 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
Figure 9.5 Collector bracket mounted to rafter (metal roof)
Metal roof
Collector strap
Rubber grommets
Roofing screw
Rafter
Roof
batten
The collectors should be placed on the retaining bracket and joined using the supplied compression
fittings and affixed to the retainer with the supplied locking brackets.
The upper supporting straps should be attached using the same technique used to attach the
lower supporting straps.
Note: In close-coupled systems, upper retaining brackets are affixed to the top of the collectors
in place of the support straps to allow the storage tank to be mounted (see section 9.2.2—
Mounting tanks).
Flat plate collectors can reach temperatures in excess of 200°C in direct sunlight. Collectors
should remain in their protective covering until they have been mounted to reduce the risk of
injury to the installer.
Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 101
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.2.1.2 Evacuated tube collectors
Evacuated tube collectors use slightly different mounting frames to flat plate collectors. They can be
attached to the roof in a similar way using straps or direct bolting; however, tube clips are used to
safely hold the evacuated tubes in place.
For roofs where the evacuated tube collectors are to be installed flush to the roof plane, the system
will have been supplied with the top and bottom support rails plus the device for securing the
evacuated tubes to the top rail.
For flat roofs or roofs with insufficient pitch, the evacuated tube collectors will be mounted on a
pitched frame. The equipment for a pitched frame will usually include the same top and bottom rails
but will include a mounting frame to elevate the evacuated tube collectors.
Evacuated tube collectors should be situated at a minimum of 500mm from the roof gutter and roof
ridge at the optimal position on the roof (see Chapter 3 — Solar collectors).
Note: The side where the hot water return line and air bleed valve are to be attached should be
mounted approximately 20mm to 30mm higher than the other side. This allows air bubbles that
form in the collector to escape to the highest point.
On tiled roofs, the support straps will need to be screwed firmly onto the rafters (roof structure),
not to the tile battens. A section of tiles at each strap will need to be removed to expose the rafters.
The support strap should be bent to run flush with the rafters.
The front roof tracks should then be attached to the support straps, with the top manifold
attachments affixed to their respective locations.
On metal roofs, roofing screws may be used to screw the front tracks through the roof and into
the rafters (roof structure). Rubber grommets or pads should be used with the roofing screws to
lift the metal frame off the roofing material to prevent corrosion.
The horizontal support braces are attached with even spacing down the front tracks. Tube clips
or caps are attached to the bottom track to hold the evacuated tubes in place.
The manifold can be positioned into the attachments on the top track and individual tubes inserted
into the manifold.
Evacuated tubes can reach temperatures in excess of 200°C in direct sunlight. It is important,
therefore, that the evacuated tubes are inserted as the final step to prevent unnecessary heating
and the risk of injury to the installer.
102 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.2.1.3 Cyclone and high-wind mounts (flat plate collectors)
In cyclone and high-wind areas, installers should use collectors approved by the local authorities.
Collectors should be fixed to roofs with a fixing method that is suitable for the application under the
local building codes and OH&S regulations.
For example, in cyclone prone areas, a mounting sheet with additional support brackets is affixed to
the roof structure on which the collectors are mounted.
Figures 9.6 to 9.8 show a typical cyclone mount for flat plate collectors. Because the configuration of
cyclone mounts may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they should be installed in accordance
with their specifications.
Figure 9.6 Cyclone mount (side profile)
Mount sheeting
Roof material
Rafter
Roof battens
Collector
Support
bracket
Support
bracket
Figure 9.7 Cyclone mount (top profile)
Rafters
Roof material
Roof batten
Collector
Support
bracket
Support
bracket
Support
bracket Collector
Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 103
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
Figure 9.8 Cyclone mount (detail)
Rafter
Roof battens
Roof material
Collector
Mounting
bracket
Mount sheeting
Mounting
screws
Rubber
grommet
9.2.2 Mounting tanks
9.2.2.1 Roof-mounted tanks
Tanks can be either integrated or remote (stand-alone); however, regardless of tank location, there
must be sufficient access for maintenance, including to replace sacrificial anodes.
Interior tanks must be placed on a safe tray that drains to the outside of the building or to the
floor waste. If the system is gas boosted, ventilation must be sufficient to prevent the build-up
of exhaust gases.
Exterior tanks should always be installed on a concrete plinth, according to manufacturers’
specifications. The plinth must be level to prevent the unit vibrating and to prevent water entering
the unit in wet conditions.
In close-coupled systems, the roof must be able to support the weight of the collectors and the
tank when full, which can be up to 700kg. The integrity and load-bearing rating of the roof should
be checked by a structural engineer or builder against the manufacturer’s specifications for the solar
hot water system.
As a rule of thumb the tank should be positioned so that it is evenly supported by at least two rafters
or trusses. This should be confirmed on a site-specific basis.
Strengthening existing roof structure
If required, the roof should be strengthened in accordance with the Building Code of Australia
and local building regulations. A structural engineer should be consulted on any roof
modifications required.
Attaching tank to collectors (close coupled)
In close-coupled systems, the tank is positioned into the upper retaining brackets fixed to the
collectors so that pipes can be connected without stressing the joints.
104 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
The support straps are affixed to the designated spots on the top of the tank and to the rafters
(roof structure), not tile battens. A section of tiles at each strap will need to be removed to expose
the rafters. The support strap should be bent to run flush with the rafters.
9.2.2.2 In-ceiling tank (gravity feed)
A suitable location in the ceiling cavity must be identified and a section of roof removed to enable
the tank to be placed into position.
A hardwood reinforced stand will need to be constructed to support the tank in the ceiling. This
stand must be high enough for the tank to sit at least 300mm above the top of the collectors.
As ceiling joists may not carry the weight of a full tank, the stand must span at least two supporting
walls, as. The surface area of the base of the stand must be larger than the safe tray that sits under
the tank.
9.2.2.3 Ground-mounted tanks
Ground-mounted tanks should be positioned on a level surface as close as practicable to the main
areas of hot water use.
Where the ideal position is in a garden bed or grassed area, the ground should be compacted and
a concrete plinth laid beneath the tank.
Adequate space must be available for installers to access pipe connections, PTR valve and anode.
In gas storage or gas instantaneous boosted systems, clearances from windows should be in
accordance with AS 5601.
9.2.3 Roof flashings
Roof penetrations for pipework, electrical conduits or support frames should be sealed with roof
flashings to prevent water leaking into the roof cavity. These flashings are usually made of EPDM or
silicon rubber, with an aluminium frame that can be moulded to the shape of the roof (Figure 9.9).
Figure 9.9 Roof penetration (cross-section)
Where possible, penetration should be done on the high part of the roof profile to avoid the
possibility that water will pool around a penetration that is located in the valley of the profile.
Lead flashing should not be used on a roof that is collecting rainwater for drinking and it must be
compatible with other roof cladding material.
Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 105
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.2.4 Heat pump installation
As is the case for any ground-mounted tank, a heat pump should be located on a level surface as
close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use.
However, the requirements for positioning and installing heat pump systems are different from the
requirements for positioning and installing solar water heating systems.
• Heat pump systems will be more efficient if placed in a warm location because it will take
less time to heat the water to the set temperature. In Australia, the warmer locations are on
the north side or west side of the house.
• Heat pump systems need to be well ventilated so cold air can move away freely (check the
manufacturer’s recommendations).
• Heat pump systems can be noisy so they should be placed away from bedrooms and
windows and any night-time operation of the unit should be kept to a minimum (if possible).
The manufacturer’s specifications will indicate the decibel rating of the heat pump and
advise on specific clearances.
• Heat pumps are continuous electric water heaters and therefore must be connected to
the continuous power outlet. They require a standard 10A connection. Depending on the
manufacturer’s requirements, the connection can be hardwired or connected through a GPO
(general purpose outlet).
• A licensed electrician must make all electrical connections.
• Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about appropriate water pressure for cold-
water inlets. Where water pressure is too high, a pressure limiting valve may be necessary.
• Installation in ceiling cavities or roof spaces is not recommended for heat pump systems
because heat pumps need ventilation. If there is not enough ventilation, the roof space will
quickly cool and the heat pump will not operate. In summer, roof spaces can be very hot,
and the heat pump system may overheat.
Figure 9.10 Integrated heat pump unit showing sample installation & relative distances required around
heat pump unit.
Hot water
outlet
PTR Valve
Connection
Infow
Fan Grill
Outfow
0.67 m
0.67 m
0.4 m
2.5 m
1.83 m
2.5 m
1.43 m (more than 0.4m min)
Cold water inlet
Height = 2.3 m +
height of heat pump
base and extended
feet.
106 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.2.5 Pumps and pump controllers
• Many manufacturers have the pump unit wired into a standard power plug.
• An electrician may be required to install a power point, and if this is to be installed outdoors,
the unit must be rated for outdoor use.
• The pump and pump controller must be connected to continuous tariff electrical supply to
ensure that the pump and/or controller can operate at any time of the day or night (e.g. for
frost protection).
• A pump will generate some noise during operation. It is good practice, therefore, to position
the pump at least 1.2m away from bedroom windows.
9.2.6 Thermal sensor cables
• Thermal sensor cables usually have a special additional coating on the first metre of cable at
the collector to prevent interference/damage from high temperatures.
• The remaining cable should be attached to rafters or along the wall because contact with the
flow and return pipework can interfere with the temperature reading, cause the circulating
pump controller to not operate properly and the system to fail from overheating or freezing.
9.2.7 Electric booster element
An electric booster element, which is usually hard wired into a separate electrical circuit dedicated to
the water heater, can operate on either continuous or off-peak tariff.
Any electrical connections to roof-mounted solar water heating systems (e.g. thermosiphon systems)
will require adequate waterproofing.
9.2.8 Gas booster ignition
A gas booster ignitor is usually connected through the same plug and GPO as the pump system, or
through a separate GPO or hard-wired connection. All gas booster ignitors should be connected to
continuous tariff electricity as they must be able to function at any time so that water can be raised
to 60°C to prevent the development of Legionella.
9.2.9 Heat pumps
Heat pumps require a standard 10A connection. Depending on the manufacturer’s requirements,
this can be hardwired or connected through a GPO.
9.2.10 Commissioning
The commissioning process may vary from system to system and, for this reason, the manufacturer’s
commissioning process should be strictly adhered to.
The system must be full of water and/or heat transfer (glycol) fluids before it is turned on.
Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 107
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
9.3 Installation checklist
Environment
Water quality is suitable for contact with components.
Components and materials will not react with other materials when in contact with them
(e.g. galvanic reaction).
All components are suitable for the environmental and climatic conditions.
There are no known impacts on the environment resulting from this installation.
Solar collectors
Collector is pitched and oriented to achieve good solar gain.
Collector is positioned to avoid shading throughout the year.
Collectors connected in parallel are plumbed for balanced flow conditions (if applicable).
Collectors are fitted to the roof structure as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Storage tank
Pressure and temperature relief valve is installed on water storage tanks (if applicable).
Tanks connected in parallel are plumbed for balanced flow conditions (if applicable).
Tanks are installed so they promote effective stratification (if applicable).
Adequate access is allowed for maintenance.
If tank is to be roof mounted, the roof is structurally strong enough to carry the weight of
the full tank.
Storage tank is full of water before the system is turned on.
Flow and return pipe work
Suitable pipework sizes have been chosen for solar flow and return.
No plastic components or pipework are used on the solar flow and return.
A high-quality, temperature rated, UV and weather protected thermal insulation has been
installed on solar flow and return pipes.
Valves and fittings
Pressure limiting device is installed (if applicable).
Temperature limiting device is installed to prevent scalding.
Non-return valve is installed (if applicable).
Expansion control valve is installed (if applicable).
Freeze protection device is installed (if applicable).
Stagnation or overheating protection device has been installed (if applicable).
Thermal sensor cables are not in contact with the flow and return lines.
108 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

9
High temperature/pressure
Consideration has been given to the expansion and contraction of materials under
high-temperature conditions.
All materials, fittings, connection points and components are suitable for use under the
expected temperature and pressure conditions.
Regulatory
All collector attachment points meet regulatory requirements.
Installation meets the requirements of AS/NZS 3500.4 and other applicable standards
covering the work completed.
All components have been installed to meet regulatory requirements and have been
approved for use in Australia.
Boosting
The auxiliary boosting option is functional and is connected to the correct fuel or energy
tariff (if applicable).
A timer has been installed on the auxiliary boost and is operational (if applicable).
Heat pump is connected to continuous electricity tariff (where applicable).
Pump controller
The temperature sensors have been installed to the correct outlets and the leads
connected to the controller.
The electricity supply has been connected and the unit switched on to ensure it operates.
General
Proper clearances have been observed and there are provisions for future maintenance.
All components have been installed to manufacturers’ specifications.
The system has been tested, is operational and has been checked for leaks.
Descriptive labels have been applied to pipe work and components
The site is neat and tidy.
A full risk assessment of the site has been conducted.
All paper work has been completed.
Client has been provided with all necessary documentation and operating instructions.
lhãplet 10
109
hã|aleaãate
110 Chapter 10: Maintenance
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
0
10.1 General
Preventative maintenance should be carried out to prevent failure of any system. The frequency
of preventative maintenance should accord with the manufacturer’s specifications for the installed
system. This will ensure optimal operation of the system and maintain the manufacturer’s warranty.
The most common causes of system failure are:
(a) wear or failure of components
(b) corrosion of components
(c) sediment within the system.
10.2 Valves
10.2.1 Pressure/temperature relief valve
The pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valve should be checked every six months to ensure proper
operation. As lifting the valve can cause it to bind to sodium deposits on the moving shaft, it is
recommended that the valve be replaced every five years.
If the valve is not lifted, it may fail and excess pressure could damage the storage tank. As the PTR
valve is designed to release water as it expands, it is not uncommon for approximately one litre of
‘leakage’ to occur. However, the valve should be checked if it leaks continuously.
AS/NZS 3500.4:2003, requires the tempering valve to be installed in a position which is readily
accessible.
10.2.2 Float valve
Float valves can wear with constant motion within gravity feed header tanks. As this wearing is
irregular, it may be sufficient to replace the washer when leakage occurs. If replacing the washer
does not stop the leaking, the valve may need to be replaced.
10.2.3 Expansion valve on the cold water supply
The expansion valve should be replaced if it constantly leaks. Where this failure occurs at set time
intervals then a replacement schedule should be considered so that the valve is replaced before its
fails. The expansion valve on the cold water supply, as with the PTR valve, is designed to release
water as it expands. Minor leakage is of little concern.
10.2.4 Non-return valve
Non-return valves rarely need replacing. However, if a non-return valve is failing, the cold water
supply pipe may feel warm some distance from the storage tank. The valve will need replacing if
this is the case.
10.2.5 Isolation valve
The isolation valve should completely stop the flow of water to the hot water system. If the valve
is allowing water through, the washer or the valve may need replacing.

Chapter 10: Maintenance 111
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
0
10.3 Corrosion and scale formation
10.3.1 Valves
Areas with highly corrosive water may cause valves to fail frequently. Replacing the valves as part
of a maintenance program may be required.
10.3.2 Sacrificial anodes
The life of a sacrificial anode will depend on the quality of water supplied to the system. In areas
with corrosive water, the anode may need replacing every few years.
If the water quality is good and the hot water use low, then an anode may last up to 15 years. In
those areas, anodes should be inspected every five years.
When replacing an anode, the manufacturer’s specifications must be followed to ensure that the
correct anode is installed.
10.3.3 Heating elements (electric boosting)
Scale build-up on electric heating elements can cause them to overheat and fail.
Where scale is a known problem, action should be taken before the element fails so as to not
interrupt the hot water supply.
Longer elements that reduce the heat inside them as scale forms are available. Those elements
have an increased longevity.
10.4 Sediment
Sediment build-up in the bottom of the storage tank and at the bottom header of the solar collectors
is not uncommon and small quantities of sediment are not necessarily a problem. However, where the
build-up of sediment is significant it may cause corrosion or odours if it contains organic material that
decomposes. This may occur in areas where the water quality is poor or where rainwater is used to
supply the solar hot water system.
To remove sediment, drain the storage tank of all but a small quantity of water, disconnecting pipes
and wires from the electrical system. The tank can then be shaken to stir the sediment inside. The
sediment is then drained from one of the lower connections. Care must be taken to ensure that
the tank is not damaged and that the maintenance person is not injured. A second person may be
required to provide assistance.
112
lhãplet 11
113
IeMpetãt; 8el
Wãlet |atlã||ãl|eat
114 Chapter 11: Temporary Hot Water Installations
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
1
11.1 General
If the storage tank fails and the hot water supply cannot be restored on the same day, a temporary
electric hot water service can be installed.
A small capacity electric storage tank powered by a general power outlet can easily be secured to
a hand trolley and wheeled to the location of the existing storage tank and connected to the existing
pipework (Figure 11.1).
This solution may also give the householder time to consider an alternative hot water service if
the existing system is an electric hot water service.
Figure 11.1 Trolley-mounted temporary hot water supply
Temporary cold water
inlet from existing cold
water supply
Temporary hot water
outlet to existing hot
water supply
Hand trolley
Support straps
240 volt power supply
Small capacity
electric storage
tank
lhãplet 12
115
6eretaMeal
|ateal|ret
116 Chapter 12: Government Incentives
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
2
12.1 General
The following information on government incentives is current at the time of printing of this handbook.
Please refer to Government websites for the most up-to-date information.
12.2 Rebates and renewable energy certificates
for solar hot water installations
Two types of incentives are offered to householders to encourage them to install low-emission
water heaters.
Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are available for the installation of solar and heat pump systems
for new and existing homes.
The Australian Government and state and territory governments offer a range of rebates to people
for the cost of purchasing and installing low-emission water heaters. Those rebates are in addition
to RECs.
Solar and heat pump hot water systems are typically connected to mains electricity supply. The
tariff rate for this electricity supply will have an effect on the operating costs of these systems.
An important consideration in the design of a solar water heater or heat pump system is the
electricity tariff the system will be connected to and the rate that will be charged.
12.2.1 Renewable energy certificates
RECs are available for eligible solar hot water systems or heat pump hot water systems for the total
megawatt-hours of eligible renewable energy generated by the system.
When installed, a solar water heater or heat pump uses less electricity than a conventional hot water
system. This reduces the drain on the electricity grid and the amount of electricity produced by coal
and other non-renewable sources.
Solar water heaters and heat pumps are listed as a renewable energy technology under the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.
Under the Renewable Energy Target (RET), an installed solar water heater or heat pump is entitled
to a number of RECS, calculated by determining the amount of electricity the system displaces
over a determined period (called a deeming period). Each REC is equivalent to 1MWh of renewable
electricity generated or deemed to have been generated.
The number of RECs is also dependent on where the system is installed. The amount of sun a
system receives each day varies from location to location. Each postcode is allocated a zone rating
based on the solar radiation levels in Australia and the water temperature in the area. If the system
has a higher zone rating, it has the potential to displace a greater amount of electricity and is entitled
to more RECs. Table 12.1 shows how Australian postcodes are currently zoned for renewable energy
certificates.
Chapter 12: Government Incentives 117
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
2
Table 12.1 Renewable energy certificate zones for all Australian postcodes
Postcode range Postcode range Postcode range
From To Zone From To Zone From To Zone
200 299 3 3750 3898 4 5231 5261 3
800 862 1 3900 3900 3 5262 5263 4
870 872 2 3902 3996 4 5264 5270 3
880 909 1 4000 4419 3 5271 5291 4
1001 2914 3 4420 4420 1 5301 6256 3
3000 3381 4 4421 4428 3 6258 6262 4
3384 3384 3 4454 4454 1 6271 6318 3
3385 3387 4 4455 4468 3 6320 6338 4
3388 3396 3 4470 4475 2 6341 6341 3
3399 3413 4 4477 4477 1 6343 6348 4
3414 3424 3 4478 4482 2 6350 6353 3
3427 3451 4 4486 4488 3 6355 6356 4
3453 3453 3 4489 4493 2 6357 6395 3
3458 3462 3 4494 4615 3 6396 6398 4
3463 3465 3 4620 4724 1 6401 6439 3
3467 3469 4 4725 4725 2 6440 6440 2
3472 3520 3 4726 4726 1 6441 6444 3
3521 3522 4 4727 4731 2 6445 6452 4
3523 3649 3 4732 4733 1 6460 6640 3
3658 3658 4 4735 4736 2 6642 6725 2
3659 3660 3 4737 4824 1 6726 6743 1
3661 3661 4 4825 4829 2 6751 6799 2
3662 3709 3 4830 4895 1 6800 6997 3
3711 3724 4 5000 5214 3 7000 8873 4
3725 3749 3 5220 5223 4 9000 9729 3
Source: ORER, www.orer.gov.au/publications/pubs/register-postcode-zones-v1-1107.pdf
118 Chapter 12: Government Incentives
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
2
The examples in Table 12.2 show the RECs produced by solar water heater and heat pump systems in
the different zones.
Table 12.2 Allocation of renewable energy certificates in different zones
Brand Model
Eligible
from:
Eligible
to:
Zone 1
RECs
Zone 2
RECs
Zone 3
RECs
Zone 4
RECs
System A* ABC00001
6 Sept
2007
31 Dec
2020
30 26 30 30
System B† ABC00002
15 July
2008
31 Dec
2020
21 21 21 17
870 872 2 3902 3996 4 5264 5270
* System A: one collector, 180 L tank, electric boost.
† System B: heat pump, 250 L capacity.
Householders have two options for gaining financial benefit from their RECs.
Option 1 — agent assisted
Householders can find an agent and assign their RECs to the agent in exchange for a financial benefit,
which could be in the form of a delayed cash payment or upfront discount on the system. A majority
of owners take this option.
Option 2 — individual trading
Householders can create the RECs themselves in an internet-based registry system called the
REC Registry. It is up to the householder to find a buyer and to sell and transfer the RECs in the
REC Registry.
More information is available from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator on (02) 6159 7700
or at www.orer.gov.au
The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator has a register of approved solar water heaters and
heat pumps, and a list of the RECs generated by them in different climate zones.
This information can be found at www.orer.gov.au/swh/register.html
12.2.2 Rebates
Rebates are an economic incentive to reduce the upfront cost of solar or heat pump hot water
systems. To encourage the installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems, rebates are available
at federal and state government levels. This section provides information on where to find current
state and federal rebates.
Information provided is accurate at the time of writing and may be subject to change at short notice.
It is suggested that installers check appropriate state and federal programs regularly for details.
12.2.3 Australian Government rebates
At the time of writing the Australian Government offers rebates for both solar water heater and heat
pump systems.
Full guidelines and eligibility criteria are available at www.climatechange.gov.au
Chapter 12: Government Incentives 119
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
2
12.2.4 State and territory rebates
Information on state and territory rebates can be found on the following websites.
State or territory rebate information websites
New South Wales
www.environment.nsw.gov.au/rebates/ccfhws.htm
Queensland
www.cleanenergy.qld.gov.au/queensland_solar_hot_water_program.cfm
Victoria
www.resourcesmart.vic.gov.au/for_households/rebates.html
Northern Territory
www.powerwater.com.au
Western Australia
www1.home.energy.wa.gov.au/pages/subsidy.asp
Australian Capital Territory
www.thinkwater.act.gov.au/tuneup_rebates.shtml
South Australia
www.dtei.sa.gov.au/energy/rebates_and_grants/solar_hot_water
120
lhãplet 1I
121
ke¢a|teMealt Iet MeW
& fz|tl|a¶ 8eMet
122 Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
I
13.1 General
The Australian Government and state and territory governments are working together to phase-out
greenhouse-intensive (electric) water heaters.
Commencing in 2010, electric water heaters will be phased out across Australia in new and existing
detached houses, terraced houses, town houses and hostels. For hot water installations in new homes,
requirements are specified in the Building Code of Australia and will be regulated through state and
territory building regulations. Installations in existing homes will be regulated through state and
territory plumbing regulations.
The implementation of the program in 2010 (Stage 1) is being undertaken on a state-by-state and
territory basis with each participating state responsible for determining its commencement date,
eligibility criteria and exemptions.
The program for existing homes will be extended during 2012 (Stage 2) to cover all detached houses,
terraced houses and townhouses and hostels.
A working hot water system will not need to be replaced, but when a system needs to be replaced,
it will be with a low-emission alternative.
13.2 Phase-out of electric water heaters
The phase-out will be implemented in two stages:
13.2.1 Stage 1
Commencing during 2010, the phase-out of greenhouse-intensive electric water heaters will be
implemented on a state-by-state basis for Class 1 buildings (new and existing detached houses,
terraced houses, town houses or hostels) where such requirements do not currently exist.
Programs for new homes are already in place in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Western
Australia and New South Wales.
Programs are already in place for existing homes in South Australia and Queensland.
State and territory governments have details on local programs.
For more information about these programs go to the following websites:
• Queensland — new and existing homes:
www.dip.qld.gov.au/sustainable-housing/electric-hot-water-system-replacement.html
• South Australia — new and existing homes:
www.energy.sa.gov.au/?a=30372
• New South Wales — new homes only:
www.basix.nsw.gov.au
• Victoria — new and existing homes:
www.pic.vic.gov.au/www/html/249-5-star-standard.asp
www.new.dpi.vic.au/energy/energy-policy/energyefficiency/waterheaters
• Western Australia — new homes only:
www.buildingcommission.wa.gov.au/bid/5StarPlus.aspx
Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes 123
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
I
13.2.2 Stage 2
During 2012, the phase-out will be extended so that greenhouse-intensive water heaters will no
longer be able to be installed in all Class 1 dwellings and new Class 2 buildings with access to
piped/reticulated gas, except where an exemption applies.
13.2.3 Post 2012
For new apartments without access to piped/reticulated gas, the phase-out will occur between 2012
and 2015, depending on further investigation of the feasibility of low-emission water heating options
for such buildings.
Table 13.4 General schedule of phase-out
Building class New Existing
Class 1a and 1b* 2010: All dwellings
2010: Dwellings in a piped/
reticulated gas area
2012: All dwellings
Class 2†
2012: New dwellings with
access to piped gas
Exempt
*Class 1 consists of detached houses, terraces and town houses and hostels.
†Class 2 includes apartments and flats.
State and territory government programs will:
• not force any households to replace an existing, operating hot water heater. The phase-out
will apply to new buildings and where the hot water system in an existing building breaks
down or ages and needs to be replaced with a new system.
• give home-owners options. Home-owners will be asked to choose the low-emission
alternative that best suits their home, their climate, and their budget. The choice is not
limited to gas, where a home has access to piped/reticulated gas. Householders can choose
from any of the low-emission technologies, including solar, heat pump or gas.
• include some exemptions. These are yet to be finalised, but will apply where appropriate
alternative technologies are not yet available, or in situations where there are significant
additional costs.
124 Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
I
13.3 Complementary state programs—
new and existing buildings
13.3.1 Queensland
The Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code states that as of 1 January 2010, existing houses
and town houses (Class 1 buildings) located in a natural gas-reticulated area must install a greenhouse
efficient hot water system (i.e. gas, solar or heat pump) when the existing electric resistance system
needs replacing. Householders will not need to replace existing electric resistive water heaters that
are in good working order.
This follows action by the Queensland Government to ban installation of electric resistive water
heaters in all new houses and townhouses (Class 1 buildings only) which came into effect on
1 March 2006.
As of 1 January 2010, in existing Class 1 buildings hot water must be supplied by either:
• a solar hot water system
• a heat pump system
• a gas hot water system with an energy rating of at least 5 stars.
The electric hot water system does not have to be replaced with a low greenhouse hot water system
if it has failed within the warranty period. There are temporary arrangements available in Queensland
that are intended to give the consumer time to consider which low greenhouse gas hot water system
to install.
The website www.dip.qld.gov.au/sustainable-housing/electric-hot-water-system-replacement.html
provides up to date information.
13.3.2 South Australia
South Australia has introduced requirements for water heaters where construction work is required,
such as in new homes or renovations requiring development applications (DAs). For applications
lodged after 1 May 2009 a number of requirements, separated by building classification, need to
be followed.
• Class 1a and 1b in metro or regional South Australia (by postcode)
o Solar hot water (electric boost)/heat pump
o Solar hot water (gas boost) — any system
o Gas storage/instantaneous — minimum 5 stars
• Class 2 (single apartment)
o Solar hot water (electric boost) or heat pump — any system
o Gas storage/instantaneous — >2.5 stars
o Solar hot water (gas boost) — any system
• Class 2 (multiple apartments) — exempt
• Class 1 (remote South Australia), Class 1 (Metro — where heaters are either inside, or outside/
in shed or garage, and less than 3m from neighbouring windows and doors)

