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An Apricus solar hot water system is made up of evacuated tube solar collectors, a storage tank/hot water heater, a gas or electric booster and a solar controller and pump. We install the storage tank/hot water heater on the ground and the solar collectors are attached to the roof. The system uses a solar controller and pump to transfer cold water from the tank to the solar collectors to be heated and returned to the top of the tank. The solar controller compares the temperature of the water in the solar collector to that in the tank. When the collector is hotter than the tank the pump is switched on, transferring the solar heated water to the tank.

A booster is required to deliver hot water in times of low solar contribution or times of excessive hot water consumption. The two booster options are:

  • Gas
  • Electric

Consider installing a solar ready tank – It comes with a 10 year warranty and works just like an electric tank, which allows you to get back into hot water today, with the option of upgrading to solar at a later date, when you’ re ready. In fact, if you upgrade to solar within 60 days, you may still qualify for solar rebates (STC & VEEC in Victoria).

Apricus collectors can be added to an existing hot water system, but “retro-fit” systems are not applicable for any State and Federal rebates.  Apricus recommends your existing tank to have solar flow and return ports available.

The amount of energy you will save varies; based on your location, water usage, and type of system you install. On average, an electric hot water system accounts for about 30% of your total household energy usage. Installing an Apricus will save you up to 80% of the energy used by your existing electric hot water unit.

No. All Apricus solar hot water systems have a booster built-in to ensure you are never left with a cold shower.

As Apricus systems are a ‘ split system’ a standard 30 tube system weighs less than 110kgs on your roof. Systems with a tank on the roof generally weigh over 500kg when full of water (300ltrs water = 300kg).

Your local Apricus agent will be able to size a system to suit your individual needs. Their recommendation is based on:

  • Where you live
  • How many people live your household
  • Your household water demands
  • The water quality in your area
  • The type of energy source available to the household (Electricity, LPG or Natural gas)

Apricus Solar collectors are very versatile, they can be used in a full range of applications, these include:

  • Household and residential solar hot water
  • Solar pre-heating systems
  • Business and commercial hot water: dairy farms, chemical treatment plants, hospitals, apartment buildings, wineries and many more
  • Evacuated tubes passively track the sun for more hours of the day
  • 15 year warranty* on major components
  • Lightweight and durable design
  • Excellent cold weather performance
  • Frost protected without the use of chemicals like glycol
  • Low maintenance design
  • This is located on your tank on a label.
  • Tank serial number is a combination of letters and numbers. Typically it contains the tank volume and the date of manufacture.

Our Solar Ready Tank works just fine as a long term electric storage tank, in fact you will still benefit from the 10 year warranty.

The Solar Ready Tank is designed for solar – with a thicker wall and extra flow and return ports. It also comes with a 10 year warranty.*  It can be used as a standalone tank or upgraded with a solar hot water system at a later date if/when you are ready.

Yes you can, as long as your upgrade is within 60 days of the Solar Ready Tank installation you will still qualify for your STC’ s, and potential VEEC’ s in VIC.

Technically – yes you can add solar to another electric tank, however some things to consider are:

  1. Your warranty may be void on the tank and/or the solar collector.
  2. You will need to purchase extra “retro-fit” valves
  3. The efficiency of the system will be lower as the components have not been designed to complement each other.
  4. You will not qualify for any solar incentives
  5. How long will your existing tank last? And what will the costs be in the future to change it?

You can install what is called a retro-fit kit, with the addition of a 5 way valve. However it could possibly void the existing storage tanks warranty, and you will not qualify for any STC or VEEC. A complete system after incentives might be a better investment for you.

This can be done, however care must be taken not to exceed the temperatures the storage tank can handle. If replacing a system with an on-roof storage tank, over-temperature protection must be installed as the evacuated tubes are capable of heating water to a higher temperature than that of an average flat panel system.

When thinking about the cost, you also need to take into consideration the ongoing/running costs. Going solar may be more expensive up-front, but the running costs will be much less, in fact – the more electricity/gas prices rise in the future, the more you will save!

If you have low hot water usage – instead of only considering the financial payback – consider the environmental benefits (CO2 emissions) and offsetting up to 80% of energy usage for hot water, allows consumers to gain energy freedom and free up cash that would usually be tied up in monthly/quarterly bills.

Apricus evacuated tube collectors are made to Australian and International standards. In terms of hail resistance, Apricus evacuated tubes have been independently tested and shown to withstand impact from a 25mm / 1′′ ice ball at 90km/hr. If you are in a region with extreme hail (much larger than 25mm / 1′′) then the solar collectors should be installed at an angle of 45° or greater, which greatly increases impact strength.

