Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System- How it works.

The Apricus solar collector includes four main components.

1.      Evacuated Tube

  • Absorbs solar energy and converts it to usable heat. A vacuum between the two glass layers insulates against heat loss.
  • The Heat Transfer Fin helps to transfer heat to the Heat Pipe.
  • The silicon rubber caps at the end of the tube protect the tube and are UV resistant.

2.      Heat Pipe

  • Copper vacuum pipe that transfers the heat from within the evacuated tube up to the manifold.

3.      Manifold

  • Insulated box containing the copper header pipe. The header is a pair of contoured copper pipes with dry connect sockets that the heat pipes plug into.
  • The manifold casing is made of a strong but lightweight aluminium alloy that is folded to form a strong protective enclosure. The casing is finished with matte black PVDF coating that is UV stabilised for long- term colour fastness.
  • Glass wool insulation is “baked like a cake” to form a complete structural shell around the header pipe. This design minimises the amount of metal used in the casing, reducing embodied CO2, and making it very lightweight. The lightness of the manifold box is a feature that installers value when carrying onto the roof.

4.       Mounting Frame

  • Strong and easy to install with a range of attachment options
  • Our manifold is significantly stronger than competitor products with high tensile anodized alumimium mounting frame and 316 (marine grade) stainless steel fasteners and hardware.  Only two of new front tracks are required even in high wind load regions.

Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System- Designed for the Australian climate

As a system that operates in the outdoors, this means all the components of the collector must be able to withstand all conditions – from freezing point – to the extreme heat and UV radiation of desert locations.

Apricus collectors are designed with this is mind.   One way this is managed is the use of silicone rubber instead of plastics for the tube caps, rubber header seals and manifold covers. Silicone rubber is extremely durable, staying flexible in a wide temperature range.  It is able to withstand over 200oC / 392oF and is extremely resistance to damage from UV light.

For all the other design features see ’10 reasons to choose an Apricus Solar Hot Water System’ below.

Superior design

Apricus evacuated tube solar collectors convert energy from the sun.  They have a vacuum between two glass layers and work similar to a thermos flask allowing it to retain up to 95% of the solar energy they capture!

This means in colder climates, and during the winter months, heat is retained and not lost into the atmosphere. The collectors are rated to handle frost and down to -15°C temperatures – without the use of glycol which dramatically reduces maintenance of the system.

The Apricus evacuated tube and heat pipe are assembled in a patented format that is different to any other product on the market.

  • Rather than a centrally located heat pipe with heat transfer fins radiating out to the glass wall, the heat pipe is positioned directly against the glass wall, where the sun strikes.
  • The aluminium heat transfer fin is tightly held against the top inner wall of the evacuated tube and heat pipe with a set of spring clips.
  • This is a key design feature as over time, with exposure to high temperature, the aluminium will soften.
  • The spring clips guarantee long term tight contact with the glass wall and heat pipe, which is essential for optimal performance.

Sustainable savings with Apricus Solar Home Hot Water systems

How an Apricus solar hot water system works How an Apricus solar hot water system works

This animation is a quick, simple guide demonstrating how the hot water heating system works

Want more details on how the Apricus Solar Hot Water system works?  Want more details on how the Apricus Solar Hot Water system works? 

Here’s An 11 minute detailed overview.

10 reasons to choose an Apricus solar hot water system 10 reasons to choose an Apricus solar hot water system

  1. Passive Sun Tracking

    The round tube design of the Apricus collectors passively tracks the sun to provide more solar collection for more hours of the day.

  2. Cyclone Rated

    Our mounting frames are designed in Australia and are rated to withstand cyclonic winds.

  3. Cold Weather High Performance

    Apricus evacuated tubes have a vacuum between two glass layers working like a thermos flask allowing uo to 95% of the solar ennergy to be retained leading to higher performances in colder climates.

  4. Built-in Frost Protection

    All Apricus solar hot water systems have built-in frost profection (-15 0 C) without glycol so there is less maintenance.

  5. Superior Hail Resistance

    Our tubes have been independently tested and shown to withstand impact from a 25mm ice ball at 90km/hr.

  6. Light-weight, Durable Design

    A 30 tube collector weight approximately 110kg spread over a 2.2m * 2.0m roof space so there is no inconvenience using cranes to install. Reinforcing the roof structure is not necessary compared to other solar hot water systems than can wieght up to 500kg on a roof.

  7. Designed in Australia to meet Australian conditions

    Apricus is an Australian owned and operated company. All systems are designed to meet even the toughest Australian conditions and built to last.

  8. Up to 15 Year Warranty

    We provide a 15 year collector warranty and 10-15 year warranty on solar hot water tanks.

  9. Plumber Preferred

    Plumbers that install solar hot water systems trust and prefer Apricus. Our systems are easy to install and the known superior performance means their customers are happy too.

  10. National Support Network

    Our products are available through 1200 resellers across Australia so you will enjoy local, dedicated support.

Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System- How It Works Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System- How It Works

How the collectors work

  1. Evacuated tube absorber layer receives incoming solar radiation.
  2. The absorber moves energy to the copper heat pipe where energy is stored by the working fluid.
  3. The working fluid boils at approx 30°C, turns to vapour and rises to the heat bulb at the top.
  4. The heat bulb transfers energy into the water as it passes by through the manifold.
  5. The vapour cools, condenses and returns to the base of the heat pipe where the process is then repeated.



Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System- How It Works

More solar energy for more hours in the day More solar energy for more hours in the day

The collector passively tracks the sun, reaching its peak output earlier in the morning and staying at peak until later in the afternoon than a traditional flat plate collector.

They are high performing in all seasons as they can be positioned more favourably towards the sun. They passively track the sun to reach its peak output earlier in the morning and stay at peak until later in the afternoon.  When high performance is needed in cooler weather, evacuated tubes have a significant advantage over flat plate collectors.

See the Fact Sheet – Apricus evacuated tubes v flat plate collectors


More solar energy for more hours in the day

Step 1

The sunlight (including UV) strikes the dark absorber coating inside the evacuated tube, the vacuum seal between the two layers of glass act like an insulator and prevent the heat energy that has been captured from escaping back into the atmosphere.

Step 2

The heat pipe, located inside the evacuated tube carries a small amount of purified water, and is also evacuated, which means the liquid boils at a very low temperature (~30°C) turns to vapour and rises to the top of the heat pipe to the “bulb” which plugs in to the Apricus manifold.

Step 3

The Apricus pump station moves water from the storage tank through the copper heat exchange located within the manifold. At this point, there is no water running through the tubes, the heat pipe bulb is simply transferring the heat retained inside the tube into the cooler water running through the manifold.

Find out how and why an Apricus solar hot water system is the best choice for your home.

What do our customers think?

What do our customers think?

Keeps up with me and the family: I installed our Apricus 40 tube 400L system in the middle of winter last year… the shortest day of the year here on the mid north coast NSW – we had a really nice clear day so I flicked off the booster to “test it out” and we had plenty of hot water for the four of us. We do use the booster after periods of extended rain / cloudy weather – but our hot water bills remain minimal.

Reviewed 22/3/16 on productreview.com.au

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