Same as for as Class 2:
o Solar hot water (electric boost) or heat pump — any system
o Gas storage/instantaneous — >2.5 stars
o Solar hot water (gas boost) — any system
See www.energy.sa.gov.au/?a=30372 for up-to-date information on the South Australian
phase-out program.
Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes 125
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
I
13.4 Existing state programs —new buildings only
Table 13.5 Summary of requirements for sustainable housing rating systems in states and territories
Area System Comments
AUSTRALIA Building Code of
Australia (BCA)
On 1 May 2008, the requirement that alterations achieve
5-star rating came into effect in the Building Code of
Australia 2008, www.buildingcommission.com.au.
The new standard for renovations or relocations applies
to the thermal performance of a home and does not
require a solar hot water system.
In 2010, Australian governments agreed to increase energy
efficiency requirements for all residential buildings to a
minimum of 6 stars, and to introduce new requirements
relating specifically to hot water systems. Transitional
measures are to be introduced from May 2010.
Website www.abcb.gov.au/go/thebca/aboutbca
ACT ACT House Energy
Rating Scheme
(ACTHERS)
The ACTHERS program requires a minimum 5-star rating as
part of the current BCA requirements.
Website www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/design_build/
NSW BASIX BASIX, the Building Sustainability Index, ensures homes
are responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions by
setting energy and water reduction targets for houses and
units. Since 1 October 2006, BASIX has applied to all new
residential dwellings and any alteration/addition in NSW.
Water heaters listed in BASIX are:
• solar (gas or electric boosted)
• electric heat pump
• gas instantaneous or storage
(with appropriate star rating)
Website www.basix.nsw.gov.au
NT None Identified Check local responsible regulatory authority; otherwise NT
must comply with the BCA.
Website www.nt.gov.au/infrastructure/bss/strategies/
buildingcode.shtml
126 Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
I
Area System Comments
QLD Queensland
Development Code
(QDC)
Part 7—New and replacement electric water heaters.
The QPW Code has been amended to set installation
requirements for the replacement of electric resistance
water heaters in existing houses (Class 1 buildings) located
within a gas-reticulated area. This amendment commenced
on 1 January 2010.
Queensland
Plumbing and
Wastewater Code
(QPW)
From 1 January 2010, existing systems that need
replacement must be replaced with a system that has a low
greenhouse gas emissions impact (i.e. gas, solar or heat
pump system).
Current requirements in QDC MP4.1 for the installation
of gas, solar or heat pump water heaters in new Class 1
buildings have also been placed in the amended
QPW Code.
Website
Source: Building and Plumbing Newsflash #353 Issued: 20/02/09
www.dip.qld.gov.au/laws-codes/index.php
QLD Cleaner Greener
Buildings’ Initiative
By the end of 2010, all new houses and renovations must be
6 star (out of 10). From March 2010, all new units have been
required to be 5 star. This policy overrules any existing
covenants or body corporate rulings for solar water heaters.
Website www.climatechange.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_
file/0003/25626/3_P-and-B_-_E1_web.pdf
QLD Sustainable
Homes
This imposes additional requirements that require all
new houses to have greenhouse efficient water heaters.
Queensland has in place requirements under which
building body corporates must approve energy efficiency
building measures and supply a mandatory sustainability
declaration. From January 1, 2011, Queensland plumbers
must have a ‘solar and heat pump’ endorsement on their
trade licence to be able to install low greenhouse gas hot
water systems.
Website www.sustainable-homes.org.au/
SA SA2 & SA7 Variation
to BCA (Vol. 2)
From 1 July 2008, new and replacement water heaters
installed into most homes in South Australia have needed
to be low-emission types such as high-efficiency gas, solar
or electric heat pump.
Regulation 80B A solar or heat pump water heater must achieves:
i. in a home with three or more bedrooms, at least 22
renewable energy certificates in Zone 3
ii. in a home with one or two bedrooms, at least 14
renewable energy certificates in Zone 3
A gas water heater must have an energy rating label of 2.5
stars or greater.
Website www.planning.sa.gov.au/go/hot-water-services
TAS None Identified Check with local responsible regulatory authority
Website www.wst.tas.gov.au/industries/building
Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes 127
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
I
Area System Comments
VIC 5 star The 5-star standard for all new houses in Victoria
came into full effect on 1 July 2005. This standard makes
it compulsory for new houses to have a rainwater tank for
toilet flushing or a solar hot water system. If reticulated gas
is available, the solar water heater must be gas boosted.
Website www.5starhouse.vic.gov.au
WA 5 Star Plus In May 2007, Western Australia adopted the 5-Star Plus
system, which is an extension of the 5 star energy efficiency
provisions of the Building Code of Australia. This system
is based around the Energy Use in Houses Code and the
Water Use in Houses Code.
Energy Use in Houses Code
Performance Requirement 3 —Water Heaters
A building’s water heater systems, including any associated
components, must have features that produce low levels of
greenhouse gases when heating water.
Deemed to Satisfy Provision 3—Water heaters
A hot water system must be either:
i. a solar hot water system, complying with AS 2712-
2002, that has been tested in accordance with AS
4234-1994, and achieves a minimum energy saving
of 60% for a hot water demand level of 38MJ per day
for climate zone 3; or
ii. a gas hot water system, complying with AS/4552-
2005 that achieves a minimum energy rating of
‘5 stars’; or
iii. a heat pump hot water system, complying with
AS/2712-2002 that has been tested in accordance
with AS 4234-1994, and achieves a minimum energy
saving of 60% for a hot water demand level of 38MJ
per day for climate zone 3.
Water Use in Houses Code
PR3 —Hot Water Use Efficiency
A building must have features that, to the degree necessary,
facilitate the efficient use of hot water appropriate to:
a. the geographic location of the building; and
b. the available hot water supply for the building; and
c. the function and use of the building.
DTS 3—Hot Water Use Efficiency
All internal hot water outlets (taps, showers, washing
machine water supplies) must be connected to a hot
water system or a recirculating hot water system with
pipes installed and insulated in accordance with AS/
NZS 3500:2003 (Plumbing and drainage, Part 4: Heated
water services). The pipe from the hot water system or
recirculating hot water system to the furthest hot water
outlet must not exceed 20 metres in length or 2 litres
of internal volume.
Source: 5-Star Codes Brochure
Website www.buildingcommission.wa.gov.au/bid/5starplus.aspx
128
lhãplet 14
129
6|ettãt;
130 Chapter 14: Glossary
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
The following list of terms has been provided to assist in the clear use of terms and definitions that
are currently used within the plumbing and water industry (AS/NZS 3500.1:2003). Not all terms listed
are used in this publication but are included for information regarding related plumbing activities.
Altitude angle The vertical angle between the horizontal plane and the sun’s position in
the sky, or points along the top of any object that may cause shading on
a collector.
Antifreeze solution Adding ethylene glycol or propylene glycol to water lowers the
temperature at which the water freezes. By adding sufficient glycol to the
water in the solar collectors and preventing freezing, the damage that
can be caused by frost is prevented. This is exactly the same technique
used in motor cars to prevent damage due to freezing.
AS/NZS Australian Standards and New Zealand Standards.
Boost energy Energy that is used to boost the temperature in the tank when solar
energy is not available.
Closed-cell polymer Closed cell polymer can be defined as a high density synthetic foam.
Unlike some packing foam used to pad products inside boxes where
the cells of the foam are broken (see through) and filled with air (open
cell polymer) the closed cell polymer is formed by tiny air or specialised
gas-filled ‘bubbles’ that are compressed together to form a semi-rigid
piece of foam that is moulded to the desired specification — in plumbing
applications, a tube that can encase pipework.
Collector area The net area of collector receiving solar energy. With an evacuated tube
collector the collector area is the plan area of the array of tubes and
does not include the gap between tubes. The area of tube arrays with
a parabolic reflector behind the tubes is the area of parabolic reflector.
Commissioning The process of ensuring that all component parts of a total system
function as they should and that the system is adjusted for optimum
performance under all normal operating conditions. Commissioning is the
last part of an installation prior to hand over to the owner.
Compressor An electrically driven pump that moves refrigerant around a heat pump
circuit to transfer heat.
Condenser A heat exchanger consisting of either a flat plate with tubes attached or
‘grille’ (like fins and tubes). In a refrigerator, this becomes hot and dumps
heat collected from the food to the air outside. This is part of all heat
pump systems for transferring heat from the air to water.
Convection Convection is the transmission of heat within a liquid or gas due to the
bulk motion of the fluid. The rising of hot water from the bottom to the
top of a saucepan as it is heated is one example. This occurs because the
particles of water bump against one another more vigorously as they are
heated and push themselves further apart, making the water less dense
and hence lighter.
Chapter 14: Glossary 131
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
Corrosion Deterioration of metal. The metal combines with other elements to form
a salt of the metal. Rust is the corrosion product that results from the
combination of iron (steel) and oxygen to form iron oxide.
DC power Direct current, an electric current flowing in one direction only.
Diffuse radiation The component of incoming solar radiation which is scattered by clouds
and other gases or particles in the atmosphere.
Direct radiation The component of solar radiation that comes direct from the sun as
parallel rays.
EPDM The acronym for ethylene propylene diene monome, a flexible rubbery
plastic-like material used for roof flashings.
EST Eastern standard time.
Efficiency of collector A measure of the fraction or percentage of energy in the heated fluid
leaving a collector compared to the incoming incident solar radiation
falling on the collector surface area.
Electrolysis The reaction between two dissimilar metals. It is possible to predict which
of the two will be eaten away by the other using the ‘noble metals chart’.
Evaporator A heat exchanger consisting of either a flat plate with tubes attached or
a set of fins attached to a network of tubes. In a refrigerator, it is the plate
inside the cabinet at the back that gets cold. It absorbs heat from the
food in the refrigerator. An evaporator is part of all heat pump systems.
Expansion valve A valve which controls the rate of refrigerant flow through the evaporator
in a heat pump system.
Forced circulation Circulation that does not rely on thermosiphon flow but rather is forced
by a circulator (circulating pump).
Freezing temperature
of water
Water changes state between 4°C and 0°C. It changes from a liquid to
a solid and with that change it increases in volume (expands).
Frost protection Techniques used to prevent damage to solar water heaters caused by
the expansion of water as it freezes.
GPO General power outlet.
Gravity feed
storage tank
The tank is usually in the ceiling and the hot water runs to the outlets
by gravity. The tank is not pressurised.
132 Chapter 14: Glossary
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
Hardness Water in which soap refuses to lather is called hard. The hardness is
caused by calcium salts (calcium chloride) dissolved in the water. It
precipitates in water heating devices to form scale.
Heat exchanger A heat exchanger is a device to transfer heat from one fluid to another
without the two fluids mixing. In solar water heaters a heat exchanger
transfers heat from a mixture of water and an anti-freeze into the water
in the storage tank, heating it. There is no mixing of the two fluids and it
is just the heat that is transferred.
Heat pipe A fluid with a low boiling temperature is turned to a vapour by a heat
source (the sun). The vapour rises up the heat pipe and gives off its
heat to something (water) at a lower temperature and changes back
to a liquid.
Heat transfer
liquid/fluid
A fluid that carries (transfers) heat from one place to another. In solar
water heaters it is the water itself or an anti-freeze solution that does
this job. The fluid in a heat pipe does the same thing.
Inclination or tilt angle A measure of the angle of inclination of the collector to the
horizontal plane.
Insulation Insulation is material that reduces the transfer of heat. In the case of
insulated pipes the insulation material may be rubber or plastic wrapped
around the pipe. Felt fibre material was commonly used and is still
available, but nitrile rubber products are now recommended. Insulation
comes in long rolls and can be wrapped round the pipe. Insulation is
important in reducing heat losses from hot water pipes. Hot water
storage tanks are also insulated to reduce the loss of heat from the tank.
Irradiance A measure of the solar power per square metre of surface area at any
instant (International System of units (SI) unit is kilowatts per square
metre — kW/m
2
).
Irradiation A measure of the radiant solar energy per unit of surface area (SI Unit
is Megajoules per square metre). The term ‘insolation’ was formerly used,
but is no longer preferred.
kPa A kilopascal is one thousand pascals, a measure of pressure.
LPG Stands for liquefied petroleum gas.
Megajoule (MJ) The megajoule is a measure of energy and is equal to one million joules.
Megawatt hour (MWh) The amount of energy generated or used over one hour where power
output or demand is one megawatt (MW). Equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt
hours (kWh).
Mg/L Milligram per litre, measuring concentration in water.
Chapter 14: Glossary 133
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
MPa A megapascal is one million pascals, a measure of pressure.
MP52 Manual of authorisation procedures for plumbing and drainage products.
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US).
Off-peak or
controlled tariffs
Electricity tariffs where supply is made available to an electric heating
element by the electricity supply company during set off-peak hours,
typically for about eight or nine hours.
OH&S Occupational health and safety.
ORER Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator.
Orientation angle The angle between the direction the collector faces and true north (not
magnetic north as read by a compass).
PCA Plumbing Code of Australia.
Plinth A concrete slab or step, similar to a paver. A common size is about
450mm x 450mm x 50mm thick. They make an ideal base to go under
a hot water storage tank. Most hardware stores or garden shops stock
them as stepping stones for paths.
pH pH is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration in a
solution. If the solution is acidic there are many H+ ions. If the pH is low
(2 or 3), it is very acidic. If it is, 5 or 6, it is slightly acidic. 7 is neutral.
Above 7 is alkaline. Extremely alkaline is 14 (maximum).
Pipework In this book the word pipe can mean pipe or tube. Strictly speaking, pipe
is measured internally and tube is measured externally. To be technically
correct we should not speak about copper pipe, but rather copper tube
because it is the outside diameter which determines its size. Steel pipe
and most plastic pipes are measured according to the internal hole size
and so are pipes, not tubes.
Potable water Water classified under Australian Standards as suitable for drinking.
Pump-circulated
or pumped storage
systems
This type of system consists typically of a ground-mounted tank and roof
collector panels. A small circulation pump is used to pump water through
the collectors. A differential temperature controller with two or more
temperature sensors is used to control the pump operation.
Pump circulation
frost protection
By pumping water from the storage tank through the collectors, the
water in the collectors can be prevented from freezing if the water in
the storage tank is warm.
Radiation The transfer of heat by its conversion to electromagnetic waves or
photons (tiny packets of energy).
134 Chapter 14: Glossary
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
Renewable Energy
Certificates (RECs)
Certificates issued under the Federal Government’s Mandatory
Renewable Energy Target (MRET) scheme that represent 1MWh of
renewable energy electricity generation or 1MWh of electricity saved
through the use of solar water heaters.
Renewable Energy
Target (RET)
Australian Government target to increase renewable energy generation.
Retrofit Taking an existing system and changing it, usually upgrading it. In the
case of a hot water system, it can be retrofitted by the addition of solar
collectors and equipment to convert it into a solar hot water system.
Reverse thermosiphon Reverse of thermosiphoning, i.e. circulation in the direction that is not
required. In the case of a solar water heater, reverse thermosiphon is the
circulation of heated water from the storage tank to collectors, resulting
in cooling. This happens at night if the collectors are not mounted below
the storage tank.
Ring main A pipe that runs round all the hot water delivery points and has hot water
circulating though it so that whenever a tap is turned on hot water is
instantly available.
R-value Is a measure of thermal resistance.
Sacrificial anode A sacrificial anode is dissolved rather than some other item. Anodes are
installed in mild steel vitreous enamel lined tanks to prevent corrosion
of the tank. The anode consists of a long aluminium or magnesium rod
running along the inside length of the tank.
Safe tray Another name is a spill tray, or an overflow tray. It is a water collecting
tray designed to catch water that leaks out of a hot water storage tank,
or a cold water tank such as a header tank. A safe tray is required where
the water storage tank is located inside buildings so that water does not
cause damage within the building. The safe tray must be drained to the
outside of the building and the drain pipe must be visible so that if it
does have water escaping it will be noticed.
Scale The name given to the build up of mineral deposits within a water
heater that is using ‘hard water’. It occurs on electric elements, the walls
of storage tanks and solar collectors. It is usually calcium carbonate
(limestone) and can be dissolved with acid such as hydrochloric acid.
Solar fraction The proportion of hot water energy demand at the outlet of the
water heater that is provided by the solar collectors, compared to the
supplementary or boosting energy that is required to keep the water
at a set temperature, typically 60°C.
Solar radiation
(see also irradiance
or irradiation)
The spectrum of radiant energy emitted from the outer layers of the sun.
It consists of a range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation from
ultraviolet to visible light and infrared radiation.
Chapter 14: Glossary 135
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
Split systems See pump-circulated systems.
Stainless steels Stainless steel comes in various grades, some more resistant to corrosion
than others. Grade 316 is commonly used when a relatively high standard
of corrosion resistance is required.
Stratification The formation of layers of water of different temperatures within a
storage tank: with the hottest hot water at the top and the coolest water
at the bottom of the tank.
SWH Solar water heater.
Tank Also referred to as a hot water cylinder or container.
TDS Stands for total dissolved solids. TDS is measured in mg/L though it was
once measured in ppm — parts per million, of salt dissolved in water.
Thermosiphon The natural convection of water around a pipe circuit such as between
solar collectors and the storage tank above. The heated water in the
collector expands and becomes less dense. It therefore rises to the
highest point in the circuit, the top of the storage tank. Cold water from
the base of the storage tank moves down to replace the heated water.
True north vs
magnetic north
True north is the direction to the north pole. In most places this is a
little different to magnetic north, being either to the east or west of
magnetic north.
Tube In this book the word pipe can mean pipe or tube. Strictly speaking,
pipe is measured internally and tube is measured externally. To be
technically correct we should not speak about copper pipe, but rather
copper tube because it is the outside diameter which determines its size.
Steel pipe and most plastic pipes are measured according to the internal
hole size and so are pipes, not tubes.
UV Ultraviolet light is found in sunlight.
Valve(s) A device for controlling the flow of fluid, having an aperture that can be
wholly or partially closed by the movement relative to the seating of a
component in the form of a plate or disc, door or gate, piston, plug or
ball, or flexing of a diaphragm.
Expansion control valve A pressure-activated valve that opens in response to an increase in
pressure caused by the expansion of water during the normal heating
cycle of the water heater, and which is designed for installation on the
cold water supply to the water heater.
Float valve A valve for controlling the flow of a liquid into a cistern or other vessel,
which is operated by the movement of a float.
Frost dump valve A valve that opens at low temperatures (about 4°C) to allow water to
run through the collectors to prevent freezing.
136 Chapter 14: Glossary
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
4
Isolating valve Any valve for the purpose of isolating part of a water system from the
remainder.
Non-return valve A valve to prevent reverse flow from the downstream section of a pipe to
the section of pipe upstream of the valve.
Pressure limiting valve A valve that limits the outlet pressure to the set pressure, within specified
limits only, at inlet pressures above the set pressure.
Pressure/temperature
relief (PTR) valve
A spring-loaded automatic valve limiting the pressure and temperature
by means of discharge, and designed for installation on the hot side of
a storage water heater.
Temperature relief valve A temperature-actuated valve that automatically discharges fluid at a
specified set temperature. It is fitted to a water heater to prevent the
temperature in the container exceeding a predetermined temperature,
in the event that energy input controls fail to function.
Tempering valve A mixing valve that is temperature actuated and is used to temper a hot
water supply with cold water to provide hot water at a lower temperature
(e.g. 50°C) at one or more outlet fixtures.
Vitreous enamel Vitreous enamel (or glass) is used to line the inside of steel hot water
storage tanks to prevent steel rusting. It is probably the best form of
protection in districts where the water is extremely corrosive.
137
lhãplet 1¡
âatltã||ãa !lãa1ãt1t
& 6a|1e||aet
138 Chapter 15: Australian Standards and Guidelines
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
¡
The following standards all have relevance to this handbook, some to a greater extent than others.
As Standards are updated periodically, the current applicable Australasian Standard may have
superseded the number shown.
ABCB Building Code of Australia
Australian Standards
o AS 1056 Storage water heaters
o AS 1056.1:1991 Part 1: General requirements
o AS 1056.2:1985 Part 2: Specific requirements for water heaters with single shells
o AS/NZS 1170.2:2002 Structural design actions: wind actions
o AS 1357 Water supply — Valves for use with unvented water heaters
o AS 1357.1:2004 Protection valves
o AS 1357.2:2005 Control valves
o AS 1361: 1995 Electric heat exchange water heaters
o AS 1375: 1985 Industrial fuel fired appliances
o AS 1571: 1995 Copper — Seamless tubes for air conditioning and refrigeration
o AS/NZS 2712:2002 Solar water heaters — Design and construction
o AS/NZS 3000:2000 Electrical installations (Australia and New Zealand wiring rules)
o AS 3142:1986 Approval and test specification — Electric water heaters (superseded)
o AS/NZS 3500 National Plumbing and Drainage Code
o AS/NZS 3500.0: 2003 Part 0: Glossary of terms
o AS/NZS 3500.1: 2003 Part 1: Water supply
o AS/NZS 3500.4: 2003 Part 4: Hot water supply systems
o AS 3565: 2004 Meters for water supply
o AS 3666: 2006 Air handling and water systems of buildings
o AS 3666: 2006 Microbial control, design, installation and commissioning
o AS 3666: 2006 Microbial control, operation and maintenance
o HB 263 – 2004 Heated water systems — Handbook
o AS 5601: 2004 Gas installations
o AS 3498: 2003 Authorisation requirement for plumbing products water heaters (all types)
o AS 4032.3: 2004 Water supply — Valves for the control of hot water supply temperatures
o AS 4234: 1994 Solar water heaters — Domestic and heat pump — Calculation of energy
consumption
o SAA MP 52 – 2005 Manual of authorisation procedures for plumbing and drainage products
o AS 4552: 2005 Gas fired water heaters for hot water supply and/or central heating
o AS/NZS 4692.1:2005 Electric water heaters — Energy consumption, performance and
general requirements
o AS/NZS 4692.2:2005 Electric water heaters — Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS)
requirements and energy labelling
o AS 3814: 2005 Industrial and commercial gas fired appliances and equipment
o SAA HB 9 – 1994 Occupational health and safety
o AS 1470: 1986 Occupational health and safety
139
keteattet lhãplet 16
Resources
Australian Greenhouse Office (2004), Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for Heat
Pumps — Report No. 2004/17, National Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Program.
Berrill T (ed) (2000), Solar water heating systems resource book, Brisbane North Institute of
TAFE, available from www.qtw.com.au.
Berrill, T & Blair, A (2007), Solar water heater training course — installation and user manual,
Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy.
Duffie, JA and Beckman, WA (1991), Solar engineering of thermal processes, John Wiley and
Sons, New York
Foster, JS (1991), Acceptance of solar water heaters by new householders in Queensland, ISES
Solar World Congress proceedings, Denver, Colorado.
George Wilkenfeld and Associates (GWA) (2005), Estimating household water heater energy
use, running costs and emissions, Victoria, report to Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria.
Lee, T, Oppenheim, D & Williamson, TJ (1996), Australian solar radiation data handbook,
available from Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society (www.anzses.org).
Lloyd, CR (1999), Renewable energy options for hot water systems in remote areas, World
Renewable Energy Congress, Murdoch University, Perth, WA.
Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia & Sustainability Victoria
(n.d.) — Large scale solar thermal systems design handbook
National Health and Medical Research Council (2004), Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6,
National Water Quality Management Strategy.
Nunez, M. (1990), Satellite estimation of regional solar energy statistics for Australian capital
cities — Meteorological Study No. 39, Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service.
Phillips, RO (1992), Sunshine and shade in Australasia, Australian Government Publishing
Service, Canberra.
Plumbing Industry Commission/Australian Standards 2004, Heated water systems.
SEIA: Solar Energy Industry Association (2001), Solar water heating training handbook.
140 Chapter 16: Resources
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
6
Chapter 16: Resources 141
l
8
â
P
I
f
k

