What else do I need
If you have worked out how many panels you require and where you are going to install them you may need the Union for joining panels One of these is required every time you join one panel to another. Then once you have your panels worked out you will need some additional components such as;
Solar PV Panel:
Copper tube and 12 mm heat proof plastic tubing approved for hot water plumbing is available from retail outlets and some of these are water marked for domestic hot water installations. SolaExchange does not sell 3/8″ copper tubing or the 12 mm heat resistant plastic tube as they are already available from retail outlets. We can supply an easier to route 3/8″ (John Guest) heat resistant plastic tube and push/fittings option however. These are not water marked but are made from exactly the same material as their 12 mm counterpart. We also sell brass fittings for adapting the panel and pump outlets to BSP threads. BSP being the Australian standard thread for plumbing hot and cold water. If you would like more information about your options please contact us
The fittings on the Heliatos MH-38 panels are a 3/8″ Brass type. We have the unions for for 3/8″tube for joining both 3/8″ copper and plastic tube to the panels. 3/8″ tubing is recommended for installations up to 6 meters where both hot and cold lines are up to 6 meters long (12 meters total tube length). If the distance is greater than 6 meters then it is recommended that the tubes size is increased to 1/2″ or 12 mm using fittings to adapt from the panels to BSP.
Heat proof plastic tube:
You can buy this type of product from some marine or caravan supplies shops. In Australia the product is commonly available in 12mm and 16mm sizes and each has a range of fittings to suit. SolaExchange sells fittings that adapt from the panels and pump to 3/8″ & 1/2″ BSP which is compatable with the fittings they supply . BSP is the Australian standard thread sizes that other plumbing systems can work with. You simply purchase an adapter of your chosen plumbing system to either male or female 3/8″ or 1/2″ BSP that we supply.
For Maximum efficiency it is important that both hot and cold lines are insulated. SolaExchange does not stock insulation. we suggest you source it through your local hardware or plumbing supplier
From the Tank to the Pump:
The inlet and outlets of the Topsflo TS-5 pump are 1/2″ BSP male threads. There are a number of water heater/tanks types with different outlets and you have at least 3 options of how to configure your plumbing . We stock the plumbing joiners to cover many options if we do not have your fittings your local hardware or plumbing supply will.
NPT (American Thread Sizes):
More and more tanks are turning up in Australia with NPT outlets. This is the USA standard thread size for plumbing and fortunately 1/2″ NPT is compatible with our 1/2″ BSB (with a little thread tape). All the other NPT sizes will not work with our Australian BSP thread sizes and adapters will need to be obtained. SolaExchange does not stock these adapters but we may be able to help if you contact us If your tank has a 3/4″ NPT bottom drain and you have the space to install it you will have the option to use a Heliatos Bottom Feed Connector. This device allows the cold water to the pump be drawn from the bottom drain outlet and also the hot water returning from the panels to be introduced through the same outlet. This means you can add on your solar system without having to cut tube or disturb the other fittings. The Bottom Feed connector requires a (38 cm x 30 cm ) protected space at the base of the tank. Not always easy to find on a boat or caravan