Evacuated solar tubes kits and fitting guide for the UK.

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Self-install evacuated solar tube kits

Evacuated solar tubes are a second-generation technology. Systems manufactured to MCS accredited standards.

DIY evacuated solar tube kits.

MCS approved components and parts.

Find local MCS installers. View schematics

Evacuated solar tubes installation in the United Kingdom.

Heat-pipes tube kits
DIY & trade.
Tank size: 200-350 Litres

1 x Evacuated tubes collector.
1 x Roof fitting kit.
1 x 25 Litre expansion vessel.
1 x Expansion installation kit.
1 x Controller & pump station.
1 x 20 Litres Glycol fluid.
Solar-ready tanks (optional).

A-frames are available for ground-mounted systems.

Install guide: For every 100-180 Litre tank size, you will need two m2 arrays or three m2 for 180-300 Litre.

When working with heights, electrics and plumbing, you should always use correct safety equipment. Use professional MCS installers if you're not sure.

How these supersede traditional flat-plates?

This technology includes the patented Low E glass. These use a unique 'low-iron' glass formula which has reduced the reflective properties and increased the absorption.

The glass surface is not flat, so 360 deg absorption ability gives better performance than flat-plate technologies. The reason is an evener output throughout the day, and a higher heat production at lower outdoor temperatures.

Each solar tube has twin-skin vacuum filled glazing for better heat retention. Just like a thermos flask, once the heat is in it becomes trapped.

Direct-flow or heat-pipe collectors.

We supply two types of tube systems. Both manufactured in Europe and both MCS and Solar Key Mark approved:

A guide to self-installing evacuated solar tubes

"Health and safety should always be your main priority when self-installing evacuated solar tubes. Work alongside a roofer or plumber if help is required."

If installing on a roof, it is essential to specify which type of roof covering, i.e. Slate or tile, before ordering your kit.

1. Scaffolding on a roof installation will be necessary up to the level of the guttering. This equipment will give you a safe working platform. Use additional roof ladders to prevent damage to the roof covering. If your roof space is limited or you want to specify a position on the roof, then mapping the right measurements from the inside of the roof space/loft may be helpful.

Deciding where to locate the' pump station' and the shortest route for your pipework.

2. The 'roof anchors' are fixed into the underneath roof batons. You can remove a tile or slate to gain access and replace once you are happy with the fixture. Measuring diagonally from corner to corner will help you square up the anchors, ready for the aluminium mainframe to be fixed.

The best part of this installation is attaching the header and tubes to the mainframe. Some styles of evacuated tube collectors allow you to piece together the array.

Please note, ready-assembled collectors will need to be hoisted up to the scaffolding using a roofers pulley system. Some self-installers works alongside a roofing company for this stage of the installation if working at heights is an issue.

An inlet and outlet hole for the pipes can be drilled through the tile/slate and resealed using roof-grade silicone. Alternatively, a professional style 'artificial slate' can be acquired with the sealed hole already in place. Make sure any exposed pipework is insulated by an 'Armoflex sheaf' up to the headers inlet and outlet ports.

3. Routing your pipework down towards the pump station can be done with either professional 'ready insulated' pipe lengths containing the temperature sensor wire or traditional copper pipe can be used. If the latter is your choice, then we recommend connecting using the modern 'compression' joints or soldering/brazing can be an alternative. Connect the pump station to the correct hot and cold feed connections.

The 'expansion vessel' is installed next to the pump station so, allow for this too. Typical locations for this are in the loft space, basement or within the airing cupboard if space permits.

4. Some installations may require an upgraded hot water tank. Unvented or pressurised cylinders are typical, but a 'G3 plumbers qualification' by law will be necessary to install this type of tank. However, a traditional vented-tank installed with a secondary solar coil.

5. Now decide where to locate the 'controller' or management system. If you are installing it in the bathroom, then a 'Part P electrical qualification' is required to add an extra electrical spur. Outside the bathroom area is most common.

Attaching and routing the 'temperature sensors' from the controller and to the tank and header can follow the route of the pipework in most cases.

6. Filling the system up with the Glycol (anti-freeze) fluid can be done with a plumber's pump unit. Flushing the system out of all air bubbles is essential and a pressure of '3 bars' is standard. The final operation is to set-up the management control box and testing the temperature sensors are giving accurate readings.

Check all pipework, and electrical connections are secure.

7. Make a cup of tea. You have now joined a growing army of people taking advantage of solar panels.


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Founder of Power My Home.

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