1
6
Information websites for consumers
Australian Government
Department of Climate Change
and Energy Efficiency
www.climatechange.gov.au
Fact sheets on:

• hot water systems

• solar (electric or gas booster)

• heat pump

• gas.
Information on phase-out of:

• electric hot water systems.
NABERS
The National Australian Built
Environment Rating System
www.nabers.com.au/home

• hot water fact sheets.

Published by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, May 2010 www.climatechange.gov.au ISBN: 978-1-921298-97-4 © Commonwealth of Australia 2010

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General’s Department, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at www.ag.gov.au/cca

DISCLAIMER
This publication has been compiled as a guideline for the installation and maintenance of solar and heat pump hot water systems. The information contained in this publication does not override occupational health and safety legislation, Commonwealth, state or territory standards and manufacturers’ installation requirements, which should be adhered to at all times. You should not act or fail to act on the basis of information contained in this publication. Due to the wide variety of products on the market, the technical diagrams illustrate the general principles of the technologies and may differ in appearance from actual products. This publication is not a substitute for independent professional advice and readers should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, the Commonwealth provides no warranties and makes no representations that the information contained in this publication is correct, complete or reliable. The Commonwealth expressly disclaims liability for any loss, however caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained in this publication by any person. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Government or the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts or the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water.

Contents
Introduction 2

1 Solar Radiation
1.1 General 1.2 Solar fraction

3
4 6

2 Design principles
2.1 General 2.2 Legislation
2.2.1 Building permits
2.2.2.1 2.2.2.2 2.2.2.3 Water connections Gas connections Electrical connections

9
10 11
11 11
11 11 11

2.2.2 Licensing

2.2.3 Compliance certificate 2.2.4 WaterMark compliance

11 11

2.3 System selection
2.3.1 Close-coupled thermosiphon system considerations 2.3.2 Forced circulation (split) system considerations 2.3.3 Gravity-feed (remote storage) system considerations 2.3.4 Drain-back system considerations 2.3.5 Heat pump considerations 2.3.6 Retrofit considerations

12
12 13 14 15 16 17

2.4 System sizing
2.4.1 General 2.4.2 Storage tank 2.4.3 Collectors
2.4.3.1 2.4.3.2 Flat plate collectors Evacuated tube collectors

18
18 18 19
19 19

2.5 Installation location
2.5.1 Location of storage tank 2.5.2 Location of solar collectors 2.5.3 Location of roof-mounted tank

20
20 21 21

2.6 Circulating pump
2.6.1 Pump controller functions
2.6.1.1 2.6.1.2 2.6.1.3 2.6.1.4 Timer operation Differential temperature control Under-temperature protection (frost protection) Over-temperature protection (overheating)

21
21
22 22 22 23

2.6.2 Solar collector pump 2.6.3 Pump location

23 23

2.7 Pipework design
2.7.1 2.7.2 2.7.3 Heat traps Ring main Pipework exceeding 20 metres

23
23 24 25 25

2.7.4 Ring main pump

Contents

iii

2 3.2.1 3.3 Hardness 43 44 44 44 45 45 4.7.4.2.7.3 U-tube evacuated tube collectors 27 28 28 28 29 29 3.4.2 Solar collectors Hot water outlet from storage tank 36 36 39 39 39 4 Storage tanks 4.3.3.5.3 Shading exceptions Estimating shading Actions to address shading 32 35 35 35 35 3.3 Climate region Minimum insulation diameter Insulation construction 53 53 54 55 55 5.3.3.3.3.2.1 pH measurement 4.2.3.1 General 3.2.5.3.4.2 5.1 Minimum insulation requirements 5.7 Over-temperature protection 3.1 Diameter 5.3 Insulation considerations 55 56 5.4 Stratification 4.4.2 Finding north Adjusting for true north 30 30 31 31 32 3.3.2.2 Location of the tempering valve 56 56 58 5.5 Heat exchange tanks 46 47 49 5 Pipework & Fittings 5.3 Solar Collectors 3.1 5.2 True north and magnetic declination 3.3 Types of tanks 4.6 Air bleed valve 58 iv Contents .2 Materials 5.2.2.2.3 General Drain line from PTR valve Tempered water line 52 52 53 53 53 5.4.2.1.1 General 4.3.1 Pipework 5.4.1 General 5.3.1.3.3.1 3.1 Orientation 3.2 Types of collectors 3.4 Insulation 5.4.2.2.2 Water quality 4.3.4.1 Flat plate collectors 3.3.2 5.3.1 5.3 Inclination (tilt) 3.2 Fittings 51 52 52 52 52 5.4.5 Mountings 3.3.3.3 Collector installation considerations 3.2 TDS 4.1 General 5.2.4 Shading 3.2 Pipework requiring insulation 5.6 Frost protection 3.1.2 Length 53 5.3.2 Heat pipe evacuated tube collectors 3.1 3.5 Tempering valves 5.3 Pipework size 5.

4 Working at heights 8.5.5.6 System Types 6.1 7.14.13 Roof security 8.1.4 Solid fuel boosting 7.12 Working with heavy equipment 8.7 Fall arrest systems 8.2 Gas instantaneous 82 82 83 7.2 Off-peak tariffs Day-rate tariffs/continuous supply 79 80 81 81 82 82 7.2.3 6.6.1 Gas storage 7.2 Heat pump compressor 6.4.5 Risk of falls 8.1 Installation considerations 84 85 8 Occupational Health & Safety 8.5 Rate of heating 59 60 61 63 64 66 66 66 66 67 68 6.2 Electric boosting 7.6.1 Electric storage 7.3 Risk assessment 8.5 Close-coupled systems Forced circulation systems (split or pumped systems) Gravity feed systems (remote storage) Drain-back systems Heat pump systems 6.15 Hazards for working outdoors 8.2.1 Existing gas storage system 6.6 Three types of control measure/safe operating procedures 8.5.11 Falling objects 8.5.14 Working with metal and collectors 8.1 General 7.6.10 Other relevant Australian standards for working at heights 8.3.4 Heat pump operation 6.1.2 Existing gas instantaneous system 6.3 Gas boosting 7.6 Retrofit systems 6.1 General 6.2 Installers’ obligations 8.1 General 8.4 6.5.2 Metal hazards 87 88 88 89 89 90 90 91 91 92 92 92 92 93 93 93 94 8.16 Site assessment 8.3 Retrofit to existing electric storage tank 71 71 74 76 7 Boosting 7.2.1 6.1 Heat hazards 8.9 Brittle or fragile roofs 8.2 6.8 Roofs greater than 45° 8.17 Maintenance and service 94 94 94 Contents v .3 Heat pump storage tank 6.14.3.

2.3.2.4 Heat pump installation 9.2 Rebates and renewable energy certificates for solar hot water installations 12.2.1 General 9.1.1 Pressure/temperature relief valve 10.3 Heating elements (electric boosting) 111 111 111 111 10.2.2.2.3 Australian Government rebates 12.2.2.1 Mounting collectors 9.1 Renewable energy certificates 12.2.8 Gas booster ignition 9.2.2.2.1.2 Rebates 12.2 Float valve 10.2.2 Sacrificial anodes 10.3 Corrosion and scale formation 10.9 Heat pumps 9.10 Commissioning 104 105 106 106 106 106 106 106 9.2.1.2.2.2.2.3 Flat plate collectors Evacuated tube collectors Cyclone and high-wind mounts (flat plate collectors) 95 96 96 96 97 101 102 9.2.2.2 Valves 10.3 Expansion valve on the cold water supply 10.2.1 General 10.1 9.1 General 113 114 12 Government Incentives 12.5 Isolation valve 109 110 110 110 110 110 110 110 10.1 9.2 Mounting tanks 9.4 Sediment 111 11 Temporary Hot Water Installations 11.2 9.7 Electric booster element 9.3 Roof-mounted tanks In-ceiling tank (gravity feed) Ground-mounted tanks 103 103 104 104 9.4 State and territory rebates 115 116 116 116 118 118 119 vi Contents .9 Installation Considerations 9.2.2.2.4 Non-return valve 10.6 Thermal sensor cables 9.2 9.3.2.2.3 Roof flashings 9.2 Installation 9.1 Valves 10.5 Pumps and pump controllers 9.3 Installation Checklist 107 10 Maintenance 10.3.2.2.1 General 12.

13 Requirements for New & Existing Homes 13.1 General 13.1 Stage 1 13.2.3 Complementary state programs— new and existing buildings 13.2 South Australia 124 124 124 13.3.3.2.2.1 Queensland 13.3 Post 2012 121 122 122 122 123 123 13.2 Phase-out of electric water heaters 13.4 Existing state programs—new buildings only 125 14 Glossary 129 15 Australian Standards & Guidelines 137 16 Resources 139 Contents vii .2 Stage 2 13.

Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Correct installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems will ensure they comply with state and territory plumbing regulations and achieve high performance. Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia and Western Australian Plumbers Licensing Board. National Plumbing Regulators Forum. developed by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia on behalf of the Australian Government Department of the Environment. This guide is part of a training program for plumbers being rolled-out under the National Framework for Energy Efficiency and the National Hot Water Strategic Framework. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Queensland Office of Clean Energy and Building Codes Queensland. Canberra Institute of Technology. South Australian (SA) Department of Transport. Sustainability Victoria. Water.Preface The Solar and Heat Pump Hot Water Reference Guide is a resource to assist plumbers in installing solar and heat pump hot water systems. The Solar and Heat Pump Transitional Plumber Training Program is a joint initiative of the Australian and state and territory governments to provide plumbers and other installers of solar and heat pump hot water systems with information on solar technologies and their installation. SA Water. Energy and Infrastructure. Media Valley. viii Preface . This handbook was written by Global Sustainable Energy Solutions. Heritage and the Arts. National Plumbers Association Alliance. Northern Territory Department of Lands and Planning. who acknowledge the contributions from: ACT Planning and Land Authority. This handbook builds on the Household Solar Hot Water and Heat Pump Installation and Maintenance Handbook 2009. Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC). This will result in good outcomes for householders and the environment.

1 .

The scope of this reference guide is limited to household solar and heat pump hot water systems and does not include commercial. The installation of low-emission hot water systems will not only reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the operation of hot water systems. Electric hot water systems are less energy efficient than other low-emission technologies and. architects and engineers with i. installation and ongoing maintenance procedures. up-to-date technical details for the practical installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems ii. (b) People are safeguarded from injury or loss of amenity because the risk of the hot water supply failing as a result of poor installation. Currently. heat pump and efficient gas systems. this reference guide will help ensure: (a) Consumers have access to continuous hot water as a result of optimum design. (c) The quality of the environment is maintained because environmental impacts have been minimised. Householders should benefit from energy savings if they know which appliance best suits their circumstances and if plumbers and installers are trained in how to install low-emission water heaters. but also. have higher running costs than more energy-efficient options. detailed diagrams of common solar and heat pump hot water system installations (b) ensure new homes built in Australia meet new building codes and sustainability standards (c) promote a high standard of installation for solar and heat pump hot water systems.Introduction The Australian Government and state and territory governments are committed to working together to phase-out inefficient electric hot water systems. maintenance or operation has been reduced. in many cases. this reference guide aims to: (a) provide plumbers. information on best practice occupational health and safety iii. hot water boosting options v. Low-emission technologies. By achieving those objectives. save householders money on their energy bills. potentially. data on available solar radiation iv. With the phase-out of electric storage water heaters in mind. are two and a half to three times more efficient than conventional electric storage water heaters. builders. such as solar. hydronic or pool heating or geothermal technologies. 50% of Australian households generate hot water using electric hot water systems. 2 Introduction .

3 .

the average daily sunshine hours of cities around Australia. Table 1.1 shows.gov.au).1 Average daily sunshine hours of Australian cities.bom.1. month by month.1 depicts the average daily sunshine hours Australia is exposed to over 12 months. Figure 1. The amount of irradiation depends on the latitude of the solar collector.bom. Table 1.1 General Irradiation is the energy emitted from the sun that is subsequently absorbed by a solar collector.gov. 4 Chapter 1: Solar Radiation . Figure 1.1 Average daily sunshine hours (annual) Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.au). by month JAN Adelaide Alice Springs Brisbane Cairns Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney 10 10 FEB MAR APR MAY JUN 9 9 8 9 6 9 4 8 4 8 JUL 4 8 AUG 5 9 SEP 6 9 Annual OCT NOV DEC average 7 9 8 10 9 10 7 9 8 7 9 6 8 9 10 8 8 6 8 6 7 8 10 7 7 6 7 7 6 6 9 6 8 7 6 9 4 5 7 6 6 6 5 9 3 3 6 5 6 7 4 9 3 3 4 5 6 7 5 10 3 3 5 5 8 6 6 10 4 4 6 7 8 9 7 10 5 5 7 7 8 8 7 9 6 6 8 7 8 9 8 9 6 7 9 6 9 8 9 8 7 7 10 7 8 7 7 9 5 6 8 6 Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.

0 14.3 18.3 24 21 24 21 21 24 27 21 21 21 21 18 18 21 24 21 18 18 18 21 12 15 21 15 15 15 12 21 9 9 18 12 12 15 9 18 6 6 9 9 9 12 6 18 6 6 9 9 12 15 9 21 6 6 9 9 15 18 12 21 9 9 12 12 18 21 15 24 12 12 15 15 21 21 18 24 15 18 21 18 21 21 21 21 21 21 24 21 24 24 27 24 21 24 30 24 17.gov.0 21.The sunshine that is absorbed by solar collectors minimises the amount of electricity required to heat water. Figure 1. Chapter 1: Solar Radiation 5 . the energy savings resulting from the solar irradiation reduce the amount of electricity used.5 18. Figure 1.2 shows by month the average daily solar exposure (in megajoules per square metre) of cities around Australia.2 depicts the average daily solar exposure represented as the equivalent in megajoules of energy generated in a year per square metre of surface area.2 Annual average daily solar exposure (MJ/m2) Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www. of Australian cities (MJ/m2) Jan Adelaide Alice Springs Brisbane Cairns Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney 27 27 Feb 24 24 Mar 18 24 Apr 12 18 May 6 15 Jun 6 12 Jul 6 15 Aug 9 18 Sep 12 21 Oct 18 24 Nov 24 21 Dec 27 24 Annual average 15.bom. Table 1.au).au).0 13. While solar collectors do not generate electricity. by month.3 15.5 16.2 Average daily irradiation.5 Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom. Table 1.8 20.gov.

The tilt angle of the collectors for best all-round performance will depend on the latitude in which the systems are being installed. Table 1.3 Expected solar fraction of capital cities City Adelaide Brisbane Canberra Solar fraction 74% 81% 67% Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney 97% 65% 67% 77% 76% Solar water heaters should always face the sun. greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy cost savings. 1. The figures are based on a household with three to four occupants and a water usage of 150 litres to 200 litres per day. Table 1. In Australia.2 Solar fraction The solar fraction can be used as an indicative measurement of the relative energy performance benefit of solar hot water heaters. The solar fraction is calculated as the proportion of the hot water energy demand provided by the solar collectors in relation to the boosting energy required to keep water at the required temperature. 6 Chapter 1: Solar Radiation . Solar collectors are best located facing due north and elevated from the horizontal to a tilt angle equal to the location’s latitude. a north-facing roof is ideal.3 shows the average expected solar fraction for Australia’s capital cities.Factors affecting available solar irradiation are: (a) latitude (b) shading (c) rainfall (d) cloud cover (e) orientation of solar collectors (f) tilt angle of solar collectors (g) particles in the atmosphere.

Factors affecting the solar fraction for different regions and installations are: (a) the amount of solar irradiation (i. Latitude angle 35° 27.5° 43° 38° 32° 34° Figure 1. Chapter 1: Solar Radiation 7 .4 In order to provide 100% of the hot water demand.4 Ideal angle of elevation for solar water heater collectors in capital cities City Adelaide Brisbane Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney Source: AS/NZS 3500. Detailed solar radiation data can be obtained from the Australian Solar Radiation Data Handbook published by the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society.5° 12. solar access) (b) the temperature of cold water at the inlet (c) solar system sizing (d) actual water consumption (e) ambient air temperature around tank and collector and solar flow and return (f) pipework and tank insulation (g) energy needed for boosting and circulating pump.e. additional ‘boost’ heating may be required (see Chapter 7 — Boosting).Table 1.3 The variation in altitude angle according to AS/NZS 3500.5° 35.

8 .

9 .

2. frost and freezing iii.g. Environmental and consumer requirements should be factored in when planning the installation of a solar hot water system. hail vi. wind iv. Factors affecting the performance of a system and decisions about how the system should be installed include: (a) the climate zone of the site and possibility of: i.1 General Solar hot water systems should be designed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. where those specifications are not in direct conflict with Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3500. dust v. shading ii. gas or electricity) (g) the householder’s hot water usage (h) the householder’s budget. 10 Chapter 2: Design Principles . corrosion and scaling (b) the ambient air temperature (c) the cold water temperature (d) the availability of space and pitch of a suitable north-facing roof (e) the presence and location of an existing hot water service (f) the available energy sources (e.4.

2. State and territory governments will progressively replace MP 52–2005 with the PCA.org.2004. no uniform system requiring a single certification mark is in place. System 5. 2.2. Plumbers and plumbing suppliers will have to check whether solar and heat pump hot water system equipment must have WaterMark certification under PCA legislation in their respective state or territory. 2.4 WaterMark compliance The WaterMark is a statement of certification of compliance with required specifications and standards. Currently.2. The installer should ensure that all applicable building permit requirements have been identified and that permits have been granted before starting the installation. The compliance is in accordance with MP 52–2005 (Manual of authorization procedures for plumbing and drainage products).2.2.2.standards.2 Gas connections Where the system is connected to a gas booster. Further information can be found at www. all electrical connections must be made by a person holding the relevant state or territory electrical licence.au/cat.2. 2. To date.2 Licensing 2.3 Compliance certificate Requirements for plumbers to provide a certificate of compliance to the authority with jurisdiction over the installation of water heaters and to the householder will vary across states and territories. 2. Level 1 requires compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 67. and Level 2 compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 67.2.2.2. MP 52–2005 shows only one certification mark. Chapter 2: Design Principles 11 .2 Legislation 2.3 Electrical connections Where the system is connected to an electronic controller or general power outlet. all gas connections must be made by an installer holding the relevant state or territory gas-fitting licence.2.2004. the Plumbing Code of Australia 2004 (PCA) includes the requirements which are necessary for conformance to WaterMark Level 1 and Level 2.1 Water connections All water supply connections in solar hot water systems must be made by an installer holding the relevant state or territory plumbing licence.asp?catid=5. System 1b. 2.1 Building permits Regulations concerning building permits for roof-mounted collectors and tanks and modifications to strengthen the roof structure may vary from state to state. The ‘levels’ denote the level of risk of the products and the need for certification — Level 1 has more stringent requirements than Level 2. the ‘WaterMark Level 1 and Level 2’.watermark.

3.g. 12 Chapter 2: Design Principles . particularly if the dwelling is double story? Note that the minimum gradient for the thermosiphon effect is 1:20. electric or gas. strong enough to bear the weight of the system when it is full of water or. ii.2. scaffolding or safety fencing be required. can it be strengthened? (c) Is there access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance? (d) Have boosting options been considered and discussed with the home owner (e.1 Close-coupled thermosiphon system Before installing a close-coupled thermosiphon system. installers should consider the following: (a) Is the home owner happy with the look of the system on the roof? (b) Is the roof i. instantaneous or storage)? (e) Will safety equipment such as cranes. tanks or valves are used to prevent reverse thermosiphon flow.3 System selection 2. if not.1 Close-coupled thermosiphon system considerations Figure 2. unless special piping arrangements.

2 Forced circulation (split) system considerations Figure 2. flat plate or evacuated tubes) (b) whether a hot water circulation pump may need to be purchased if one is not built in to the storage tank (c) the heat losses due to longer pipe runs and that pipes will need to be appropriately designed and installed (d) whether there is access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance. Chapter 2: Design Principles 13 .2 Forced circulation system Before installing a forced circulation system.2. installers should consider the following: (a) the type and area of collectors to be used (e.g.3.

3.2. installers should consider the following: (a) Is the roof and ceiling space adequate to allow the tank to be mounted at least 300mm above the top of the collectors? (b) Is the ceiling space sufficient to allow the storage tank and support stand to sit on a load bearing wall and span at least two rafters? (c) Can the pipework be installed at a 1:20 gradient to allow adequate thermosiphon flow? (d) Can the safe tray can be installed correctly to ensure water does not leak into the ceiling? (e) Can a section of roof be removed for installation and replacement of the tank if required? (f) Is there access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance? 14 Chapter 2: Design Principles .3 Gravity-feed (remote storage) system considerations Figure 2.3 Gravity-feed system Before installing a gravity-feed system.