The Apricus evacuated tube design does not circulate water through the evacuated tube so if a tube is damaged, you will not experience any leaks. In fact, on a 30 tube system, even if you lost 3 x tubes from a branch or similar object falling on the collector, you will only lose 10% of your solar heating capability. The tubes are easily replaced by simply unclipping at the base, sliding the old tube out, and replacing with a new tube. In most cases, the copper heat pipe inside the tube will not need replacing.

Thickness does not always indicate strength. More important than thickness is the material structure and quality of the glass. Our glass thickness is 1.8mm, and has passed the hail impact testing to meet Australian standards. For example: some suppliers have glass of 1.6mm thickness which is stronger to impact than 2mm glass from another supplier due to better quality glass. So simply saying “this glass is thicker” is not a valid or useful comparison.

Evacuated tubes do not have an industry standard “degradation” value – however it is estimated that the tubes may lose approximately 0.5% output per annum. Apricus tubes are tested to the most stringent of standards, and have a barium coating to absorb any impurities that may occur over time within the tubes vacuum. Apricus heat pipes are manufactured from high purity, oxygen free copper to ensure the longevity of the vacuum. The tubes are covered by a 15 year warranty that they won’ t lose their vacuum, and if the vacuum is compromised within the evacuated tubes – they turn white as an indicator

Apricus manifolds are rated to handle extreme temperature and pressure (~180°C). During a period of no load (stagnation) the pressure and temperature relief valve fitted on the storage tank is all that is required.

We use a split system for a range of reasons:

  • Weight; our largest collector weighs only ~110kg on the roof full of water vs. half a tonne of an on roof system.
  • Temperature control/reduce water wastage; with a split system, the temperature in the tank is controlled via a controller – so once it is up to its maximum temperature it will not bring any more heat down, in an on-roof system the “max temperature” safety is usually hot water dumping onto the roof.
  • Aesthetically, most people say the split systems look much nicer on the roof

Apricus have been installing evacuated tube systems in Australia for over 10 years. The pump that is used is a high quality pump designed for solar and manufactured by Grundfos. Having a controller provides added functionality such as real time temperature read outs, data logging, over temperature control and makes troubleshooting and future servicing much faster.The controller is made in Germany by a company called Resol – who have been manufacturing and supplying controllers throughout Europe and the world for many years.

Ideally, the collector should face as close as possible to north (north-east and north-west are also acceptable under current standards), if a north facing roof is unavailable, the other options can include

  • Cross-pitching the collector on a due East or due West roof such that the collector faces north.
  • Reverse-pitching the collector on a south facing roof, such that the collector faces north.

The Apricus system has built-in frost protection, and can handle Australia’ s cold and varying climate. In fact the tubes also absorb UV light, and the vacuum prevents energy from escaping to the atmosphere making them work extremely well even in the coldest regions. The frost rating is down to -15°C without the use of frost valves or a chemical/anti-freeze solution that other systems require.

The Apricus systems are rated for cyclonic wind conditions – Apricus (ETC series) solar collectors are certified to be installed in all wind regions of Australia*. *Please read our installation manual for further details.

Weight, our largest single collector weights only ~110kg on the roof full of water, versus roughly 500kg of weight on an on-roof system.

An STC is a small-scale technology certificate which represents the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) that would be displaced by the use of the solar water heater over its lifetime of up to 10 years. One STC is equivalent to one MWh of electricity offset by the solar water heater.

Your solar hot water system is eligible if it is listed in the REC Registry Solar Water Heater STC Calculator. 

  • Find an STCs trading company that you are happy with
  • Download a solar water heating form for STCs from a STCs trading company.
  • Complete the form and collect the specified supporting documentation (a list can be found within the form).
  • Submit your form and documentation to the STCs trading company of your choice to receive your financial benefit.

STCs must be claimed within 12 months of the installation of an eligible system.

A VEEC is a Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate that represents the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) in tonnes that would be displaced by the use of the solar water heater.

Your solar hot water system is eligible if it is listed in the Essential Services Commission Register of Solar Water Heaters. For Solar Water Heaters, the VEET Activity that corresponds to your system will be either;

  • 1E – Water Heater – Electric Boosted Solar or Heat Pump
  • 1F & 3B – Water Heater – Gas/LPG Boosted Solar Clicking the Search button after selecting the appropriate VEET Activity will show all approved systems that are on the register.

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