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Installation

  • Scaffold

    In order for engineers to safely fit the solar collectors on your roof we will need to erect a scaffold on the face of the building where the equipment will be installed. The scaffold is erected to reach slightly over gutter level. This ensures the safety of those working on the roof with compliance to all relevant Health and Safety codes. Crawlers are used on the when the roof tiles are slippery or fragile.

    The scaffold will be erected by an accredited and CTS approved contractor, usually the day before installation and removed the day after. The full cost of the scaffold is included within the quote we provide.

  • Installation

    Installation of the Roof Anchors

    The installation engineer will check the measurements taken during the initial site survey, make any changes as required and identify the appropriate positions for the roof anchors. This process is key to ensure an even weight distribution across the roof area, secure the solar collectors in extreme weather conditions and to optimise the positions with the roof area.

    One roof tile is removed to allow the anchor to be securely fitted directly to the rafter. The tile is then slid back into position to ensure the roof remains watertight. It is important that the correct type of anchor is used to prevent damage to the tiles and the integrity of the roof.

    If a roof integrated system is being installed, all the tiles are removed in the area where the collectors will be located, the waterproof membrane is installed directly onto the rafters and the frame is then installed onto the membrane. The tiles are then refitted up to the edge of the integrated system and made waterproof using the manufacturer supplied flashing material.

  • Installation

    Attaching the Frame

    Once all the roof anchors are fixed into place, the aluminium rails that make up the frame are then secured into place. Every rail is checked to make sure that it is straight and parallel with each other. This process will ensure that panels look even and level with the roof line, a small error on one side will magnify itself as more panels are added, so it is important to get this exactly right.

  • Installation

    Installing the Thermal Collectors

    Once the rails are in place the frame is complete and the collectors can be clamped to the frame. The collectors are available in landscape format, though portrait is usually the most popular option. The plastic covering helps to protect the collectors from damage during installation as well as reflecting sunlight to prevent them from heating up to much.

  • Installation

    Connecting the Thermal Hose

    Each collector is preconfigured to connect directly to the next collector in series. As in all water based heating systems there is a flow and return to the cylinder from the top and bottom corners of the collector array. In most installations an insulated solar thermal flexible hose is installed from the collector to the pump station and the cylinder. The installer will adapt two existing tiles to provide a base for a "lead boot" which are designed to allow the hose to penetrate the roof without compromising its structure.

  • Installation

    Installing the Cylinder, Pump Station and Expansion Vessel

    In almost all cases a new cylinder will be required as part of the system as additional capacity is often required alongside a twin coil, one for the thermal supply and one for the boiler supply, additionally a solar thermal cylinder is often taller and thinner which increases heat stratification and makes the system more effective. The installer will remove the existing cylinder and install the new cylinder in its place.

    The pump station controls the whole system, monitoring the collector temperature, cylinder temperature and system pressures using sensors installed at specific locations. The expansion vessel is a safety device which counteracts the additional volume created when the heat transfer fluid heats up. All of this equipment is ideally located next to the cylinder for service and maintenance reasons, however if space is limited, they can be fitted close to the cylinder in a loft space for example.

    The final aspect of the installation is to connect the pump station into the house electricity supply.

  • Installation

    Filling, Testing and Commissioning.

    It may not be possible to complete this aspect of the installation at the end of the day, if the collectors have been empty and in the sun all day they will be very hot and will vaporise any liquid pumped into them which can be very dangerous.

    Initially the system is filled and pressurised with water only to check for leaks, run the pumps and flush the system. Once all the joints are checked and the pressure remains at a constant the system is filled and pressurised with the manufactures prescribed heat transfer fluid mix. An electric flush and fill pump is used to complete this process, this is the only way to be sure that no air gets trapped in the system. Once charged the pump station is activated and programmed.

    The whole system is now fully tested and commissioned to MCS standards, with all the results submitted to the government body “Gemserve” so an MCS certificate can be issued to enable you to claim the RHPP or RHI. This process can only be undertaken by MCS approved companies like CTS Renewables, and is of vital importance for you to get a return on your investment.

    The whole installation will be completed by engineers trained and accredited to MCS and NICEIC installation standards, and direct employees of CTS Renewables, so no subcontractors.