(d) There is access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance. Chapter 2: Design Principles 15 . installers should consider the following: (a) Flow and return pipework should be installed at a 1:10–1:20 slope to allow adequate drain back to the storage tank.5m.2.4 Drain-back system Before installing a drain-back system.4 Drain-back system considerations Figure 2.3. (b) The distance between the top of the storage tank and the bottom of the solar collectors can be a minimum of 500mm. (c) The total height of pipework from the storage tank to the collectors is no greater than 7.

(c) There is access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance. 16 Chapter 2: Design Principles .2m clearance from bedroom windows to minimise the effects of the noise generated by the heat pump.5 Heat pump considerations Figure 2.2.3. (d) There is at least 1. installers should consult manufacturer’s instructions on minimum ventilation requirements and should also ensure that: (a) The heat pump can be positioned in the warmest and sunniest location. (b) There is enough empty space around the heat pump to allow adequate air flow.5 Heat pump system Before installing a heat pump system.

(b) Is the system able to accept solar pre-heated water? (c) Is the homeowner happy having two storage tanks (where the existing system is gas storage) and aware of the costs of maintaining two storage tanks? (d) Is there adequate space to install a second ground-mounted tank near the existing storage tank (if required)? (e) Where a close-coupled system is installed. see Chapter 6 — System types. Before retrofitting a pre-heater split system to an existing storage tank. or ii. is the roof i. able to be strengthened? (f) Is there access to the system for installation and ongoing maintenance? Chapter 2: Design Principles 17 .3. installers should consider the following: (a) Is the demand for hot water high? If it is.2.6 Retrofit considerations Figure 2. strong enough to bear the weight of the system full of water.6 Pre-heater split system retrofit to existing storage tank Note: For more system diagrams. a second pre-heater storage may be required.

Table 2. the future water needs of the family should be factored in as new members to the family or young children growing up can have an impact on hot water demand and the type of system that best suits these needs. The exception to this is the heat pump. both the solar collector area and tank storage must be sized according to the daily hot water needs of the household. rather than relying on storage. 18 Chapter 2: Design Principles .4.4. 2. which will result in overheating of water. Australians use an average of 50–70 litres of hot water per day.1 Approximate daily hot water demand and storage requirements for residential households No. well-insulated storage tank is better than more collectors. of occupants 1–2 3–4 5–6+ Daily hot water demand (litres) 120 200 300+ Approximate size of storage tank required (litres) 160–250 250–330 400+ Source: Adapted from Sustainability Victoria. a larger.4 System sizing 2.1 General When sizing a system. Where possible. The actual hot water usage will vary from household to household but. Choosing Hot Water System Fact Sheet 2002. Table 2. In solar hot water systems.1 has taken account of this storage need in the calculations of tank sizes for different size households. which. as a rule of thumb. operates more continuously to maintain hot water supply.2.2 Storage tank It is recommended that households have at least one and a half to two days of hot water in storage in the event of zero solar input for a day.1 shows the approximate daily hot water demand of various sized households. Table 2.

A typical 10-tube system has a surface area of 1. A typical flat plate collector has a surface area of two square metres.4m2 5.4.2.6m2 3.3 Collectors Solar collector requirements will vary.4. depending on whether flat plate or evacuated tube collectors are used.8m2.2 Approximate flat plate collector requirements for residential households No.g.3 shows the approximate number of evacuated tubes required for various sized households. Manufacturers’ recommendations should be followed. Table 2.3. dishwasher or washing machine). 2. Table 2.4m2+ Approximate number of evacuated tube collectors 10–20 20–30 30+ Chapter 2: Design Principles 19 .6–5.1 Flat plate collectors It is recommended that a one square metre area of collector space be used per occupant and for each major appliance using hot water from the solar hot water system (e.g.3.4.3 Approximate evacuated tube collector requirements for residential households No.8–3.2 shows the approximate number of collectors required for various sized households. Table 2. The level of performance of collectors will depend on the manufacture. of occupants 1–2 3–4 5–6+ Daily hot water demand (litres) 120 200 300+ Approximate evacuated tube collector area (m2) 1. a dishwasher or washing machine). Table 2.2 Evacuated tube collectors It is recommended that one square metre of evacuated tubes be used per occupant and for each major appliance using hot water from the solar hot water system (e. of occupants 1–2 3–4 5–6+ Daily hot water demand (litres) 120 200 300+ Approximate flat plate collector area (m2) 2–3m2 3–6m2 6m2+ Approximate number of flat plate collectors 1–2 2–3 3+ 2.

1 Location of storage tank The storage tank should be located as close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use — the bathrooms. Figure 2.8. as shown in Figure 2. kitchen and laundry. This will minimise heat losses through the use of shorter pipes from the tank to the taps. depending on the demand generated by the additional area.2.7 Location of storage tank relative to main areas of household hot water use (single side) Not all households have all the areas of hot water use on the same side and. the tank may need to be positioned slightly nearer to the additional areas.7 shows the possible positioning of the storage tank for a home where the main areas of hot water use are located on the same side of the house.5.5 Installation location 2. locating the tank internally or in a semi-enclosed area may help prevent heat losses. In cold climates. Figure 2. 20 Chapter 2: Design Principles .

Figure 2.8 Location of storage tank relative to main areas of household hot water use (multiple sides)

2.5.2 Location of solar collectors
Solar collectors should be located as close as practicable to the tank, taking account of their orientation and inclination (see Chapter 3 — Solar collectors).

2.5.3 Location of roof-mounted tank
Where the solar hot water system is entirely roof mounted, as in a close-coupled system, the tank should be mounted as close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use (the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry).

2.6 Circulating pump
A circulating pump is used in systems to circulate the water from a ground-mounted storage tank to the collectors.

2.6.1 Pump controller functions
A pump without a pump controller would continuously circulate water at all times of the day, regardless of whether the water it is required or not. A pump controller functions to operate the pump efficiently so that water is circulated through the system only when it requires heating.

Chapter 2: Design Principles

21

Figure 2.9 Typical pump controller

2.6.1.1 Timer operation
The controller can be set to operate the pump between certain hours of the day (e.g. between 9am and 3pm).

2.6.1.2 Differential temperature control
The controller uses information from a sensor located at the hot water outlet on the collectors and one or more sensors on the storage tank. When the controller detects that the storage tank temperature is lower than the temperature of the collectors, it will engage the pump to circulate the water until the difference is reduced. This temperature difference varies between solar hot water systems but is usually between 7°C and 10°C.

2.6.1.3 Under-temperature protection (frost protection)
The controller can detect when the water in the collectors drops to a predetermined temperature, usually 3°C to 5°C. When this occurs, the pump will be turned on to circulate warm water from the storage tank through the collectors to prevent freezing. When the temperature reaches 7°C to 10°C the pump will be turned off.

22

Chapter 2: Design Principles

2.6.1.4 Over-temperature protection (overheating)
The controller can use the sensor at the storage tank to detect when the temperature of the water is too high. In vitreous enamel storage tanks, over heating can damage the lining. As water only needs to reach 60°C, the controller can be set to turn the pump off if the temperature exceeds 70°C (see section 3.3.7—Over-temperature protection).

2.6.2 Solar collector pump
In most cases, manufacturers will include or recommend a pump for their solar hot water system. Only those pumps provided or suggested by manufacturers should be installed.

2.6.3 Pump location
Some storage tanks are built with the pump enclosed at the bottom or on the outside casing of the tank. Other storage tanks may need to have a pump installed on the flow line between the storage tank and the collectors. In both cases, the pump is operated from mains electricity, though some pumps may be powered using photovoltaic (solar electric) panels.

2.7 Pipework design
Pipework should take the shortest possible distance from one connection to the next to minimise heat loss from long pipe runs.

2.7.1 Heat traps
A heat trap is a U-shaped curving of the pipework at the hot water outlet of the storage tank. Heat traps are required in those systems where the pipes from the storage tank move vertically upwards on exiting the tank.

Figure 2.10 Heat trap

Chapter 2: Design Principles

23

In accordance with AS/NZS 3500. Where an external heat trap is required. a heat trap is required in new and replacement installations and must be within one metre from the outlet of the storage tank before the first branch.11 Ring main layout 24 Chapter 2: Design Principles . This is not required if a heat trap is integrated within the storage tank. Figure 2. with a drop of 250mm from the outlet. 2. installers need to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.11.4. a ring main may be installed to supply the fixtures and return the remaining water in the pipe back to the storage tank for reheating.Because heat rises. the bend in the pipework minimises heat losses from heat travelling back up the hot water pipework.2 Ring main Where fixtures are located on the opposite side of the house to the storage tank. as shown in Figure 2.7. Advice on a suitable system for a ring main installation should be sought from manufacturers.

2. Chapter 2: Design Principles 25 .7.4 Ring main pump Installers should consider the following issues when selecting a pump: (a) temperature of the water (b) water pressure and velocity (speed required) (c) friction losses ( e. The manufacturer should be consulted for an appropriate pump for the chosen system. Pumps should be correctly sized as friction losses can adversely affect the performance of the system.3 Pipework exceeding 20 metres Where pipework length exceeds 20 metres or is supplying multistorey dwellings.g. number of 90° bends in pipework) (d) pipe length and diameter.7.2. a hydraulic consultant will need to advise on the size of the pipes and on the pump requirements for appropriate water circulation.

26 .

27 .

3. 3. As the liquid warms.1 General Solar collectors are the core component of the solar hot water system. it rises to the top of the collectors by thermosiphon flow. Solar collectors absorb the sun’s energy and heat water by means of: (a) direct heating — the water is heated as it circulates through the collectors or (b) indirect heating — another fluid such as glycol anti-freeze is heated and transfers heat to the water in the storage tank by heat exchange. A layer of insulation helps keep the temperature inside the box higher than the ambient temperature. converted to heat energy and transferred to the liquid (water or glycol) in the riser tubes attached to the absorber plate. where that standard and instructions are not in conflict with AS/NZS 3500.4. Solar radiation is collected by the absorber plate.2.2 Types of collectors Solar collectors are either flat plate collectors or evacuated tubes. Collectors can be joined together to form an array when the hot water demand is higher. Figure 3.1 Flat plate collectors Flat plate collectors consist of a darkened absorber plate in a glass-fronted box. 3.1 Typical flat plate collector 28 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors . The number of riser tubes and their size may vary between collectors. Solar collectors must be designed and constructed in accordance with AS/NZS 2712 and installed to the manufacturer’s instructions.

As the copper heat pipe increases in temperature.3).3. Figure 3. shown in Figure 3. The heat pipe is encased in a hardened dark glass tube with an evacuated layer that absorbs the sun’s energy. U-tubes use direct heating principles to heat the water. are formed from an array of hardened glass evacuated tubes joined to a manifold through which the heat-transfer liquid (water or glycol) flows.2 Heat pipe evacuated tube collectors Evacuated tube collectors. the small amount of water inside vaporizes (<30° C) and rises to the top of the heat pipe into the heat exchanger in the manifold.2.3 U-tube evacuated tube collectors Evacuated U-tube collectors look similar to regular evacuated tubes. Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 29 . The cold water is heated as it flows through the manifold and. cools the vapour inside the copper heat pipe.2 Typical heat pipe evacuated tube array 3. where it condenses and falls to the bottom of the heat pipe. U-tube evacuated tubes pass the water supply through the evacuated tube inside a U-shaped copper pipe. however. thus creating a highly efficient thermal engine for transferring the sun’s energy from the tubes into the water supply. at the same time. The sun’s energy is absorbed. traps it like a thermos flask and uses it to heat the copper heat pipe inside.2. The process is repeated. unlike regular evacuated tubes.2. Individual tubes are made up of a copper heat pipe that contains a very small amount of water in a partial vacuum. heating the copper pipe and the water flowing inside (Figure 3.

3 Collector installation considerations 3.1 Orientation To produce the maximum quantity of hot water from the sun. Collectors should face true north where possible or up to 45° east or west of true north (Figure 3. Figure 3.Figure 3.3 Typical evacuated U-tube array 3. solar collectors need to face the sun directly for as long as possible throughout the day.4).3.4 Collector orientation 30 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors .

Victorian regulations allow for orientations of 50° east and 75° west of true north).5° East 1.7° East 11.2° East 5.Notes: 1. Some state regulations allow for higher orientation angles and should therefore be checked to ascertain the maximum orientation angle allowable (e.1° East 11° East 8. 3. it is recommended that magnetic declination be compensated for to achieve optimal performance from the collectors.5° East 12. 2.3.3. Collectors positioned 45° east or west of true north can suffer efficiency losses of up to 25%. For solar water heater collectors.ga.2.2 True north and magnetic declination 3. 3. This is called magnetic declination.4° East 14.5° East Source: Geoscience Australia (www.1 Finding north A compass will point to magnetic north.1 Magnetic declination angles of major cities City Adelaide Alice Springs Brisbane Cairns Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney Declination angle (east/ west of magnetic north) 8. AS/NZS 3500:2005 recommends that the orientation of the collectors be: • • between 50° east and 70° west for Victoria between northeast (45°) and northwest (315°) for all other states.5 Magnetic declination (Perth and Hobart) Table 3. Figure 3. While the difference may have little effect.4° West 12.au). Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 31 .3° East 3.gov. which has a variation from true north.g.

2 Adjusting for true north The magnetic declination angle for the location should be added to the compass reading for north to obtain the true north heading.5° 37. ideally with a variance of no more than 20° of this angle.1° 12. 3.3° 35.2 Latitude angle for major cities City Adelaide Alice Springs Brisbane Cairns Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney Latitude angle 34.2° 22.2° 42.3.au).2.3.3 Inclination (tilt) Collectors should be tilted to the latitude angle of the location of installation.gov. 32 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors .4° 27.6 Magnetic declination topographical map © Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2009 3.5° Source: Geoscience Australia (www.ga. Table 3.4° 31.5° 33.5° 23.Figure 3.

7% -3. This is possible due to the sun following a lower path in the sky in winter (Figure 3.0% -7.9% Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 33 .4% -2.5% -1.0% 5.3% -4.3% 8.4% 5.8% Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual -15.5% 6.2% 2.3% -7.3.1% -11.5% -1.5% 1. Figure 3.9% 6.3% -12.4% -8.5% 2.0% -10.6% 8. The performance gains and losses at inclinations that vary from the latitude angle are shown in Table 3.8). Figure 3.7% Alice Springs -15° +15° -12.7 compares the latitude angle of Darwin (which has the lowest latitude angle) and Hobart (which has the highest latitude angle). Most standard residential ‘pitched’ roofs are between 22.5% -7.9% 2.5° (1/4 pitch) and 30°.9% -13.6% -4.9% -13.3% -0.0% 4.5% -15.8 Comparative summer and winter sun path (Sydney) Table 3. Figure 3.7% -6.7% 3.7 Graphical representation of latitude angles of Darwin and Hobart Winter performance can be improved by an inclination angle that is higher than the latitude angle.0% 2.5% 4.4% -13.2% 7.9% -12.3% 6.7% -2.8% -13.9% 1.The minimum inclination angle is 10° to allow adequate thermosiphon flow.6% 7.5% -3.0% 6.0% -13.3% -1.9% -8.4% -0.3 Average irradiation gain/loss of some Australian cities (MJ/m2) at inclinations varied from the latitude City/ Collector inclination variance Adelaide -15° +15° 7.0% -14.2% -4.1% -8.

1% 0.4% 10.5% -1.5% -13.3% 8.4% -8.8% -13.8% -3.2% -2.1% -0.3% 6.0% -13.6% 0.9% -15.0% -4.1% -12.4% -0.3% 3.3% -0.6% -4.2% -1.3% -12.8% -13.3% 4.0% -3.3% 2.1% Source: Adapted from Bureau of Meteorology irradiation maps using variation formulas from NASA irradiation tables.2% 6.2% -6.3% -13.1% -2.5% -5.6% 2.7% 6.0% -9.5% 4.8% -9.9% 1.5% -4.7% -12.9% 3.5% -3.3% 7.6% -11.5% -12.9% 7.3% 3.1% -1.1% 2.7% -3.5% -1.8% -13.8% 6.3% -9.0% 1.1% 2.9% -1.3% -2.7% -2.4% -0.4% -6.8% -14.0% -14.2% 6.9% 0.1% -14.1% 9.7% 1.2% 4.2% -2.0% -11.2% -14.5% 6.1% 4.6% 6.1% -9.5% -0.6% -2.5% 7.8% -1.9% -7.8% -9.2% 7.1% -8.8% -3.5% -7.9% 7.0% 6.2% -8.6% 0.9% -13.5% -8.9% -9.8% -7.7% 7.0% 1.3% -7.8% -2.6% -15.7% 2.2% 0.2% -1.6% -7.8% 2.7% -12.2% 2.4% 5.0% 7.6% -6.5% 6.7% -4.9% -4.9% -13.7% 5.4% -7.9% 8.6% -3.0% -11.4% -7.2% -12.2% -14. 34 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors .4% 7.9% 7.3% -11.9% 8.5% -7.0% -3.9% -12.0% -13.0% -11.3% 9.2% 4.0% -5.4% -4.1% 6.1% 6.6% 0.3% 6.5% -2.3% 7.0% -1.1% 2.2% -13.9% -8.7% 7.9% -3.2% -3.6% -0.8% 2.5% 0.1% -4.5% -3.8% -15.8% -2.9% -12.6% 0.3% -11.1% -14.6% -7.6% -2.6% -13.5% -9.1% -9.4% 7.9% -4.5% -0.7% 6.5% 6.0% -1.7% 1.5% -11.0% -8.7% 5.1% -1.3% 4.3% 6.9% 4.5% -4.7% -12.2% 7.5% -11.6% 4.0% -4.6% 0.5% 3.9% -8.4% -3.City/ Collector inclination variance Brisbane -15° +15° Cairns -15° +15° Canberra -15° +15° Darwin -15° +15° Hobart -15° +15° Melbourne -15° +15° Perth -15° +15° Sydney -15° +15° Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual 6.9% -7.4% -13.7% -11.2% -12.9% -3.6% -6.1% -13.1% -14.4% 0.6% 8.5% 4.3% 3.4% 7.2% -5.4% -12.8% -8.6% -11.0% 2.2% -5.4% 3.7% 4.

8 24.5 31. it is important to know where the sun’s position will be at its lowest point in the year.6 13. 3.4 Shading Collectors should be located in the sunniest area. the following actions may be taken: (a) Remove the source of shading (e. where shading is caused by a tree or other plant life. Table 3.3 Adelaide Brisbane Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney Source: NASA (www.8 34.3.2 33.3 3pm 24. An inclinometer can be used to measure the altitude angle of any potential obstructions and compared with the data in Table 3.2° 35. 34.nasa.4 18.4° 31.4 18. 3.2° 42. Where the collectors are subjected to shading between 9am and 3pm eastern standard time. a close-coupled Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 35 . Refer to the standard for more details.1 21. It is possible that if the collectors are a long way from the point of use.4.gov).3.4 (Appendix I) provides a simple cardboard tool for assessing shading.4. Australian Standard AS/NZS 3500. 3.1 21.3 Actions to address shading If all the collectors are shaded in the middle of the day.3. This is of particular importance in winter when solar irradiation is less than in summer and demand for hot water may be higher.1 Shading exceptions As per AS/NZS 3500. Collectors may be installed higher on the roof or on another part of the roof that will not be shaded.5° 37.4 18.1° 12.3.g. partial shading from small objects such as flues. Shade will significantly reduce the hot water output potential of the collectors.3 Alternatively.8 34.3 29. chimneys or TV antennas is permissible.2 46.7 49.4. (b) Relocate the collectors i.6 18.1 26.5° 27. pruning or removal of the plant may be possible). ii.4 Sun’s midwinter (June) angle above the horizon for capital cities City Latitude angle 9am Angle of sun (°) Noon 31.5° 24.2 Estimating shading To ascertain whether or not the collectors will be subjected to shading. avoiding shade between 9am and 3pm each day.4.4 18. they should be moved if a less shaded position can be found.6 13.6 18.3 39.3.2 46. in midwinter.5° 33.4 to ascertain if the object will cast a shadow on the collector.

It is important to identify the likelihood of frost in a particular area to ascertain whether or not it will pose a threat to the system. a mounting frame will be required.5 Mountings Collectors should be mounted directly on to the roof structure or on to mounting frames supplied by the manufacturer.6 Frost protection As the outside temperature drops. When water freezes it expands.system should be replaced by a pump-circulated system. Where a suitable north-facing section of roof is unavailable.1 is the relevant standard for wind loadings on such structures. (d) Use an alternative form of solar water heating such as a heat pump or some other form of water heating.3. causing a pressure build up that is capable of bursting copper pipes.3. AS/NZS 1170.10 shows the number of potential frost days in Australia. (c) Add additional collectors to compensate for the effect of shading. with the storage tank installed near the main point of hot water use (kitchen or bathroom) and the collectors further away. In extreme wind or cyclone areas it may be a requirement that collectors have cyclone mounts. 3. Pipe insulation is critical for minimising heat losses. 36 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors . It is important to consider the wind loads in the location where the collectors are being installed. The standard mounting frame kit for a solar water heater system includes: (a) two horizontal mounting rails (b) four vertical straps to attach the rails to the roof (c) appropriate screws. Figure 3. Timber is not a suitable framing product.9 Mounting frame configurations for different roofs (a) Standard Pitch Mount (b) Side Pitch Mount N (c) Reverse Pitch Mount (d) Flat Pitch Mount N N N 3. water can freeze. Figure 3. In frost prone areas frost protection techniques will prevent system failure resulting from frozen or burst pipes. Manufacturers have information on best practice installation for collectors in non-cyclone and cyclone areas and they should be consulted when required. in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 37 .gov.Figure 3.au).10 Annual potential frost days Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.bom.gov. Table 3.5 Annual potential frost days for some Australian cities City Adelaide Alice Springs Brisbane Cairns Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney Number of days 0–10 30–40 0–10 0–10 100–150 0–10 150+ 0–10 0–10 0–10 Source: Bureau of Meteorology (www.au).

(c) Using a circulating pump. Frost dump valves open up as the water temperature drops between 2°C and 5°C. The small volume of liquid in the heat pipe means that even if the liquid freezes it will not cause the pipe to burst. (b) Using a frost dump valve (mains pressure systems only). (e) Using evacuated tubes. This means the collectors cannot freeze because there is no water in them to freeze.11 Example of close-coupled thermosiphon system using antifreeze 38 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors . (d) Using a gravity ‘drain-back’ system.Techniques to address the hazard posed by frost include: (a) Using glycol-based ‘anti-freeze’. allowing warmer water to flow through the pipework and into the solar collectors to prevent freezing. Figure 3. This is a common solution in heavy frost or snow areas. This is done via a temperature sensor in the collectors. which will drain the collectors of liquid when the temperature in the storage tank is higher than that of the solar collectors. A circulating pump can be activated when the water temperature drops to a certain level to circulate warmer water through the pipes to prevent freezing.

3.7. it is the outlet port that takes the temperature sensor. (b) the circulating pump controller (in split systems). Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 39 .3.3. Solar collectors have either one or two ports at each end.7 Over-temperature protection 3.3.4). The collectors themselves cannot stop heating water and. This can be achieved by: (a) a solar control valve on the cold water flow line to the collectors that detects when the water in the storage tank reaches 70°C and closes to prevent hot water flowing to the collectors. If either of these conditions is exceeded. regardless of the demand for hot water.7.3. As hot water is drawn off and cold water enters the tank and reduces the water temperature.1 Solar collectors Figure 3. the valve will open to allow water to flow to the collectors. which turns the pump off when the temperature in the storage tank reaches 70°C. which protects against excessive temperature (>99°C) and pressure (>1MPa) (typical pressure setting is 500 kPa AS/NZS 3500.2 Hot water outlet from storage tank Hot water exits the storage tank via a pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valve. To reduce the risk of system failure. Manufacturer’s instructions for installing the temperature sensor should be followed. preventing water being circulated to the collectors. Both ports are interchangeable and can function as either inlet or outlet ports. it is important that the water in the storage tank does not exceed 70°C. the valve opens and dumps a large quantity of hot water through a drain or soakage trench. Although both ports have the capacity to take a temperature sensor. the collectors will continue to feed the storage tank with boiling water.12 Typical flat plate collector The water inside solar collectors can reach boiling point (100°C).

3 (Plastic pipes and fittings).. arrestor valves are installed for temperatures >75°C Figure 3. with all valves.9. AS/NZS 3500.According to AS/NZS 3500. AS 1432-approved copper pipe should be used.4. AS/NZS 2712 states that solar hot water systems provide over-temperature protection without draining water. including: • • systems using a pump — the pump controller will shut down if the water temperature is greater than 70°C thermosiphon systems — if suitable.2 (Sanitary fixtures delivery temperature) and clause 1.9. low-efficiency collectors can be used to minimise the high water temperatures.4:2003 clause 1. The manufacturer’s specifications will indicate the type of over-temperature protection that is available. no plastic pipes or fittings can be used as drain lines from the PTR valve. 40 Chapter 3: Solar Collectors .4:2003. clause 2.3 (Acceptable solutions for control of delivery temperatures) should be referenced when selecting temperature control devices and reviewing requirements for them.13 shows an instantaneous gas split system.

13 Instantaneous gas split system layout showing all valves Chapter 3: Solar Collectors 41 .Figure 3.

42 .

43 .

4. Water quality is measured against numerous factors. TDS (total dissolved solids) and water hardness. can significantly affect the life of a storage tank and even the entire solar hot water system.2 Water quality The quality of water can determine which type of tank to use in a solar hot water system.5 can be associated with corrosion and pipe blockage due to calcium build up. 44 Chapter 4: Storage Tanks . TDS and water hardness.1 pH level classification pH 0 5 7 9 14 Classification Strong acid Weak acid Neutral Weak alkaline Strong alkaline Source: Adapted from the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 — Factsheet: pH pH levels outside the range of 6. Table 4. including pH (a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution).1 and they must be installed to the manufacturer’s instructions.1). 4.4.5 and 8. The collective levels of pH.2.1 General Water storage tanks used in solar hot water installations must be designed and constructed in accordance with AS/NZS 2712:2007 and AS/NZS 4692.1 pH measurement pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14 (Table 4. where those instructions are not in conflict with AS/NZS 3500.4.

carbonate. pipework and household appliances. chloride. bicarbonate.000 Quality Excellent Good Fair Poor Unacceptable Source: Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 — Fact sheets: Total dissolved solids.2.2 TDS TDS or total dissolved solids are particles of sodium.2 TDS water quality classification mg/L <80 80–500 500–800 800–1. manganese. Table 4. TDS values above 500mg/L can be associated with scaling inside tanks. Corrosion may also be a problem with higher TDS levels.2 rates the water quality at different TDS values. sulfate. magnesium. Chapter 4: Storage Tanks 45 .3 Water hardness classification mg/L <60 60–200 200–500 >500 Classification Soft but possibly corrosive Good quality Increasing scaling problems Severe scaling Source: Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 — Fact sheets: Hardness (as calcium carbonate) Note: Soft water may lead to corrosion of pipes but is dependent on the alkalinity (pH) of the water. Table 4. silica. fluoride.3 Hardness Water hardness is measured by the concentration of calcium and magnesium (calcium carbonate equivalent) in water.4.2. Table 4. 4. nitrate and nitrite. potassium.3 rates the water quality at different classifications.000 >1. Water hardness above 200mg/L is associated with excessive scaling of pipes and fittings and may also cause blockage in pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valves. Table 4. calcium. iron. phosphate and other organic matter that is dissolved in the potable water supply.

4.3 Types of tanks
Storage tanks are typically made of the following materials: (a) stainless steel (b) copper (c) vitreous enamel lined steel (d) plastic or rubber (for atmospheric pressure formats). Stainless steel and copper storage tanks tend to have a longer life where the water quality is good but, as with all storage tanks, they suffer from corrosion if the water quality is poor. Vitreous enamel storage tanks can withstand poor quality water due to the enamel coating inside the tank. However, corrosion is a potential problem. Figure 4.1 shows a typical horizontal storage tank with water stratification.

Figure 4.1 Typical horizontal storage tank

Sacrificial anodes are commonly used with vitreous enamel tanks and are usually constructed of magnesium, with small percentages of manganese, aluminium or zinc. The purpose of the sacrificial anode, as the name suggests, is to increase the life of the storage tank by attracting the total dissolved solids in the water and corroding or sacrificing the anode (rod) instead of the storage tank.

46

Chapter 4: Storage Tanks

4.4 Stratification
Stratification is the layering of water at different temperatures within the water tank, with hot water at the top and cold water at the bottom. Stratification is caused by hot water (which is less dense) rising to the top of the tank. Storage tanks are designed to minimise the mixing of hot water and cold water. Solar collectors are more efficient when heating cold water, thus excessive mixing of hot and cold water can reduce the efficiency of the solar system. Some solar storage tanks are designed so that the inlet and outlet ports allow for a laminar flow of water entering and leaving the tank, thus minimising turbulent mixing inside the tank. In some cases, cold water may be fed into the bottom of the tank through a spreader pipe that slows the water velocity and spreads it along the bottom of the tank. Water returning from the solar collector should be fed back into the tank at a higher position than the cold water outlet. Figure 4.2 shows a close-coupled thermosiphon system with stratification or temperature induced water circulation.

Figure 4.2 Close-coupled thermosiphon system showing stratification

The hot water outlet should be drawn from the top of the tank to ensure that: (a) the water at the highest temperature is drawn (b) the likelihood of mixing water is reduced. Figures 4.3 and 4.4 show typical un-boosted vertical and horizontal storage tanks.

Chapter 4: Storage Tanks

47

Figure 4.3 Typical vertical storage tank

Figure 4.4 Typical horizontal storage tank

48

Chapter 4: Storage Tanks

The heat is then transferred to the water in the storage tank by contact with the copper pipe.5) (b) a coil arrangement of copper pipework inside or around the cylinder (Figure 4. a corrosion inhibiting antifreeze liquid. is circulated through the solar collectors and returned through the heat exchanger.4. Heat exchangers are commonly designed by integrating: (a) an outer tank or ‘jacket’ around the cylinder (Figure 4.6) Figure 4. such as glycol. Chapter 4: Storage Tanks 49 . a heat exchanger can be used to separate the potable water from the water circulating through the collectors.5 Horizontal storage tank with jacket heat exchanger Note: This type of storage tank can also be manufactured as a vertical tank. In this type of tank.5 Heat exchange tanks In frost prone areas or where the water quality is very poor.

Figure 4.6 Vertical tank with submersed coil heat exchanger 50 Chapter 4: Storage Tanks .

51 .

connectors and fixtures used in a solar or heat pump hot water system must be copper or metal to avoid the potential melting and deforming of polymer pipes.4.2 Materials 5.3 Pipework size 5. metal) water pipe that is accessible within the building and is continuously conductive from inside the building to the point of contact within the ground. 5.2 Fittings Compression fittings and valves should be constructed of brass or copper. flow ii. 5. (c) Pipework from the tempering valve into the building can be of any approved pipework material.4.3. pressure iii. AS/NZS 3000:2007). Plastic fittings should not be used. pipework length.1 General All pipework. Where copper or metal pipework in any part of a system is replaced with polymer or equivalent non-conductive pipework.1 Pipework The following guidelines for pipe materials should be followed: (a) Flow and return lines should be copper or copper alloy. 52 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings . If the water pipe system contains conductive (e. this pipe must be equipotentially bonded to the earthing system of the electrical installation. in between the solar collectors or other uncontrolled heat sources and the storage tank ii. non-return valves and equipment used to connect to water heaters. (d) As per AS/NZS 3500.g.1 Diameter The following guidelines for pipework diameters should be followed: (a) Pipe diameter between the storage tank and the solar collectors needs to be sized appropriately to AS/NZS 3500 taking into consideration i. for the drain line from the pressure temperature relief valve iii.2.5. (b) Pipework from the storage tank to the tempering valve should be copper or copper alloy. 5.2. Pipework and fittings used in solar hot water installations must be installed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications where those specifications are not in direct conflict with AS/NZS 3500. plastic pipework should not be used i. to support isolation valves. the equipotential bonding of the system components must be re-established (reference.

it should be UV (ultraviolet) rated and weather resistant to ensure longevity and effectiveness. with thicker insulation used wherever possible.3.1 Minimum insulation requirements Heat loss from pipes can have a significant effect on system performance. 5.3 Tempered water line Tempered water lines must run at least 1m from the tempering valve to fixtures. 5.2 Drain line from PTR valve Drain lines from the PTR valve should terminate: (a) at least 1m from the storage tank (b) 200–300mm above ground level (c) above a drain.2.2.3.(b) Flow and return lines should be a minimum of 15mm copper for mains pressure and pumped systems. all insulation should be between 13mm and 25mm. Insulation is also important for safety as the temperature of water exiting a solar water heater can be far greater than that in a standard hot water system: some components of a solar collector system can reach as much as 170°C.4. the requirement that all pipework. Temperatures in different parts of the system will determine the thickness of insulation required. Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings 53 .1 General Pipe length should be kept as short as possible to minimise heat loss from water.3.4. connecting the tank and collectors should be insulated. or exposed to the elements.2 Length 5. 5.3. 5. sections 8.3. Insulation will minimise water wastage and energy consumption when hot water flows to fixtures.2. including hot and cold water flow and return lines. However. All hot and cold water pipes and valves running between a storage tank and the solar collector or heat pump should be insulated when installing a solar water heater or heat pump system. See AS/NZS 3500. 5. Where the insulation is outdoors.4 Insulation Insulation is required to prevent heat loss through pipework. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The velocity and pressure of water flow between the storage tank and collectors can vary greatly in solar hot water systems. (c) Pipework in a system driven by thermosiphon flow should be 25mm. for example.2 and 8. for more details on the insulation requirements for hot water installations.

An alpine area is defined as an area in New South Wales.2 0. 900m above sea level.5.4. 0.3 0. Section 8.61 0. Table 5.2 0. including Alpine areas.0.4 — Regions for Hot Water Supply System — Insulation Maps Table 5.4.4. the R-value needs to increase to 1. 54 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings .01 0. Table 5.2 0.2 A B C (Non-Alpine areas) C (Alpine areas) Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500.1.2 shows the minimum insulation R-value for climate zones.2 1. has detailed climate maps of Australia.200m above sea level and.1 Climate region The climate region where the solar hot water system is located will determine the minimum R-value for insulation.2 Notes: 1.2 Minimum insulation R-value for Australian climate zones Climate region Internal locations Pipes Valves 0.3 0. Table 5.2 0.3 Valves 0.1 shows the climate regions for capital cities in Australia. in Tasmania.2 External locations Pipes 0. the Australian Capital Territory or Victoria with an elevation of 1. 2. AS/NZS 3500.3 0.3 0. If the pipe length is greater than 1m.1 Climate regions for capital cities City Adelaide Brisbane Canberra Darwin Hobart Melbourne Perth Sydney Climate region A A C A C B A A Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500. in Australia.3 0.

2 0.4.2 and the corresponding diameter in Table 5.4. At a minimum. Insulation diameter 9mm 13mm 25mm 38mm 5. Figure 5.3.3 0.0 Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500.6 1.2 Minimum insulation diameter The minimum diameter of insulation can be determined by using the R-value in Table 5.4.3 R-values and minimum insulation diameters R-value 0.1.1 Cross-section of closed-cell polymer insulation 5. the following pipework should be insulated: (a) flow and return lines from the tank to the collectors (b) hot water pipework from the tank to the tempering valve (c) all pipework between the storage tank and hot water unit (if applicable) (d) tempered water pipework to the internal fixtures.4.2 Pipework requiring insulation It is best practice to ensure that all internal and external hot water pipework is insulated to the required R-value. Closed-cell polymer can be defined as a high-density synthetic foam (Figure 5. Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings 55 .1.1). Table 5.3 Insulation construction Insulation should be made of closed-cell polymer with a UV resistant coating.5.

5. In those instances. which is then taken through the third outlet to the fixture (Figure 5. Water at this temperature is too hot for use in bathrooms and a tempering valve must be fitted to reduce the temperature to prevent scalding hot water being delivered to the fixture. although.2 Insulation continuity through roof penetrations 5. Tempering valves used in solar hot water installations should be high-temperature solar rated valves.1 General AS/NZS 3500 requires water to be heated to a minimum of 60°C in order to kill and prohibit growth of Legionella and other bacteria. A tempering valve is a three-way valve that mixes water from the hot and cold pipes to a pre-defined temperature (50°C).3).2.3 Insulation considerations Continuity in pipework insulation must be maintained. 56 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings . Figure 5.5 Tempering valves 5. the insulation should go through the penetration with the pipework.4. many lengths may need to be joined to cover the full length of pipework. sometimes. and UVresistant tape used where the join is made on external pipework. the join should be taped. as shown in Figure 5. Where pipework penetrates the roof material.5.

Figure 5. Figure 5. and especially improves the performance of the tempering valve.4 Location of tempering valve Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings 57 .3 Tempering valve Equal water pressure from the cold and hot water supplies makes for better operation of the system.

For this reason. Under AS/NZS 3500. This valve is installed at the highest point of the collectors.2 Location of the tempering valve The tempering valve should be located as close as practicable to the storage tank to ensure that the whole house can access tempered water. at the hot water return line.5. Figure 5.5 shows an air bleed valve assembly as it is commonly installed at the collector. This is due to air build up when the water is drained from the collectors into the storage tank.4:2003. 5. it is equally important that the tempering valve be installed as central to the main points of tempered water use as possible. Tank positioning (see Chapter 4 — Storage tanks) is important as the tempered water will continue to lose heat as it flows to the various outlets.5. must be installed for all new and replacement water heaters.6 Air bleed valve The air bleed valve is installed in many split (pumped) systems to allow air generated within the collectors to escape. NOTE: A tempering valve reduces the risk of scalding and.4:2003. under AS/NZS 3500. Figure 5. The exception to this rule is in drain-back systems where this valve is situated on the top of the storage tank.5 Air bleed valve assembly 58 Chapter 5: Pipework & Fittings . It is the responsibility of the installer to check local regulations as requirements for installing tempering valves in domestic and commercial hot water systems can vary between jurisdictions. the tempering valve must be installed in a position which is readily accessible.

59 .

Water supplied to the storage tank from the main cold-water inlet flows to the bottom of the solar collectors. The water is heated by the collectors and. A thermostat controls the water storage temperature and. will ‘boost’ the water temperature by electricity or gas.1 Thermosiphon system with a tempering valve fitted 60 Chapter 6: System Types .1 shows a close-coupled thermosiphon system fitted with a tempering valve. if needed. the hot water rises to the top of the collectors and back to the storage tank via a short return pipe on the opposite side of the storage tank. The hot water from the upper section of the tank is then supplied to the tempering valve where it is mixed with cold water from the main cold-water inlet and then distributed to the household fixtures.1 Close-coupled systems Close-coupled systems comprise the solar collectors mounted together with the tank on the roof. by thermosiphon flow. Figure 6. Figure 6.6.

a pump is required to circulate the water up to the collectors and back to the storage tank. The pump is operated by a controller which detects water temperature using sensors in both the solar collectors and the storage tank. the collectors may be of the flat plate (Figure 6. comprise roof-mounted collectors and a ground-level storage tank. Where evacuated tube collectors are installed.2 Forced circulation systems (split or pumped systems) Split or pumped systems. The hot water from the upper section of the tank is then supplied to the tempering valve where it is mixed with cold water from the main cold-water inlet and then distributed to the household fixtures. In split systems.3). Figure 6. unlike the close-coupled system.2 Forced circulation system (flat plate collectors) split system installation diagram Chapter 6: System Types 61 . The water is then heated by the solar collectors and returned to the storage tank via the hot water return line at the top of the collectors. the pump is switched on to circulate the hotter water to the storage tank and the cooler water up to the solar collectors for heating. When the water in the storage tank is lower than that of the solar collectors. Water supplied to the storage tank from the main cold-water inlet is pumped up to the bottom of the solar collectors by a pump built into the bottom of the tank or by an external pump.2) or evacuated tube type (Figure 6.6. the water flows through one side of the manifold along the top of the tubes and is returned through the opposite side in a left-to-right manner or vice versa. Because the storage tank is on the ground.

3 Forced circulation system (evacuated tube collectors) installation diagram 62 Chapter 6: System Types .Figure 6.

3 Gravity feed systems (remote storage) Gravity feed systems are low-pressure systems that rely solely on thermosiphon flow principles to operate. Similar to split systems. Gravity feed systems can be boosted by a wood fire heater commonly referred to as a ‘wetback’ (see Chapter 7 — Boosting). This reduces the pressure in the feed tank to one atmosphere. in a remote location such as the roof cavity. the storage tank is not located with the collectors. remote storage. Positioning the tank above the collectors is critical as it will prevent reverse thermosiphon flow. the colder water in the tank flows to the bottom of the collectors where it is heated and then returned through the top of the collectors to the tank.4 shows a gravity feed. These systems have been used in homes not serviced by reticulated mains water. Using thermosiphon flow.4 Gravity feed (remote storage) system installation diagram Chapter 6: System Types 63 . A feed tank (usually a rainwater tank) with a float valve control similar to that in a toilet cistern keeps the storage tank full.6. The tank is located above the collectors. system. A safe tray with a drain line is fitted under the tank to prevent any spillage onto the ceiling. which would cause cold water to flow to the storage tank. Figure 6. Figure 6. leaving the hot water in the collectors.

The fundamental difference with a drain-back system is that when the water temperature in the collectors is excessively high or nearing freezing point. This prevents the collectors from overheating or freezing and is achieved by installing the return lines on a 5° decline to allow the heat transfer liquid to use gravity to drain down into the reservoir. This type of system usually operates using indirect heating: a pump is used to circulate heat transfer liquid (glycol) to the collectors.6.4 Drain-back systems A drain-back system is similar to a standard forced circulation (split) system in that it comprises roofmounted solar collectors and a ground-mounted storage tank. where it is heated and returned to the heat exchanger in the storage tank which heats the water. the circulating pump is switched off and the liquid drains down into a reservoir in the storage tank. 64 Chapter 6: System Types .

5 Drain-back system installation diagram Chapter 6: System Types 65 .Figure 6.

5 Heat pump systems 6.6. The heat is then transferred to the water in the storage tank.1 General A heat pump system is a form of solar water heating that uses the standard refrigeration cycle to transfer heat from the ambient outside air temperature into the water in the storage tank or solar radiation to directly heat a refrigerant fluid in a collector. 66 Chapter 6: System Types .5. 6. Figure 6.6 Heat pump compressor Note: The configuration of the heat pump compressor may vary between manufacturers.6 shows the configuration of a standard heat pump compressor.5. 6.3 Heat pump storage tank The heat pump storage tank operates on the heat exchange principle. The heat is transferred to the water in the storage tank by contact with the copper pipe. Figure 6.5. Vapour from the compressor flows through a coil or mantle arrangement of copper pipework submersed inside the cylinder or wrapped around it. A heat pump relies on the ambient air temperature for its solar gain.7 shows a typical heat pump storage tank.2 Heat pump compressor The heat pump compressor is considered a solar collector even though it does not rely on direct sunlight to heat water. Heat pump compressors operate on the refrigeration principle in that they extract the heat from the ambient air to heat a pressurised refrigerant that is circulated from the evaporator through the condenser. Figure 6.

Figure 6. its temperature is lower than the ambient outside air temperature and it is able to absorb the heat from the surrounding air through the evaporator. As the water in the tank is at lower temperature than the refrigerant. When the refrigerant is pressurised it naturally heats up to approximately 60°C and is pumped through the condenser as a hot gas.8). The condenser can be a coil of tube wrapped around the inner shell of the storage tank or coiled inside the tank itself. the heat is transferred from the condenser to the water.4 Heat pump operation A heat pump is made up of an evaporator. This process cools the refrigerant which is then pumped through the expansion valve further reducing its temperature and pressure as it flows back into the evaporator (Figure 6.7 Heat pump tank 6. It may also be a mantle-type array of channels in contact with the inner shell of the tank. where it is pressurised. By the time the refrigerant enters the evaporator. where the process repeats. compressor and the storage tank.5. The refrigerant in the evaporator absorbs heat from the surrounding air before it flows to the compressor. condenser. Chapter 6: System Types 67 .

68 Chapter 6: System Types .9) or separately mounted beside the tank (split system—Figure 6.The compressor can be mounted on top of the storage tank (compact system—Figure 6.8 Heat pump system with external heat exchanger 6. Table 6. Figure 6.5.10). which include: (a) ambient air temperature (b) relative humidity (c) cold-water inlet temperature (d) size of the storage tank. The heat pump must be connected to the continuous electric tariff and have unrestricted airflow. The heat pump may run on a timer in areas where noise is an issue.5 Rate of heating The rate at which a heat pump heats water is determined by a number of factors.1 shows the average rate of heating for a 250 litre tank.

• Figure 6.Table 6.1 Heat pump.9 Heat pump system showing clearances Chapter 6: System Types 69 . These figures do not factor in relative humidity. rate of heating Ambient temperature (°C) 35° 30° 25° 20° 15° 10° 5° 0° -5° -10° Litres of water per hour with a 25°C rise in temperature 124 111 98 83 65 53 42 34 29 27 Notes: • These figures are intended to illustrate the effects of higher ambient air temperature on the rate of heating compared to the effects of lower temperatures and do not represent actual heat pump heating rates. A higher relative humidity will mean a quicker rate of heating.

10 Split heat pump system installation diagram 70 Chapter 6: System Types .Figure 6.

11 shows a close-coupled retrofit system and Figure 6. A fundamental point is that a solar hot water system must have hot water storage.6. Retrofit systems are commonly installed using close-coupled or split systems. Figure 6. 6. which boosts the water from the solar storage tank and supplies the internal fixtures. however.12 shows a split system retrofit. which holds the pre-heated water from the collectors. This means that there are two storage tanks: i. the solar storage tank. ii. the existing gas storage tank. as it is not possible for solar collectors to provide continuous hot water at the required temperature all year round. Chapter 6: System Types 71 . a gravity feed system can also be used.1 Existing gas storage system In this type of installation the solar hot water system acts as a pre-heater to the existing gas storage system.6.6 Retrofit systems A retrofit system is one where a solar hot water system is installed or integrated into an existing hot water system.

11 Pre-heater close-coupled system retrofit to existing storage tank installation diagram 72 Chapter 6: System Types .Figure 6.

12 Pre-heater split system retrofit to existing storage tank installation diagram Chapter 6: System Types 73 .Figure 6.

which then boosts the water from the storage tank and supplies the internal fixtures. as with the gas storage system.13 Pre-heater close-coupled retrofit to existing gas instantaneous system installation diagram 74 Chapter 6: System Types . Figure 6.6. Therefore.6.2 Existing gas instantaneous system The existing gas instantaneous system does not have a storage tank. Figure 6. the solar hot water system is used as a pre-heater to the existing instantaneous system.13 shows a pre-heater close-coupled retrofit to an existing gas instantaneous system. Figure 6.14 shows a pre-heater split system retrofit to an existing gas instantaneous system.

14 Pre-heater split retrofit to existing gas instantaneous system installation diagram Chapter 6: System Types 75 .Figure 6.

6. Figure 6. Figure 6.16 shows a five-way connector fitted to an existing electric storage tank. and circulates it to the solar collectors. Figure 6. through another outlet on the connector. The heated water returns to the storage tank through the hot-water inlet in the five-way connector and is then distributed to the middle of the tank via an upward-turned dip tube. 76 Chapter 6: System Types . Depending on whether the existing storage tank has solar flow and return connections.3 Retrofit to existing electric storage tank An existing electric storage system is more suitable for retrofitting than gas storage and instantaneous systems.15 shows a five-way connector fitted to the cold-water inlet of an existing storage tank. where the water is heated. the installation may be exactly the same as a regular split system. In these types of installations solar collectors can be mounted on the roof without the need for an additional storage tank. If the storage tank has only one cold inlet and one hot outlet a five-way connector will need to be fitted.6.15 Five-way connector (top view) In the five-way connector. The circulation pump then draws water from the storage tank. which will provide the required connections for the flow and return lines to the solar collectors. cold water flows through one connection supplying the storage tank.

Figure 6. Chapter 6: System Types 77 .16 Five-way connector fitted to an existing electric storage tank Note: The dip tube is positioned upward to promote stratification in the storage tank and prevent the heated water from being redrawn from the outlet to the collectors.

17 Retrofit conversion of existing electric storage tank installation diagram 78 Chapter 6: System Types .Figure 6.

79 .

In the case of (b) and (c) the solar hot water system acts as a pre-heater to the gas hot water system. The amount of boosting necessary is dependent on: (a) the quantity of hot water required (b) the required temperature of the hot water (c) the amount of solar irradiation (d) the ambient air temperature (e) the cold water temperature at the inlet (f) the efficiency of the solar collectors and storage tank (g) the efficiency of the booster.e. AS/NZS 3500 requires that the storage tank water be heated to a minimum of 60°C in order to kill and prohibit growth of Legionella and other bacteria. Boosting can be achieved by: (a) an internal electric booster element (in the tank) (b) an internal gas burner (below the tank) (c) an instantaneous gas unit fed from the solar hot water system (d) a gas storage system fed from the solar hot water system (e) a solid fuel boiler.3 — Expected solar fraction of capital cities).1 Respective contributions from SHW systems & boosting to reach average water temperature of 65°C: Major Australian cities 80 Chapter 7: Boosting . during cloudy or rainy days). In those cases the solar hot water system will require additional boosting to ensure that water can be heated to 60°C at times of low solar gain (i.1 General In many locations the solar fraction is less than required for a solar hot water system to run on its own all year (see Table 1. 2. Notes: 1. Heat pumps do not require additional boosting as this is done within the storage tank with an electric element.7. Figure 7.

1 Electric storage In electric-boosted storage systems.3 shows the configuration of an electric-boosted storage tank.2. Figure 7. one or two electric elements are immersed inside the storage tank. A thermostat controls the boosting element by switching it on when the water temperature drops to a pre-determined temperature and switching it off when the temperature reaches 60°C.Figure 7.3 Electric boosted storage tank Chapter 7: Boosting 81 .2 Electric boosting 7. An electric element is curved in shape and can be positioned so the curve points up or down to provide varying amounts of boosted hot water. Figure 7.2 Respective energy contributions from solar input & booster input to reach water temperature of 65°C: Major Australian cities 7.

7. the hot water supply should not be affected because the electric booster will be available at all times. if natural gas is unavailable.2. The system size requirements to qualify for off-peak electric rates vary between states and should be checked with the householder’s electricity supply company.3. however. In off-peak boosting.1.1 Gas storage Gas boosting in the storage tank occurs by means of a burner that is thermostatically controlled. an LP gas cylinder can be installed by a gas supplier or plumber.3 Gas boosting If the household is located in a natural gas reticulated area natural gas can be supplied to the booster by tapping into mains gas supply. The burner will ignite when the water temperature drops to a pre-defined temperature and it will then heat the water to 60°C. 7. 7. Figure 7.1.4 shows the configuration of a gas storage tank. These hours may vary between states but can be between 9pm and 7am (the booster is only active in the evening/night hours).7.2. the booster cannot be turned on during the day if additional hot water is required.4 Gas storage tank 82 Chapter 7: Boosting . Alternatively. Figure 7.1 Off-peak tariffs Where available.2 Day-rate tariffs/continuous supply Electricity supply on a day-rate tariff is charged at a higher rate than off peak. an electric element can be supplied by the electricity supply company during off-peak hours.

The solar hot water system is used to pre-heat the water before it flows through the instantaneous unit. otherwise it will bypass without additional boosting.2 Gas instantaneous As with the electric-boosted instantaneous unit. This unit is usually mounted directly onto the storage tank but may also be separately mounted to a wall.3.5 shows a gas instantaneous boosted storage tank.5 Gas instantaneous boosted storage tank Chapter 7: Boosting 83 . An in-line gas instantaneous unit is fitted between the tank and the hot water pipework into the building. The gas burner will only ignite if the water temperature is not at the required temperature (60°C). Figure 7.7. gas boosting does not occur inside the tank. Figure 7.

6 shows how water temperature in remote storage systems is boosted by solid fuels.4 Solid fuel boosting Slow-combustion heaters can be used to provide boost heating by burning solid fuels instead of gas or using electricity. Figure 7. The heated water then flows from the storage tank to the boiler where it is heated further. This system should be low pressure and open vented.7. rising back into the tank by thermosiphon flow. Solid-fuel heaters are more likely to be installed in rural areas where access to electricity and gas is limited or non-existent and there is a supply of firewood. the heated water rises from the solar collectors to the tank by thermosiphon flow.6 Solid fuel boosting for remote storage systems The solid-fuel boosted heater is an uncontrolled energy source that may produce unexpected surges in water pressure and temperature. 84 Chapter 7: Boosting . with the header tank lower than the open vent. The most common forms of solid fuels are: (a) wood chips (b) timber (c) coal (d) sawdust pellets (e) peat (f) straw (g) briquettes. Figure 7. In a remote storage system.

vii connect separately from those lines to the collectors to prevent interference between the two systems viii be insulated to the required R-value so as not to be a hazard.1 Installation considerations When installing a boiler as a booster. (c) The storage tank must be copper or stainless steel.7. Vitreous enamel tanks should not be used as the enamel can dissolve at high temperatures.2. (f) Boilers must not be connected directly to mains pressure storage tanks. (b) The flow and return lines from the storage tank to the boiler should: i ii be copper rise or fall in a continuous gradient iii have no valves fitted to them iv have no dissimilar metals in them v have no elbows fitted to them vi have a diameter relative to the length specified in Table 7. (e) Pressure/temperature relief valves must not be used. (d) The system must be open vented to the atmosphere to prevent any pressure build up in the boiler.1 Minimum pipe diameter for thermosiphon systems Vertical distance (m) 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 Source: Adapted from AS/NZS 3500. clause 7.3.4. (g) A tempering valve must be fitted to the hot-water line to the house Table 7.1. Horizontal distance (m) 4 20 20 20 20 20 18 6 25 25 20 20 20 20 8 32 32 25 25 20 20 10 32 32 32 25 25 25 20 20 20 18 18 18 Chapter 7: Boosting 85 .4. the following issues should be considered: (a) The heat source should be located below the storage tank to allow thermosiphon flow.

86 .

87 .

worksafe. This section is intended as a guide to the principles of occupational health and safety as they relate to the domestic installation of solar water heating and heat pumps.sa.tas.workcover.vic.2 Installers’ obligations All employers and self-employed people are required under Commonwealth.au www.au www.docep. codes and principles and they need to be observed for all solar water heating and heat pump installations.1 General The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency cannot accept responsibility for any errors and omissions contained in this information.workcover.gov. regulations.act.wa.justice.au www.gov.qld.workcover. Specialist advice is recommended in particular for current health and safety requirements.gov. 88 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety .au QLD ACT NSW VIC SA WA NT TAS 8.gov.gov. Installers need to be aware of: (a) height hazard assessments (b) working at height procedures (c) assessment/use/wearing of correct height safety equipment (harnesses et cetera) (d) all other relevant safety factors specific to the work (e) occupational.nt. state and territory laws to do the following: (a) provide a workplace and safe system of work so employees are not exposed to any hazards (b) give employees training.nsw. State and territory-specific requirements can be found online.8. information.au www.gov.ors. State Website related to occupational health and safety www.au www. Australian states and territories have different occupational health and safety legislation. instruction and supervision to allow them to work in a safe manner (c) consult with their employees about safety issues (d) provide protective clothing and equipment to protect employees where it is not possible to eliminate hazards from the workplace.au/WorkSafe www. health and safety regulations/codes.gov.safework.au www.gov.

does it slope more than 7°. to make sure that they maintain a safe standard of work. but the installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems also involve some specific risks. This section aims to highlight the major safety concerns relating to the installation of heat pumps and solar water heaters. deals with safe work practices when work is undertaken at heights of more than 1. 8. 8. This is as vital for solar water heating and heat pump installations as for any other workplace activity.htm State and territory governments also produce information guidelines and codes of practice for working at heights and working in or on roofs. In addition to general occupational health and safety and work safety legislation.gov. risk assessment. The purpose of the risk assessment or safety audit is to enable the installer time to inspect the site and assess the likely hazards. The National Code of Practice can be accessed at: www. Installers can contact their local Workcover or use the links provided in this reference guide to check for existing or updated instructions or standards. or each job site. so installers must still carry out a full risk assessment for each and every site before commencing work. As a general guide to the risks involved in working at heights. and how to access health and safety information that the law requires employers to provide (f) maintenance programs (g) a system for reporting hazards or important safety information (h) emergency rescue procedures. fragile or brittle.4 Working at heights Installers should know and work according to relevant requirements for lifting and working at heights. it is usual to plan how to safely undertake the job.au/swa/AboutUs/Publications/NationalStandards/ NationalCodeofPracticeforthePreventionofFallsinGeneralConstruction. Whilst undertaking this risk assessment.safeworkaustralia.8 metres. is it strong enough to support the loads involved. or is it heavily sloped (more than 45°)? (b) The ground — is it even and stable enough to support a ladder. is it a combination of different surface types. and issues can be different from site to site. scaffold or work platform if necessary? Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety 89 .Employers also need to develop policies for each workplace. and control processes (b) specified safe work procedures (c) monitoring performance and reviewing control measures regularly (d) consulting with employees (e) training programs covering how to report hazards. the following factors should be considered: (a) The surface of the roof — is it unstable. the National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Falls in General Construction. This list is not comprehensive.3 Risk assessment Installers must comply with local regulations and undertake an on-site risk assessment or safety audit prior to beginning the installation of a solar or heat pump hot water system. or slippery. This is done through: (a) hazard identification. The risk assessment considerations for traditional hot water installations and heat pump and solar hot water installations are very similar. hazards relevant to each worker.

and the installer’s methods. and will depend on the site. and location. 8. 3. The provision and maintenance of a stable and securely fenced work platform (including scaffolding or any other form of portable work platform) The provision and maintenance of secure perimeter screens. fencing. it needs to be able to stop a fall from 2m or more.5 Risk of falls The first priority when working at heights is always to prevent falls. are they erected and dismantled properly and safely? (d) Hand grips — do workers working at heights have hand grips? (e) Unsafe areas — are there openings. holes. But in New South Wales the Safe Work on Roofs publications specify that if a physical restraint or harness is used. 2. state and territory OH&S regulations in Australian do not specify a particular height at which it becomes necessary to introduce safe procedures for ‘working at heights’. 8. handrails or other physical barriers to prevent falls Personal protective equipment to arrest the fall of a person.(c) Scaffolding or work area platforms — are these crowded or cluttered. who may be unfamiliar with a task and who present a risk or hazard that needs special attention and risk control measures? (i) The interior of the roof — is a confined space licence required? Is the enclosed working area safe and have all hazards been identified? IMPORTANT NOTE: This list is not exclusive. is there sufficient light for workers to work safely (this is especially relevant when working in roof cavities)? (h) Inexperienced employees — are there inexperienced staff or installers on site. 90 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety . the type of system being installed. or unguarded excavation sites. The total list of risk factors to be assessed will differ for every installation. 1. Commonwealth. are impracticable. the residence. Safe working procedures and suitable barriers will help prevent falls. fall arrest equipment is a type of personal protective equipment and should not be chosen unless other systems — which provide a higher level of fall protection — such as scaffolding or elevating work platforms.6 Three types of control measure/ safe operating procedures Three types of control measures and safe operating procedures can be used to minimise the risk of falls. are there power lines close to the work area? (f) Access and egress — are there any obstructions or safety hazards in the entrance or exit routes for the work site? (g) Lighting — depending on weather. According to national and state and territory regulations and guidelines.

the risk assessment also needs to take account of the additional difficulty associated with steep roof pitches. All fall-arrest systems must comply with AS/NZS 1891 — Industrial fall arrest systems and devices. Under national OH&S regulations. in most residential homes the installation period (less than one day) and the small area of roof that the installer will be working on mean that scaffolding. They must never be used unless there is at least one other person present on site to rescue an installer after a fall. installers are required to use fall prevention systems type 1 or type 2 (described above) when working at heights. In some cases two people will be needed for a successful rescue. installers may need to use a wider platform. Installers are also required to make sure that the fall-arrest system used does not create new hazards. Fall-arrest systems and harnesses can only be used by one person at a time. a fall-arrest system. Fall-arrest require significant skill to use safely and. A fall-arrest system is preferred in some special cases. it is likely that even when the system works correctly there will still be some physical injury to the user. a higher guardrail. including trip hazards. However. scaffolding or a cherry-picker as well as. so installers will also need to consult with the suppliers of their safety equipment about how to use and maintain their systems. including where there is a chance a worker may fall through the surface of the roof due to fragile roofing material. An anchor point needs to be carefully chosen to minimise the distance of a fall. or edges.7 Fall arrest systems These are the most common options for those installing solar and heat pump water heaters. Fall-arrest systems comprise: (a) an anchorage point of static line (also known as the safety line or horizontal lifeline) (b) energy absorber (c) inertia reel or fall-arrest device (d) fall arrest harness (e) lanyard or lanyard assembly. Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety 91 . Installers are required by Commonwealth and state and territory regulations to ensure that the fallarrest harness is connected to a static anchorage point on the ground or on a solid residence or construction. platforms and perimeter screens are impractical options for solar water heater installations. This will usually require additional safety precautions. Although those requirements will vary from site to site. and to ensure that the line does not encounter snags.8. in the event of a fall. obstructions. This can result in the fall-safety system failing. People using a fall-arrest system must always wear head protection. or instead of. unless it is reasonably impractical to do so.8 Roofs greater than 45° For a solar hot water installation where the roof pitch exceeds 45°. 8. All systems differ.

installers need to devise a plan to move all equipment onto the roof prior to beginning work. an employer must ensure that the risk is controlled by either: (a) permanent walkways (b) appropriately secured temporary walkways over the affected parts of the roof. This offers a work platform for plumbers. tanks. Control and safety measures include creating a perimeter fence on top of scaffolding around a house during installation — this may be practicable when a house is having solar or heat pumps water heaters installed during the construction phase. or being installed at height. when tiles are slid aside so that the straps to support the tank can be attached to trusses/rafters or trusses underneath there is a high risk that tiles will fall. 92 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety . or collectors and tank) are roof mounted.9 Brittle or fragile roofs Where portions of the roof are brittle or fragile. and other equipment is another occupational. heavy plastic sheet or aluminium sheet can be laid under hot water storage tanks when they are roof mounted to ensure that if the tank fractures any tiles.8. a person standing should not lift anything that weighs more than 16kg without mechanical assistance or assistance from other people. material or debris on site (c) where possible. As most solar systems (collectors only. but mechanical lifting equipment is recommended for all objects more than 16kg to 20kg. health and safety obligation. 8. state or territory guidelines differ. introducing measures to stop the fall of objects (this could include creating a platform with scaffolding. Plastic or other sheeting can also be used to stop small equipment or tools falling into the roof cavity or puncturing ceiling material. Employer/installer obligations include: (a) ensuring all staff have received adequate training for any work that is carried out (b) providing a safe means of raising and lowering equipment. Potential risks include: (a) Collectors.12 Working with heavy equipment As a general guideline. Local. (b) On tile roofs.11 Falling objects When working on rooftops installers are sometimes at risk from falling objects. On tile roofs. and protects workers from falling objects. or positioning a toeboard on a guardrail) (e) ensuring all workers wear personal protective equipment to minimise the risk from falling objects. tanks and equipment may fall while being lifted to roof height.10 Other relevant Australian standards for working at heights Installers should contact their state or territory government or local council for additional requirements. Providing adequate mechanical lifting equipment for collectors. 8. a roof protection system. creating a secure physical barrier to prevent objects falling from buildings or structures in or around the site (d) where it is not possible to create such a barrier. no debris will fall into the roof space. 8.

Measures to control the burn risks associated with working with metal. installers must assess all risks associated with the equipment and introduce appropriate control measures to contain the risks.14.1 Heat hazards Site and risk assessments for installations that involve the use of metals and glass need to consider the dangers from materials over-heating and injuring workers. This can occur even on overcast and cold days. Such risks are multiplied when solar hot water systems are installed because collectors are designed to become hot on exposure to solar irradiation. (d) introducing weight-bearing pathways within the ceiling cavity to ensure that all weight rests on trusses/rafters/support beams. where collectors are placed on roof scaffolding or platform while tiles are moved or the collectors’ security lines or installation points are checked. for operating a builders hoist. people will be required to hold certificates of competency. however. dark-coloured plastics. Control measures for roofs or ceilings that are insufficient to hold total equipment weight include: (a) strengthening roof structures to hold system weight (see installation instructions for details).Some common solutions: (a) hiring a small crane to lift roof components quickly and safely (b) engaging suppliers who will deliver all components to the site and onto the rooftop. and can easily result in injury to installers. examples include: (a) the risk of manual handling injuries to workers while using equipment can be controlled by guarding the drive mechanisms and nip points on the elevator belt. 8. glass and solar collectors include: (a) storing equipment in a shaded or covered location before and during installation (b) If necessary. (b) barricading the area around the equipment to prevent access by untrained people and limiting the risk of falling objects hitting people below (c) training people to use equipment (in some circumstances. (b) locating system equipment over roof-supporting framework only (c) locating collectors so they span at least two roof-supporting trusses or trusses/rafters to adequately support the collector weight.14 Working with metal and collectors 8. The following list is not comprehensive. so they are not recommended. Whenever mechanical lifting equipment is used. organising covers for solar collectors during roof installation. Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety 93 . Rope and pulley solutions are slow. the roof or ceiling must be checked to ensure it is strong enough to carry the equipment. for example. Prior to lifting any equipment onto the roof or into the ceiling cavity. Any in-roof tanks must be mounted over internal joining walls in accordance with the Australian Building Standard.13 Roof security There will be risks involved in mounting heavy equipment onto a residential roof or ceiling when installing remote thermosiphon systems (tank installed in a domestic roof space) or a close thermosiphon system (tank installed on rooftop). 8.

phone. The major risk factor is always working in the sun. especially during the months September to April. 94 Chapter 8: Occupational Health & Safety . including covered boots. unsafe hazards avoided where possible or dealt with on site.Metal heat hazards can also include metal fittings in fall-arrest systems (buckles and D-rings.15 Hazards for working outdoors As for any site work.2 Metal hazards Aside from general heat concerns (see above) solar water heating and heat pump installations also require installers to cut down metal lengths for the installation of tanks and collectors.14. 8. installers must include hazards relating to working outdoors in their risk assessment. sewer. 8. electrical. dew or wind. 8. hats and sunglasses (d) using sunscreen. water) (c) site/roof conditions and materials (d) buildings and other structures (e) suitable access. 8. Those conditions need to be assessed.17 Maintenance and service The entire system. as well as poor light in certain weather conditions. including the following services. gas. Other weather hazards include heavy rain. gloves and protective eye-wear. creating risks of cuts and injuries. should be shut down before any maintenance is performed: (a) electricity or gas (b) generators (c) pumps (d) mains water supply (e) gravity water supply.g.16 Site assessment Sites should be assessed for: (a) natural features and environment (b) under and above-ground services (e. snaphooks on lanyards. Measures to reduce those risks include using personal protective gear. karabiners and other specific system fittings). keeping in mind occupational health and safety regulations and best practice. The following controls are listed in order of effectiveness: (a) reorganising work times to avoid the UV peak of the day (b) making use of natural or artificial shade (c) wearing appropriate protective clothing. The most effective means of reducing sun exposure is a combination of protection methods.

95 .

9.1 General
Solar and heat pump hot water system installations should comply with all relevant standards and manufacturers’ requirements. Installation requirements for solar water heater and heat pump systems include the following: (a) AS/NZS 3500:2003 Part 4 — Heated Water Services, Section 6 Installation of Solar Water Heaters (b) AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules (c) AS 5601 Gas Installations (d) any other applicable standards (e.g. AS/NZS 1170 Wind Loadings; AS 2712 Solar and Heat Pump Water Heaters — Design & Construction; AS 4234 Heated Water Systems: Calculation of energy consumption; AS/NZS 4692.1 Electric water heaters — Energy consumption, performance and general requirements (e) Plumbing Code of Australia (f) manufacturer’s recommendations (g) local government requirements (which the installer is responsible for confirming; responsibility the scope of this element will vary across state, territory and local government areas. (h) OH&S requirements (see Chapter 8). (i) trade and insurance licensing requirements (the installer is responsible for confirming compliance with those. The scope of this element will vary across state, territory and local government areas). any other requirements that impact on a particular installation (e.g. heritage-listed buildings; building with asbestos roofing materials; streetscape planning).

(j)

Almost every installation will have different requirements, including requirements for access to the site, roof tilt, materials, climate, level of water use or the need for additional trades people (such as electricians). All elements of Chapter 8, relating to OH&S obligations, should be considered prior to pre-installation discussions and inspections. AS/NZS 3500 requires that the storage tank be installed as close as possible to the main hot water usage points. Some jurisdictions may have additional requirements regarding this. For example, in Queensland, under the Queensland Plumbing and Waste Water Code (legislated), after 1 January 2010 water heaters for any new Class 1 building and Class 1 building for replacement are to be installed as close as practicable to the common bathroom.

9.2 Installation
9.2.1 Mounting collectors
Roof-mounted solar collectors and storage tanks should be mounted in accordance with local OH&S regulations (see section 8.13 for information on the safety measures that need to be observed when lifting collectors and storage tanks onto roofs). In all cases, manufacturer’s instructions should be followed carefully, and only those support straps and retainers supplied with the system should be used. Where possible, collectors should be mounted with a minimum clearance of 500mm from gutters (roof edge) on all sides. This clearance helps with access to panels for installation and maintenance. It also helps protect the panels from wind and stop run-off from rain jumping the gutter.

96

Chapter 9: Installation Considerations

9.2.1.1 Flat plate collectors
Flat plate collectors can be installed flush with the roof in most standard installations. However, in systems that do not incorporate a PTR or air-bleed valve at their highest point, the outlet side should be mounted 10mm above the inlet side to ensure that air bubbles exit the collector. In close-coupled systems, the position of the collectors will be relative to the location of the storage tank (see section 6.1). The lower support straps supplied with the solar collectors should be affixed to the retaining bracket at approximately 200mm from either end (see Figure 9.1).

Figure 9.1 Collector straps mounted to a tile roof

On tiled roofs, support straps will need to be screwed firmly onto the rafters (roof structure), not tile battens. This will require the removal of a section of tiles at each strap to expose the rafters. The support strap should be bent to run flush with the rafters (Figure 9.2 and Figure 9.3).

Chapter 9: Installation Considerations

97

Figure 9.2 Collector strap moulded to rafter (tiled roof)

Figure 9.3 Collector strap mounted to rafter cross-section (tiled roof)

98

Chapter 9: Installation Considerations

On metal roofs. roofing screws may be used to screw the support bracket through the roof and into the rafters (roof structure).4 shows how collector straps are mounted to a metal roof.4 Collector straps mounted to a metal roof Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 99 . Heated Water Services)) of a suitable material and thickness (minimum thickness 13mm) (c) weatherproof (d) UV resistant. The installer must ensure that for metal roofs the solar hot and cold pipes between the water storage tank and the solar collectors are: (a) copper (b) fully insulated (according to AS/NZS 3500.2. Figure 9. The insulation provides protection for the metal roof against any water run-off over the copper pipe.1(c)(Plumbing and Drainage.5 shows a collector bracket mounted to a rafter on a metal roof.4 clause 8. Figure 9. Manufacturers’ instructions. It will also reduce heat losses in the pipe and protect against accidental contact with the hot solar pipe work. must be followed to ensure that the appropriate insulation has been fitted to the connections on both the solar collectors and the storage tank. relating to the specific model of thermosiphon solar water heater to be installed. Rubber grommets should be used with the roofing screws to lift the metal frame off the roofing material to prevent corrosion. Figure 9. if exposed.

Note: In close-coupled systems. upper retaining brackets are affixed to the top of the collectors in place of the support straps to allow the storage tank to be mounted (see section 9.5 Collector bracket mounted to rafter (metal roof) The collectors should be placed on the retaining bracket and joined using the supplied compression fittings and affixed to the retainer with the supplied locking brackets. Flat plate collectors can reach temperatures in excess of 200°C in direct sunlight.2— Mounting tanks). 100 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations . The upper supporting straps should be attached using the same technique used to attach the lower supporting straps.Figure 9.2. Collectors should remain in their protective covering until they have been mounted to reduce the risk of injury to the installer.

the support straps will need to be screwed firmly onto the rafters (roof structure).2 Evacuated tube collectors Evacuated tube collectors use slightly different mounting frames to flat plate collectors. This allows air bubbles that form in the collector to escape to the highest point. The support strap should be bent to run flush with the rafters. Tube clips or caps are attached to the bottom track to hold the evacuated tubes in place. therefore. The front roof tracks should then be attached to the support straps. however. The manifold can be positioned into the attachments on the top track and individual tubes inserted into the manifold. roofing screws may be used to screw the front tracks through the roof and into the rafters (roof structure). The horizontal support braces are attached with even spacing down the front tracks. On metal roofs. Note: The side where the hot water return line and air bleed valve are to be attached should be mounted approximately 20mm to 30mm higher than the other side. the evacuated tube collectors will be mounted on a pitched frame. On tiled roofs.9. For flat roofs or roofs with insufficient pitch. Evacuated tubes can reach temperatures in excess of 200°C in direct sunlight. For roofs where the evacuated tube collectors are to be installed flush to the roof plane. Rubber grommets or pads should be used with the roofing screws to lift the metal frame off the roofing material to prevent corrosion. It is important. Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 101 . The equipment for a pitched frame will usually include the same top and bottom rails but will include a mounting frame to elevate the evacuated tube collectors. with the top manifold attachments affixed to their respective locations. tube clips are used to safely hold the evacuated tubes in place. that the evacuated tubes are inserted as the final step to prevent unnecessary heating and the risk of injury to the installer. not to the tile battens.2. Evacuated tube collectors should be situated at a minimum of 500mm from the roof gutter and roof ridge at the optimal position on the roof (see Chapter 3 — Solar collectors). They can be attached to the roof in a similar way using straps or direct bolting. the system will have been supplied with the top and bottom support rails plus the device for securing the evacuated tubes to the top rail.1. A section of tiles at each strap will need to be removed to expose the rafters.

Collectors should be fixed to roofs with a fixing method that is suitable for the application under the local building codes and OH&S regulations. in cyclone prone areas. they should be installed in accordance with their specifications. Figures 9.6 Cyclone mount (side profile) Figure 9.6 to 9.2. For example. a mounting sheet with additional support brackets is affixed to the roof structure on which the collectors are mounted. Figure 9.8 show a typical cyclone mount for flat plate collectors.7 Cyclone mount (top profile) 102 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations .9. installers should use collectors approved by the local authorities.3 Cyclone and high-wind mounts (flat plate collectors) In cyclone and high-wind areas. Because the configuration of cyclone mounts may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.1.

Attaching tank to collectors (close coupled) In close-coupled systems. The integrity and load-bearing rating of the roof should be checked by a structural engineer or builder against the manufacturer’s specifications for the solar hot water system.2. the tank is positioned into the upper retaining brackets fixed to the collectors so that pipes can be connected without stressing the joints. however. which can be up to 700kg. ventilation must be sufficient to prevent the build-up of exhaust gases. regardless of tank location. the roof must be able to support the weight of the collectors and the tank when full. This should be confirmed on a site-specific basis. In close-coupled systems. Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 103 . As a rule of thumb the tank should be positioned so that it is evenly supported by at least two rafters or trusses.Figure 9.2. Exterior tanks should always be installed on a concrete plinth. including to replace sacrificial anodes. The plinth must be level to prevent the unit vibrating and to prevent water entering the unit in wet conditions. the roof should be strengthened in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and local building regulations.2. If the system is gas boosted. Interior tanks must be placed on a safe tray that drains to the outside of the building or to the floor waste. there must be sufficient access for maintenance.8 Cyclone mount (detail) 9.1 Roof-mounted tanks Tanks can be either integrated or remote (stand-alone). Strengthening existing roof structure If required. according to manufacturers’ specifications. A structural engineer should be consulted on any roof modifications required.2 Mounting tanks 9.

Adequate space must be available for installers to access pipe connections. Lead flashing should not be used on a roof that is collecting rainwater for drinking and it must be compatible with other roof cladding material. not tile battens. 9.2. The support strap should be bent to run flush with the rafters.2. the stand must span at least two supporting walls.2.3 Ground-mounted tanks Ground-mounted tanks should be positioned on a level surface as close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use.2.9). As ceiling joists may not carry the weight of a full tank. with an aluminium frame that can be moulded to the shape of the roof (Figure 9. In gas storage or gas instantaneous boosted systems. electrical conduits or support frames should be sealed with roof flashings to prevent water leaking into the roof cavity. Where the ideal position is in a garden bed or grassed area. The surface area of the base of the stand must be larger than the safe tray that sits under the tank.The support straps are affixed to the designated spots on the top of the tank and to the rafters (roof structure). 104 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations . 9. PTR valve and anode. the ground should be compacted and a concrete plinth laid beneath the tank. This stand must be high enough for the tank to sit at least 300mm above the top of the collectors. A section of tiles at each strap will need to be removed to expose the rafters.2 In-ceiling tank (gravity feed) A suitable location in the ceiling cavity must be identified and a section of roof removed to enable the tank to be placed into position. clearances from windows should be in accordance with AS 5601. penetration should be done on the high part of the roof profile to avoid the possibility that water will pool around a penetration that is located in the valley of the profile.3 Roof flashings Roof penetrations for pipework. as. A hardwood reinforced stand will need to be constructed to support the tank in the ceiling. These flashings are usually made of EPDM or silicon rubber. 9.9 Roof penetration (cross-section) Where possible.2. Figure 9.

2. Height = 2. Installation in ceiling cavities or roof spaces is not recommended for heat pump systems because heat pumps need ventilation. the connection can be hardwired or connected through a GPO (general purpose outlet). and the heat pump system may overheat. the requirements for positioning and installing heat pump systems are different from the requirements for positioning and installing solar water heating systems.4 Heat pump installation As is the case for any ground-mounted tank.5 m PTR Valve Connection Hot water outlet Cold water inlet 1.83 m 2. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about appropriate water pressure for coldwater inlets. In summer. Fan Grill Inflow Outflow 2. Heat pumps are continuous electric water heaters and therefore must be connected to the continuous power outlet. In Australia. However. the warmer locations are on the north side or west side of the house. • Heat pump systems will be more efficient if placed in a warm location because it will take less time to heat the water to the set temperature.67 m 1. Heat pump systems need to be well ventilated so cold air can move away freely (check the manufacturer’s recommendations).4 m Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 105 . roof spaces can be very hot. Where water pressure is too high.3 m + height of heat pump base and extended feet.43 m (more than 0.4m min) 0.67 m 0. They require a standard 10A connection. • • • • • • Figure 9.5 m 0. If there is not enough ventilation. Depending on the manufacturer’s requirements. A licensed electrician must make all electrical connections. a pressure limiting valve may be necessary. Heat pump systems can be noisy so they should be placed away from bedrooms and windows and any night-time operation of the unit should be kept to a minimum (if possible).10 Integrated heat pump unit showing sample installation & relative distances required around heat pump unit.9. The manufacturer’s specifications will indicate the decibel rating of the heat pump and advise on specific clearances. the roof space will quickly cool and the heat pump will not operate. a heat pump should be located on a level surface as close as practicable to the main areas of hot water use.

thermosiphon systems) will require adequate waterproofing.9 Heat pumps Heat pumps require a standard 10A connection.2. Depending on the manufacturer’s requirements. An electrician may be required to install a power point. the manufacturer’s commissioning process should be strictly adhered to.7 Electric booster element An electric booster element. 9.2. A pump will generate some noise during operation.9. can operate on either continuous or off-peak tariff.2. therefore. or through a separate GPO or hard-wired connection. which is usually hard wired into a separate electrical circuit dedicated to the water heater.2. 9. to position the pump at least 1. The pump and pump controller must be connected to continuous tariff electrical supply to ensure that the pump and/or controller can operate at any time of the day or night (e.2m away from bedroom windows. • 9. • 9. for this reason.5 Pumps and pump controllers • • • Many manufacturers have the pump unit wired into a standard power plug.g. The remaining cable should be attached to rafters or along the wall because contact with the flow and return pipework can interfere with the temperature reading. and if this is to be installed outdoors.6 Thermal sensor cables • Thermal sensor cables usually have a special additional coating on the first metre of cable at the collector to prevent interference/damage from high temperatures. 106 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations .8 Gas booster ignition A gas booster ignitor is usually connected through the same plug and GPO as the pump system. this can be hardwired or connected through a GPO.10 Commissioning The commissioning process may vary from system to system and.g. 9. The system must be full of water and/or heat transfer (glycol) fluids before it is turned on.2. the unit must be rated for outdoor use. for frost protection). cause the circulating pump controller to not operate properly and the system to fail from overheating or freezing. All gas booster ignitors should be connected to continuous tariff electricity as they must be able to function at any time so that water can be raised to 60°C to prevent the development of Legionella. It is good practice.2. Any electrical connections to roof-mounted solar water heating systems (e.

UV and weather protected thermal insulation has been installed on solar flow and return pipes. galvanic reaction). Thermal sensor cables are not in contact with the flow and return lines. the roof is structurally strong enough to carry the weight of the full tank. No plastic components or pipework are used on the solar flow and return. Chapter 9: Installation Considerations 107 . Solar collectors Collector is pitched and oriented to achieve good solar gain. Storage tank is full of water before the system is turned on.9. Storage tank Pressure and temperature relief valve is installed on water storage tanks (if applicable). Tanks connected in parallel are plumbed for balanced flow conditions (if applicable). Tanks are installed so they promote effective stratification (if applicable). Freeze protection device is installed (if applicable).3 Installation checklist Environment Water quality is suitable for contact with components. Adequate access is allowed for maintenance. Expansion control valve is installed (if applicable). Temperature limiting device is installed to prevent scalding. Collectors connected in parallel are plumbed for balanced flow conditions (if applicable). If tank is to be roof mounted. Collector is positioned to avoid shading throughout the year. There are no known impacts on the environment resulting from this installation. Collectors are fitted to the roof structure as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Flow and return pipe work Suitable pipework sizes have been chosen for solar flow and return. Valves and fittings Pressure limiting device is installed (if applicable). Non-return valve is installed (if applicable). Components and materials will not react with other materials when in contact with them (e.g. temperature rated. All components are suitable for the environmental and climatic conditions. Stagnation or overheating protection device has been installed (if applicable). A high-quality.

Descriptive labels have been applied to pipe work and components The site is neat and tidy. Heat pump is connected to continuous electricity tariff (where applicable).High temperature/pressure Consideration has been given to the expansion and contraction of materials under high-temperature conditions. General Proper clearances have been observed and there are provisions for future maintenance. The electricity supply has been connected and the unit switched on to ensure it operates. All materials. fittings. 108 Chapter 9: Installation Considerations .4 and other applicable standards covering the work completed. A timer has been installed on the auxiliary boost and is operational (if applicable). Boosting The auxiliary boosting option is functional and is connected to the correct fuel or energy tariff (if applicable). connection points and components are suitable for use under the expected temperature and pressure conditions. Client has been provided with all necessary documentation and operating instructions. Regulatory All collector attachment points meet regulatory requirements. A full risk assessment of the site has been conducted. is operational and has been checked for leaks. All components have been installed to meet regulatory requirements and have been approved for use in Australia. All components have been installed to manufacturers’ specifications. Pump controller The temperature sensors have been installed to the correct outlets and the leads connected to the controller. Installation meets the requirements of AS/NZS 3500. All paper work has been completed. The system has been tested.

109 .

as with the PTR valve. it is not uncommon for approximately one litre of ‘leakage’ to occur.1 Pressure/temperature relief valve The pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valve should be checked every six months to ensure proper operation.2 Float valve Float valves can wear with constant motion within gravity feed header tanks.5 Isolation valve The isolation valve should completely stop the flow of water to the hot water system. If replacing the washer does not stop the leaking.2. Minor leakage is of little concern. 10.2. is designed to release water as it expands. If the valve is not lifted. The valve will need replacing if this is the case. the valve should be checked if it leaks continuously. 10. 110 Chapter 10: Maintenance .10. it may fail and excess pressure could damage the storage tank. This will ensure optimal operation of the system and maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. However. the washer or the valve may need replacing. 10.3 Expansion valve on the cold water supply The expansion valve should be replaced if it constantly leaks. if a non-return valve is failing.1 General Preventative maintenance should be carried out to prevent failure of any system. As lifting the valve can cause it to bind to sodium deposits on the moving shaft.2. 10.2. 10. If the valve is allowing water through. As the PTR valve is designed to release water as it expands. it is recommended that the valve be replaced every five years. The frequency of preventative maintenance should accord with the manufacturer’s specifications for the installed system. The expansion valve on the cold water supply. it may be sufficient to replace the washer when leakage occurs. Where this failure occurs at set time intervals then a replacement schedule should be considered so that the valve is replaced before its fails. requires the tempering valve to be installed in a position which is readily accessible. AS/NZS 3500. The most common causes of system failure are: (a) wear or failure of components (b) corrosion of components (c) sediment within the system. the valve may need to be replaced.2 Valves 10.2.4:2003. However. the cold water supply pipe may feel warm some distance from the storage tank.4 Non-return valve Non-return valves rarely need replacing. As this wearing is irregular.

anodes should be inspected every five years. Chapter 10: Maintenance 111 .3 Heating elements (electric boosting) Scale build-up on electric heating elements can cause them to overheat and fail. The tank can then be shaken to stir the sediment inside. When replacing an anode.3 Corrosion and scale formation 10. Longer elements that reduce the heat inside them as scale forms are available.10.4 Sediment Sediment build-up in the bottom of the storage tank and at the bottom header of the solar collectors is not uncommon and small quantities of sediment are not necessarily a problem. 10.2 Sacrificial anodes The life of a sacrificial anode will depend on the quality of water supplied to the system. where the build-up of sediment is significant it may cause corrosion or odours if it contains organic material that decomposes. disconnecting pipes and wires from the electrical system.3. If the water quality is good and the hot water use low. Replacing the valves as part of a maintenance program may be required. 10. Where scale is a known problem. However.3.3. To remove sediment. The sediment is then drained from one of the lower connections. action should be taken before the element fails so as to not interrupt the hot water supply. then an anode may last up to 15 years. This may occur in areas where the water quality is poor or where rainwater is used to supply the solar hot water system. the manufacturer’s specifications must be followed to ensure that the correct anode is installed. A second person may be required to provide assistance. drain the storage tank of all but a small quantity of water. Care must be taken to ensure that the tank is not damaged and that the maintenance person is not injured. the anode may need replacing every few years. In areas with corrosive water.1 Valves Areas with highly corrosive water may cause valves to fail frequently. In those areas. 10. Those elements have an increased longevity.

112 .

113 .

1 General If the storage tank fails and the hot water supply cannot be restored on the same day. Figure 11.11.1 Trolley-mounted temporary hot water supply 114 Chapter 11: Temporary Hot Water Installations . This solution may also give the householder time to consider an alternative hot water service if the existing system is an electric hot water service. a temporary electric hot water service can be installed.1). A small capacity electric storage tank powered by a general power outlet can easily be secured to a hand trolley and wheeled to the location of the existing storage tank and connected to the existing pipework (Figure 11.

115 .

An important consideration in the design of a solar water heater or heat pump system is the electricity tariff the system will be connected to and the rate that will be charged. This reduces the drain on the electricity grid and the amount of electricity produced by coal and other non-renewable sources. calculated by determining the amount of electricity the system displaces over a determined period (called a deeming period). Table 12.1 shows how Australian postcodes are currently zoned for renewable energy certificates.2 Rebates and renewable energy certificates for solar hot water installations Two types of incentives are offered to householders to encourage them to install low-emission water heaters.12. If the system has a higher zone rating. 12. Each REC is equivalent to 1MWh of renewable electricity generated or deemed to have been generated. Please refer to Government websites for the most up-to-date information. Solar water heaters and heat pumps are listed as a renewable energy technology under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000. 12. Those rebates are in addition to RECs. The amount of sun a system receives each day varies from location to location.1 Renewable energy certificates RECs are available for eligible solar hot water systems or heat pump hot water systems for the total megawatt-hours of eligible renewable energy generated by the system. The tariff rate for this electricity supply will have an effect on the operating costs of these systems. it has the potential to displace a greater amount of electricity and is entitled to more RECs. Each postcode is allocated a zone rating based on the solar radiation levels in Australia and the water temperature in the area. a solar water heater or heat pump uses less electricity than a conventional hot water system. Solar and heat pump hot water systems are typically connected to mains electricity supply. When installed. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are available for the installation of solar and heat pump systems for new and existing homes. an installed solar water heater or heat pump is entitled to a number of RECS. The Australian Government and state and territory governments offer a range of rebates to people for the cost of purchasing and installing low-emission water heaters. The number of RECs is also dependent on where the system is installed.1 General The following information on government incentives is current at the time of printing of this handbook. Under the Renewable Energy Target (RET). 116 Chapter 12: Government Incentives .2.

gov. www.1 Renewable energy certificate zones for all Australian postcodes Postcode range From 200 800 870 880 1001 3000 3384 3385 3388 3399 3414 3427 3453 3458 3463 3467 3472 3521 3523 3658 3659 3661 3662 3711 3725 To 299 862 872 909 2914 3381 3384 3387 3396 3413 3424 3451 3453 3462 3465 3469 3520 3522 3649 3658 3660 3661 3709 3724 3749 Zone 3 1 2 1 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 From 3750 3900 3902 4000 4420 4421 4454 4455 4470 4477 4478 4486 4489 4494 4620 4725 4726 4727 4732 4735 4737 4825 4830 5000 5220 Postcode range To 3898 3900 3996 4419 4420 4428 4454 4468 4475 4477 4482 4488 4493 4615 4724 4725 4726 4731 4733 4736 4824 4829 4895 5214 5223 Zone 4 3 4 3 1 3 1 3 2 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 3 4 From 5231 5262 5264 5271 5301 6258 6271 6320 6341 6343 6350 6355 6357 6396 6401 6440 6441 6445 6460 6642 6726 6751 6800 7000 9000 Postcode range To 5261 5263 5270 5291 6256 6262 6318 6338 6341 6348 6353 6356 6395 6398 6439 6440 6444 6452 6640 6725 6743 6799 6997 8873 9729 Zone 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 2 3 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 3 Source: ORER.pdf Chapter 12: Government Incentives 117 .Table 12.au/publications/pubs/register-postcode-zones-v1-1107.orer.

orer. Option 1 — agent assisted Householders can find an agent and assign their RECs to the agent in exchange for a financial benefit. More information is available from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator on (02) 6159 7700 or at www. It is up to the householder to find a buyer and to sell and transfer the RECs in the REC Registry.2.html 12.3 Australian Government rebates At the time of writing the Australian Government offers rebates for both solar water heater and heat pump systems. Information provided is accurate at the time of writing and may be subject to change at short notice. To encourage the installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems. Option 2 — individual trading Householders can create the RECs themselves in an internet-based registry system called the REC Registry.2 Allocation of renewable energy certificates in different zones Brand Model Eligible from: 6 Sept 2007 15 July 2008 2 Eligible to: 31 Dec 2020 31 Dec 2020 3902 Zone 1 RECs 30 Zone 2 RECs 26 Zone 3 RECs 30 Zone 4 RECs 30 System A* ABC00001 System B† ABC00002 21 21 21 17 870 872 3996 4 5264 5270 * System A: one collector.gov. which could be in the form of a delayed cash payment or upfront discount on the system. It is suggested that installers check appropriate state and federal programs regularly for details. This information can be found at www.orer. 250 L capacity.2 Rebates Rebates are an economic incentive to reduce the upfront cost of solar or heat pump hot water systems. 180 L tank. † System B: heat pump.The examples in Table 12. This section provides information on where to find current state and federal rebates. A majority of owners take this option.gov.2 show the RECs produced by solar water heater and heat pump systems in the different zones.au/swh/register.2.au 118 Chapter 12: Government Incentives . Full guidelines and eligibility criteria are available at www. and a list of the RECs generated by them in different climate zones. Householders have two options for gaining financial benefit from their RECs. rebates are available at federal and state government levels. Table 12. electric boost. 12.climatechange.au The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator has a register of approved solar water heaters and heat pumps.gov.

gov.resourcesmart.au/pages/subsidy.au/queensland_solar_hot_water_program.qld.home.act.environment.4 State and territory rebates Information on state and territory rebates can be found on the following websites.cfm Victoria www.html Northern Territory www.gov.htm Queensland www.energy.gov.gov.com.gov.dtei.asp Australian Capital Territory www.nsw.au/tuneup_rebates.au/rebates/ccfhws.au/for_households/rebates.12.au Western Australia www1.vic.powerwater.sa.gov.cleanenergy.2.wa. State or territory rebate information websites New South Wales www.au/energy/rebates_and_grants/solar_hot_water Chapter 12: Government Incentives 119 .shtml South Australia www.thinkwater.

120 .

121 .

Western Australia and New South Wales.au/bid/5StarPlus. For hot water installations in new homes.energy. Installations in existing homes will be regulated through state and territory plumbing regulations.pic.asp www.new.gov.gov. electric water heaters will be phased out across Australia in new and existing detached houses. Programs are already in place for existing homes in South Australia and Queensland.vic.qld.gov.html South Australia — new and existing homes: www. terraced houses.gov. it will be with a low-emission alternative. eligibility criteria and exemptions.aspx • 122 Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes . The program for existing homes will be extended during 2012 (Stage 2) to cover all detached houses.au Victoria — new and existing homes: www.au/www/html/249-5-star-standard.nsw. town houses or hostels) where such requirements do not currently exist.1 General The Australian Government and state and territory governments are working together to phase-out greenhouse-intensive (electric) water heaters.basix.buildingcommission.2 Phase-out of electric water heaters The phase-out will be implemented in two stages: 13. Commencing in 2010. State and territory governments have details on local programs.au/energy/energy-policy/energyefficiency/waterheaters Western Australia — new homes only: www. 13. For more information about these programs go to the following websites: • • • • Queensland — new and existing homes: www.vic.gov. Programs for new homes are already in place in South Australia.sa.dpi.au/sustainable-housing/electric-hot-water-system-replacement.wa.13.dip. town houses and hostels. requirements are specified in the Building Code of Australia and will be regulated through state and territory building regulations.1 Stage 1 Commencing during 2010. but when a system needs to be replaced. the phase-out of greenhouse-intensive electric water heaters will be implemented on a state-by-state basis for Class 1 buildings (new and existing detached houses. The implementation of the program in 2010 (Stage 1) is being undertaken on a state-by-state and territory basis with each participating state responsible for determining its commencement date. A working hot water system will not need to be replaced. Queensland.au/?a=30372 New South Wales — new homes only: www. Victoria. terraced houses. terraced houses and townhouses and hostels.2.

operating hot water heater.3 Post 2012 For new apartments without access to piped/reticulated gas. terraces and town houses and hostels.4 General schedule of phase-out Building class New Existing 2010: Dwellings in a piped/ reticulated gas area 2012: All dwellings Class 1a and 1b* 2010: All dwellings Class 2† 2012: New dwellings with access to piped gas Exempt *Class 1 consists of detached houses. heat pump or gas. †Class 2 includes apartments and flats. Householders can choose from any of the low-emission technologies. • • Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes 123 . State and territory government programs will: • not force any households to replace an existing. 13. the phase-out will be extended so that greenhouse-intensive water heaters will no longer be able to be installed in all Class 1 dwellings and new Class 2 buildings with access to piped/reticulated gas. include some exemptions. depending on further investigation of the feasibility of low-emission water heating options for such buildings. where a home has access to piped/reticulated gas. but will apply where appropriate alternative technologies are not yet available. their climate. give home-owners options.2. the phase-out will occur between 2012 and 2015. These are yet to be finalised. The phase-out will apply to new buildings and where the hot water system in an existing building breaks down or ages and needs to be replaced with a new system. except where an exemption applies. Home-owners will be asked to choose the low-emission alternative that best suits their home. or in situations where there are significant additional costs. and their budget.2 Stage 2 During 2012. Table 13. The choice is not limited to gas.13. including solar.2.

gov. separated by building classification. and less than 3m from neighbouring windows and doors) o Solar hot water (electric boost) or heat pump — any system o Gas storage/instantaneous — >2. gas.dip.1 Queensland The Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code states that as of 1 January 2010. 13.3. need to be followed. existing houses and town houses (Class 1 buildings) located in a natural gas-reticulated area must install a greenhouse efficient hot water system (i. solar or heat pump) when the existing electric resistance system needs replacing. As of 1 January 2010.5 stars o Solar hot water (gas boost) — any system See www.html provides up to date information.3 Complementary state programs— new and existing buildings 13. • Class 1a and 1b in metro or regional South Australia (by postcode) o Solar hot water (electric boost)/heat pump o Solar hot water (gas boost) — any system o Gas storage/instantaneous — minimum 5 stars • Class 2 (single apartment) o Solar hot water (electric boost) or heat pump — any system o Gas storage/instantaneous — >2. The electric hot water system does not have to be replaced with a low greenhouse hot water system if it has failed within the warranty period. or outside/ in shed or garage.e.energy. This follows action by the Queensland Government to ban installation of electric resistive water heaters in all new houses and townhouses (Class 1 buildings only) which came into effect on 1 March 2006.gov.qld.3. For applications lodged after 1 May 2009 a number of requirements. Householders will not need to replace existing electric resistive water heaters that are in good working order.13. such as in new homes or renovations requiring development applications (DAs). There are temporary arrangements available in Queensland that are intended to give the consumer time to consider which low greenhouse gas hot water system to install. Class 1 (Metro — where heaters are either inside.au/sustainable-housing/electric-hot-water-system-replacement.5 stars o Solar hot water (gas boost) — any system • • Class 2 (multiple apartments) — exempt Class 1 (remote South Australia). Same as for as Class 2: 124 Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes .2 South Australia South Australia has introduced requirements for water heaters where construction work is required. in existing Class 1 buildings hot water must be supplied by either: • • • a solar hot water system a heat pump system a gas hot water system with an energy rating of at least 5 stars.au/?a=30372 for up-to-date information on the South Australian phase-out program. The website www.sa.

gov. BASIX has applied to all new residential dwellings and any alteration/addition in NSW. The new standard for renovations or relocations applies to the thermal performance of a home and does not require a solar hot water system. the requirement that alterations achieve 5-star rating came into effect in the Building Code of Australia 2008.act.13. Water heaters listed in BASIX are: • solar (gas or electric boosted) • electric heat pump • gas instantaneous or storage (with appropriate star rating) Website NT None Identified Website www.4 Existing state programs—new buildings only Table 13. www. ensures homes are responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions by setting energy and water reduction targets for houses and units. the Building Sustainability Index.com.au/infrastructure/bss/strategies/ buildingcode. In 2010.au Check local responsible regulatory authority.basix. otherwise NT must comply with the BCA.gov.actpla.nt.shtml Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes 125 . and to introduce new requirements relating specifically to hot water systems.au/go/thebca/aboutbca The ACTHERS program requires a minimum 5-star rating as part of the current BCA requirements. Transitional measures are to be introduced from May 2010.buildingcommission.gov. www.5 Summary of requirements for sustainable housing rating systems in states and territories Area AUSTRALIA System Building Code of Australia (BCA) Comments On 1 May 2008.au.abcb.au/topics/design_build/ BASIX. Since 1 October 2006. Website ACT ACT House Energy Rating Scheme (ACTHERS) Website NSW BASIX www. Australian governments agreed to increase energy efficiency requirements for all residential buildings to a minimum of 6 stars.gov.nsw. www.

wst.org. 2) Regulation 80B Website TAS None Identified Website www. From March 2010. www.qld. A solar or heat pump water heater must achieves: i. existing systems that need replacement must be replaced with a system that has a low greenhouse gas emissions impact (i.climatechange. in a home with one or two bedrooms. at least 14 renewable energy certificates in Zone 3 A gas water heater must have an energy rating label of 2. solar or heat pump system). Queensland has in place requirements under which building body corporates must approve energy efficiency building measures and supply a mandatory sustainability declaration. all new units have been required to be 5 star. in a home with three or more bedrooms.au/industries/building 126 Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes .gov. solar or electric heat pump.planning.e.tas. Source: Building and Plumbing Newsflash #353 Issued: 20/02/09 Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code (QPW) Website QLD Cleaner Greener Buildings’ Initiative www. Queensland plumbers must have a ‘solar and heat pump’ endorsement on their trade licence to be able to install low greenhouse gas hot water systems.au/laws-codes/index.pdf This imposes additional requirements that require all new houses to have greenhouse efficient water heaters. gas. Website QLD Sustainable Homes Website SA SA2 & SA7 Variation to BCA (Vol.php By the end of 2010. From 1 January 2010.5 stars or greater. solar or heat pump water heaters in new Class 1 buildings have also been placed in the amended QPW Code. The QPW Code has been amended to set installation requirements for the replacement of electric resistance water heaters in existing houses (Class 1 buildings) located within a gas-reticulated area.sustainable-homes.gov.1 for the installation of gas. 2011.gov.au/go/hot-water-services Check with local responsible regulatory authority www. This amendment commenced on 1 January 2010. Current requirements in QDC MP4.Area QLD System Queensland Development Code (QDC) Comments Part 7—New and replacement electric water heaters. www. From January 1. all new houses and renovations must be 6 star (out of 10). new and replacement water heaters installed into most homes in South Australia have needed to be low-emission types such as high-efficiency gas. This policy overrules any existing covenants or body corporate rulings for solar water heaters.gov.sa. at least 22 renewable energy certificates in Zone 3 ii.dip.au/ From 1 July 2008.qld.au/__data/assets/pdf_ file/0003/25626/3_P-and-B_-_E1_web.

that has been tested in accordance with AS 4234-1994. This system is based around the Energy Use in Houses Code and the Water Use in Houses Code. and b. Water Use in Houses Code PR3—Hot Water Use Efficiency A building must have features that. the function and use of the building. facilitate the efficient use of hot water appropriate to: a. washing machine water supplies) must be connected to a hot water system or a recirculating hot water system with pipes installed and insulated in accordance with AS/ NZS 3500:2003 (Plumbing and drainage. complying with AS 27122002.buildingcommission.vic. Western Australia adopted the 5-Star Plus system. must have features that produce low levels of greenhouse gases when heating water. or iii. Deemed to Satisfy Provision 3—Water heaters A hot water system must be either: i. or ii. This standard makes it compulsory for new houses to have a rainwater tank for toilet flushing or a solar hot water system.Area VIC System 5 star Comments The 5-star standard for all new houses in Victoria came into full effect on 1 July 2005. The pipe from the hot water system or recirculating hot water system to the furthest hot water outlet must not exceed 20 metres in length or 2 litres of internal volume. a heat pump hot water system.aspx Chapter 13: Requirements for New & Existing Homes 127 .au In May 2007.gov. DTS 3—Hot Water Use Efficiency All internal hot water outlets (taps. Part 4: Heated water services). Website WA 5 Star Plus Energy Use in Houses Code Performance Requirement 3—Water Heaters A building’s water heater systems. complying with AS/45522005 that achieves a minimum energy rating of ‘5 stars’. complying with AS/2712-2002 that has been tested in accordance with AS 4234-1994. to the degree necessary.gov. a solar hot water system. and achieves a minimum energy saving of 60% for a hot water demand level of 38MJ per day for climate zone 3.au/bid/5starplus. Source: 5-Star Codes Brochure Website www. a gas hot water system.wa. and c. showers. the geographic location of the building. the solar water heater must be gas boosted. and achieves a minimum energy saving of 60% for a hot water demand level of 38MJ per day for climate zone 3. the available hot water supply for the building. www. which is an extension of the 5 star energy efficiency provisions of the Building Code of Australia.5starhouse. If reticulated gas is available. including any associated components.

128 .

129 .

Not all terms listed are used in this publication but are included for information regarding related plumbing activities. An electrically driven pump that moves refrigerant around a heat pump circuit to transfer heat. Australian Standards and New Zealand Standards. Closed cell polymer can be defined as a high density synthetic foam. By adding sufficient glycol to the water in the solar collectors and preventing freezing. With an evacuated tube collector the collector area is the plan area of the array of tubes and does not include the gap between tubes. Adding ethylene glycol or propylene glycol to water lowers the temperature at which the water freezes. In a refrigerator. Closed-cell polymer Collector area Commissioning Compressor Condenser Convection 130 Chapter 14: Glossary . this becomes hot and dumps heat collected from the food to the air outside. The process of ensuring that all component parts of a total system function as they should and that the system is adjusted for optimum performance under all normal operating conditions. This is part of all heat pump systems for transferring heat from the air to water. a tube that can encase pipework. The area of tube arrays with a parabolic reflector behind the tubes is the area of parabolic reflector. making the water less dense and hence lighter. the damage that can be caused by frost is prevented. Convection is the transmission of heat within a liquid or gas due to the bulk motion of the fluid. The rising of hot water from the bottom to the top of a saucepan as it is heated is one example. Antifreeze solution AS/NZS Boost energy Energy that is used to boost the temperature in the tank when solar energy is not available.The following list of terms has been provided to assist in the clear use of terms and definitions that are currently used within the plumbing and water industry (AS/NZS 3500. or points along the top of any object that may cause shading on a collector. Altitude angle The vertical angle between the horizontal plane and the sun’s position in the sky.1:2003). Unlike some packing foam used to pad products inside boxes where the cells of the foam are broken (see through) and filled with air (open cell polymer) the closed cell polymer is formed by tiny air or specialised gas-filled ‘bubbles’ that are compressed together to form a semi-rigid piece of foam that is moulded to the desired specification — in plumbing applications. Commissioning is the last part of an installation prior to hand over to the owner. The net area of collector receiving solar energy. This is exactly the same technique used in motor cars to prevent damage due to freezing. A heat exchanger consisting of either a flat plate with tubes attached or ‘grille’ (like fins and tubes). This occurs because the particles of water bump against one another more vigorously as they are heated and push themselves further apart.

It absorbs heat from the food in the refrigerator. Chapter 14: Glossary 131 . In a refrigerator. An evaporator is part of all heat pump systems. Electrolysis Evaporator Expansion valve Forced circulation Freezing temperature of water Frost protection Techniques used to prevent damage to solar water heaters caused by the expansion of water as it freezes. The metal combines with other elements to form a salt of the metal. it is the plate inside the cabinet at the back that gets cold. General power outlet.Corrosion Deterioration of metal. Rust is the corrosion product that results from the combination of iron (steel) and oxygen to form iron oxide. A heat exchanger consisting of either a flat plate with tubes attached or a set of fins attached to a network of tubes. DC power Diffuse radiation The component of incoming solar radiation which is scattered by clouds and other gases or particles in the atmosphere. It changes from a liquid to a solid and with that change it increases in volume (expands). The component of solar radiation that comes direct from the sun as parallel rays. It is possible to predict which of the two will be eaten away by the other using the ‘noble metals chart’. A valve which controls the rate of refrigerant flow through the evaporator in a heat pump system. Eastern standard time. Water changes state between 4°C and 0°C. Direct current. The tank is not pressurised. a flexible rubbery plastic-like material used for roof flashings. Circulation that does not rely on thermosiphon flow but rather is forced by a circulator (circulating pump). GPO Gravity feed storage tank The tank is usually in the ceiling and the hot water runs to the outlets by gravity. Direct radiation EPDM EST Efficiency of collector A measure of the fraction or percentage of energy in the heated fluid leaving a collector compared to the incoming incident solar radiation falling on the collector surface area. an electric current flowing in one direction only. The reaction between two dissimilar metals. The acronym for ethylene propylene diene monome.

Heat exchanger Heat pipe Heat transfer liquid/fluid Inclination or tilt angle Insulation Irradiance Irradiation kPa LPG Megajoule (MJ) Megawatt hour (MWh) Stands for liquefied petroleum gas. Hot water storage tanks are also insulated to reduce the loss of heat from the tank. The fluid in a heat pipe does the same thing. Mg/L 132 Chapter 14: Glossary . Insulation is important in reducing heat losses from hot water pipes. A kilopascal is one thousand pascals. Insulation comes in long rolls and can be wrapped round the pipe. Equivalent to 1. a measure of pressure. heating it. In the case of insulated pipes the insulation material may be rubber or plastic wrapped around the pipe.000 kilowatt hours (kWh). The term ‘insolation’ was formerly used. In solar water heaters a heat exchanger transfers heat from a mixture of water and an anti-freeze into the water in the storage tank. The megajoule is a measure of energy and is equal to one million joules. A measure of the angle of inclination of the collector to the horizontal plane. The amount of energy generated or used over one hour where power output or demand is one megawatt (MW). A fluid that carries (transfers) heat from one place to another. Insulation is material that reduces the transfer of heat. A measure of the radiant solar energy per unit of surface area (SI Unit is Megajoules per square metre). measuring concentration in water. Felt fibre material was commonly used and is still available. It precipitates in water heating devices to form scale. A measure of the solar power per square metre of surface area at any instant (International System of units (SI) unit is kilowatts per square metre — kW/m2). A heat exchanger is a device to transfer heat from one fluid to another without the two fluids mixing. In solar water heaters it is the water itself or an anti-freeze solution that does this job. A fluid with a low boiling temperature is turned to a vapour by a heat source (the sun).Hardness Water in which soap refuses to lather is called hard. but is no longer preferred. The hardness is caused by calcium salts (calcium chloride) dissolved in the water. but nitrile rubber products are now recommended. There is no mixing of the two fluids and it is just the heat that is transferred. Milligram per litre. The vapour rises up the heat pipe and gives off its heat to something (water) at a lower temperature and changes back to a liquid.

PCA Plinth A concrete slab or step. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US). Steel pipe and most plastic pipes are measured according to the internal hole size and so are pipes. To be technically correct we should not speak about copper pipe. Water classified under Australian Standards as suitable for drinking. 5 or 6. pH is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. typically for about eight or nine hours. but rather copper tube because it is the outside diameter which determines its size. Above 7 is alkaline. similar to a paver. Pump circulation frost protection Radiation Chapter 14: Glossary 133 . pH Pipework Potable water Pump-circulated or pumped storage systems This type of system consists typically of a ground-mounted tank and roof collector panels. Electricity tariffs where supply is made available to an electric heating element by the electricity supply company during set off-peak hours. In this book the word pipe can mean pipe or tube. it is very acidic. Manual of authorisation procedures for plumbing and drainage products. OH&S ORER Orientation angle Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator. a measure of pressure. If it is. If the pH is low (2 or 3). A common size is about 450mm x 450mm x 50mm thick. A small circulation pump is used to pump water through the collectors. the water in the collectors can be prevented from freezing if the water in the storage tank is warm. If the solution is acidic there are many H+ ions. Extremely alkaline is 14 (maximum).MPa MP52 NASA Off-peak or controlled tariffs A megapascal is one million pascals. Occupational health and safety. The transfer of heat by its conversion to electromagnetic waves or photons (tiny packets of energy). it is slightly acidic. pipe is measured internally and tube is measured externally. 7 is neutral. Plumbing Code of Australia. The angle between the direction the collector faces and true north (not magnetic north as read by a compass). Strictly speaking. They make an ideal base to go under a hot water storage tank. By pumping water from the storage tank through the collectors. A differential temperature controller with two or more temperature sensors is used to control the pump operation. Most hardware stores or garden shops stock them as stepping stones for paths. not tubes.

Is a measure of thermal resistance.Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Certificates issued under the Federal Government’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) scheme that represent 1MWh of renewable energy electricity generation or 1MWh of electricity saved through the use of solar water heaters. Renewable Energy Target (RET) Retrofit Taking an existing system and changing it. A pipe that runs round all the hot water delivery points and has hot water circulating though it so that whenever a tap is turned on hot water is instantly available. reverse thermosiphon is the circulation of heated water from the storage tank to collectors. or a cold water tank such as a header tank. or an overflow tray. The spectrum of radiant energy emitted from the outer layers of the sun. Reverse of thermosiphoning. It occurs on electric elements. Another name is a spill tray. circulation in the direction that is not required. This happens at night if the collectors are not mounted below the storage tank. resulting in cooling. The anode consists of a long aluminium or magnesium rod running along the inside length of the tank. typically 60°C. Anodes are installed in mild steel vitreous enamel lined tanks to prevent corrosion of the tank. The name given to the build up of mineral deposits within a water heater that is using ‘hard water’. Safe tray Scale Solar fraction Solar radiation (see also irradiance or irradiation) 134 Chapter 14: Glossary . In the case of a hot water system. It consists of a range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation from ultraviolet to visible light and infrared radiation.e. i. the walls of storage tanks and solar collectors. Reverse thermosiphon Ring main R-value Sacrificial anode A sacrificial anode is dissolved rather than some other item. it can be retrofitted by the addition of solar collectors and equipment to convert it into a solar hot water system. It is usually calcium carbonate (limestone) and can be dissolved with acid such as hydrochloric acid. The safe tray must be drained to the outside of the building and the drain pipe must be visible so that if it does have water escaping it will be noticed. A safe tray is required where the water storage tank is located inside buildings so that water does not cause damage within the building. The proportion of hot water energy demand at the outlet of the water heater that is provided by the solar collectors. compared to the supplementary or boosting energy that is required to keep the water at a set temperature. It is a water collecting tray designed to catch water that leaks out of a hot water storage tank. Australian Government target to increase renewable energy generation. In the case of a solar water heater. usually upgrading it.

The heated water in the collector expands and becomes less dense. Stainless steel comes in various grades. of salt dissolved in water. To be technically correct we should not speak about copper pipe. and which is designed for installation on the cold water supply to the water heater. Strictly speaking. having an aperture that can be wholly or partially closed by the movement relative to the seating of a component in the form of a plate or disc.Split systems Stainless steels See pump-circulated systems. In this book the word pipe can mean pipe or tube. not tubes. being either to the east or west of magnetic north. The formation of layers of water of different temperatures within a storage tank: with the hottest hot water at the top and the coolest water at the bottom of the tank. door or gate. Cold water from the base of the storage tank moves down to replace the heated water. pipe is measured internally and tube is measured externally. the top of the storage tank. or flexing of a diaphragm. Thermosiphon True north vs magnetic north Tube UV Valve(s) A device for controlling the flow of fluid. Expansion control valve Float valve Frost dump valve Chapter 14: Glossary 135 . plug or ball. Steel pipe and most plastic pipes are measured according to the internal hole size and so are pipes. A valve that opens at low temperatures (about 4°C) to allow water to run through the collectors to prevent freezing. Stratification SWH Tank TDS Also referred to as a hot water cylinder or container. It therefore rises to the highest point in the circuit. In most places this is a little different to magnetic north. Ultraviolet light is found in sunlight. True north is the direction to the north pole. The natural convection of water around a pipe circuit such as between solar collectors and the storage tank above. TDS is measured in mg/L though it was once measured in ppm — parts per million. A pressure-activated valve that opens in response to an increase in pressure caused by the expansion of water during the normal heating cycle of the water heater. some more resistant to corrosion than others. Stands for total dissolved solids. which is operated by the movement of a float. Grade 316 is commonly used when a relatively high standard of corrosion resistance is required. piston. but rather copper tube because it is the outside diameter which determines its size. Solar water heater. A valve for controlling the flow of a liquid into a cistern or other vessel.

50°C) at one or more outlet fixtures. in the event that energy input controls fail to function. A valve to prevent reverse flow from the downstream section of a pipe to the section of pipe upstream of the valve. and designed for installation on the hot side of a storage water heater. within specified limits only. Non-return valve Pressure limiting valve Pressure/temperature relief (PTR) valve Temperature relief valve Tempering valve Vitreous enamel 136 Chapter 14: Glossary . at inlet pressures above the set pressure. It is fitted to a water heater to prevent the temperature in the container exceeding a predetermined temperature. A spring-loaded automatic valve limiting the pressure and temperature by means of discharge. A temperature-actuated valve that automatically discharges fluid at a specified set temperature. It is probably the best form of protection in districts where the water is extremely corrosive. A mixing valve that is temperature actuated and is used to temper a hot water supply with cold water to provide hot water at a lower temperature (e. Vitreous enamel (or glass) is used to line the inside of steel hot water storage tanks to prevent steel rusting. A valve that limits the outlet pressure to the set pressure.g.Isolating valve Any valve for the purpose of isolating part of a water system from the remainder.

137 .

The following standards all have relevance to this handbook, some to a greater extent than others. As Standards are updated periodically, the current applicable Australasian Standard may have superseded the number shown. ABCB Building Code of Australia Australian Standards
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o AS 1056 Storage water heaters AS 1056.1:1991 Part 1: General requirements AS 1056.2:1985 Part 2: Specific requirements for water heaters with single shells AS/NZS 1170.2:2002 Structural design actions: wind actions AS 1357 Water supply — Valves for use with unvented water heaters AS 1357.1:2004 Protection valves AS 1357.2:2005 Control valves AS 1361: 1995 Electric heat exchange water heaters AS 1375: 1985 Industrial fuel fired appliances AS 1571: 1995 Copper — Seamless tubes for air conditioning and refrigeration AS/NZS 2712:2002 Solar water heaters — Design and construction AS/NZS 3000:2000 Electrical installations (Australia and New Zealand wiring rules) AS 3142:1986 Approval and test specification — Electric water heaters (superseded) AS/NZS 3500 National Plumbing and Drainage Code AS/NZS 3500.0: 2003 Part 0: Glossary of terms AS/NZS 3500.1: 2003 Part 1: Water supply AS/NZS 3500.4: 2003 Part 4: Hot water supply systems AS 3565: 2004 Meters for water supply AS 3666: 2006 Air handling and water systems of buildings AS 3666: 2006 Microbial control, design, installation and commissioning AS 3666: 2006 Microbial control, operation and maintenance HB 263 – 2004 Heated water systems — Handbook AS 5601: 2004 Gas installations AS 3498: 2003 Authorisation requirement for plumbing products water heaters (all types) AS 4032.3: 2004 Water supply — Valves for the control of hot water supply temperatures AS 4234: 1994 Solar water heaters — Domestic and heat pump — Calculation of energy consumption SAA MP 52 – 2005 Manual of authorisation procedures for plumbing and drainage products AS 4552: 2005 Gas fired water heaters for hot water supply and/or central heating AS/NZS 4692.1:2005 Electric water heaters — Energy consumption, performance and general requirements AS/NZS 4692.2:2005 Electric water heaters — Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) requirements and energy labelling AS 3814: 2005 Industrial and commercial gas fired appliances and equipment SAA HB 9 – 1994 Occupational health and safety AS 1470: 1986 Occupational health and safety

138

Chapter 15: Australian Standards and Guidelines

139

Resources
Australian Greenhouse Office (2004), Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for Heat Pumps — Report No. 2004/17, National Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Program. Berrill T (ed) (2000), Solar water heating systems resource book, Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, available from www.qtw.com.au. Berrill, T & Blair, A (2007), Solar water heater training course — installation and user manual, Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy. Duffie, JA and Beckman, WA (1991), Solar engineering of thermal processes, John Wiley and Sons, New York Foster, JS (1991), Acceptance of solar water heaters by new householders in Queensland, ISES Solar World Congress proceedings, Denver, Colorado. George Wilkenfeld and Associates (GWA) (2005), Estimating household water heater energy use, running costs and emissions, Victoria, report to Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria. Lee, T, Oppenheim, D & Williamson, TJ (1996), Australian solar radiation data handbook, available from Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society (www.anzses.org). Lloyd, CR (1999), Renewable energy options for hot water systems in remote areas, World Renewable Energy Congress, Murdoch University, Perth, WA. Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia & Sustainability Victoria (n.d.) — Large scale solar thermal systems design handbook National Health and Medical Research Council (2004), Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6, National Water Quality Management Strategy. Nunez, M. (1990), Satellite estimation of regional solar energy statistics for Australian capital cities — Meteorological Study No. 39, Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service. Phillips, RO (1992), Sunshine and shade in Australasia, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. Plumbing Industry Commission/Australian Standards 2004, Heated water systems. SEIA: Solar Energy Industry Association (2001), Solar water heating training handbook.

140

Chapter 16: Resources

nabers.au/home • hot water fact sheets.climatechange.au Fact sheets on: • • • • hot water systems solar (electric or gas booster) heat pump gas.gov. NABERS The National Australian Built Environment Rating System www.Information websites for consumers Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency www. Chapter 16: Resources 141 .com. Information on phase-out of: • electric hot water systems.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful