Vertex Spa Heating Manual
EcoOnline™ - Vertex™ 3.0
Solar Spa Heating System
Installation & User Manual – Revised 18/09/2015
Optex Solar Pty. Ltd.
www.EcoOnline.com.au
email: [email protected]
© Copyright 2012 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved. This publication is protected by copyright law and unless
otherwise specified is for your personal and non-commercial use only. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
distributed by any process, electronic or otherwise, without the specific written permission of Optex Solar Pty Ltd. Trademarks
appearing in this manual are the sole property of Optex Solar Pty Ltd or their respective owners. Nothing in this publication shall
be construed as granting any express or implied license to use any intellectual property of Optex Solar Pty Ltd otherwise than for
personal and non-commercial use only. Optex Solar Pty Ltd must not, to the full extent permitted by law, be held liable for any
claim, cost (including legal costs), damage, expense, loss (including fines, penalties, set-offs and consequential loss) or liability
arising from the use (or misuse) of any product described in this publication, unless expressly provided otherwise in this
publication. Information as well as any products described in this publication are subject to change without notice.
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
© Copyright 2015 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved.
Page 1
Contents
1
Key Terms .................................................................................................................................................................. 3
2
Pre-Installation Suitability & Safety Checklist ........................................................................................................... 4
3
Warranties ................................................................................................................................................................ 5
4
System Sizing Guarantee........................................................................................................................................... 5
5
Collector Sizing Guide ............................................................................................................................................... 5
6
Pump Sizing Guide .................................................................................................................................................... 6
7
Spa Chemistry Compatibility Guide .......................................................................................................................... 6
8
Roof Type Compatibility Guide ................................................................................................................................. 7
9
Wind and Climate Considerations............................................................................................................................. 7
10 Included System Components .................................................................................................................................. 8
11 Additional Required Components (Not Supplied) .................................................................................................. 10
12 Required Tools ........................................................................................................................................................ 11
13 Safety When Working at Heights ............................................................................................................................ 12
14 Choosing A Place to Install the Collector Array....................................................................................................... 13
15 Pump and Solar PV Panel Test ................................................................................................................................ 14
16 Collector Array Configurations................................................................................................................................ 15
17 Roof Attachment Options ....................................................................................................................................... 16
18 Collector Mounting Procedure ............................................................................................................................... 19
19 Collector Array Plumbing Connections ................................................................................................................... 20
20 Roof Fixings ............................................................................................................................................................. 21
21 Wind Proofing ......................................................................................................................................................... 24
22 Plumbing Diagram ................................................................................................................................................... 27
23 Installing the Vacuum Beaker Valve & Avoiding Potential U-bend Air Locks ......................................................... 28
24 Protective Bypass & Drain-Down Line .................................................................................................................... 29
25 Suction Line and Pump Mounting Configuration .................................................................................................... 30
26 Solar PV Panel Mounting ........................................................................................................................................ 34
27 Installing the Under-Temperature Thermostat (40°C)............................................................................................ 35
28 Installing the Over-Temperature Thermostat (40°C) .............................................................................................. 36
29 Connecting the Inline Over-Temperature Thermostat and Extension Wire ........................................................... 38
30 Important Installation Check List ............................................................................................................................ 39
31 Operating Instructions ............................................................................................................................................ 39
32 Service and Maintenance Schedule ........................................................................................................................ 41
33 Trouble Shooting ..................................................................................................................................................... 42
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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Page 2
1
Key Terms
This manual was written to follow guidelines and recommendations given in:





AS 3634 - 1989 Solar heating systems for swimming pools
AS 1170.2 - 2011 (Amend 2 Dec 2012) Structural design actions - Wind actions
‘HAZPAK’ produced by the work-cover authority
AS 3000 (2007) Sections 6.3, 6.4 & 6.5
AS 1926.1 & 1926.2 (2007) swimming pool safety - location of safety barrier
Please print this manual out and keep it for your reference. Please take the time to read the entire manual before
starting any work. Particular attention should be given to text contained in the following key terms.
Please note EcoOnline has a strong product safety policy; do not install products without reading safety guidelines in
the manual. Please report any product safety issues or near misses to [email protected] no matter how trivial.
Indicates a SAFETY issue that is likely to cause injury or death if the user does not
follow the instructions.
Indicates a SAFETY issue that may cause injury or death if the user does not follow the
instructions.
Indicates a SAFETY issue that may cause injury or property damage if the user does
not follow the instructions
Refers to critically important information related to the correct functioning of the
system.
Refers to useful information for the optimal operation of the system
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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Page 3
2
Pre-Installation Suitability & Safety Checklist
The following outlines mandatory suitability and safety requirements for installing a Vertex Solar™ heating system.
Please read carefully, if any of the following requirements cannot be meet a Vertex system should NOT be purchased
or installed.
For ground level collector installations the installer MUST check child safety fence regulations
in the relevant state. Under no circumstances should collectors be installed so as to
compromise the effectiveness of a child pool or spa fence safety barrier by providing a
climbable object.
Due to the potential of falling from heights, mounting the solar panels on a roof or
structure at heights should only be undertaken by a professional solar panel installer,
unless you are accustomed to and confident of performing the work safely.
Due to the remote possibility of a water drain down event caused by the Vertex system, this
system should not be installed on a pool or spa pool with a mains power electrical devise that
does not have a working over temperature protection device and/or will not fail safely in
the event of dry running.
This appliance is not intended for use by persons (including children) with reduced physical,
sensory or mental capabilities, or lack of experience and knowledge, unless they have been given
supervision or instruction concerning use of the appliance by a person responsible for their
safety. Children should be supervised to ensure that they do not play with the appliance.
The safety over-thermostat MUST be installed for systems involving an oversized collector array
greater than 100% pool coverage area or for highly insulated spa pools due to the potential for
overheating in summer.
At present this collector array system is not recommended for installations in cyclonic regions
C or D, or on houses situated on top of hills exposed to strong winds, or on second story (or
higher) roofs.
The Vertex system is for heating outdoor chlorinated or otherwise treated spas ONLY. This
system is not to be used to heat indoor spas (chlorinated or otherwise) OR fresh bodies of
water due to the potential for Legionaries bacteria build up.
Potential flooding resulting from the failure of the Vertex system’s plumbing connections or
extreme weather events must be considered by the purchaser/installer, such that flood water
from such a failure at any point of a Vertex system will drain safely.
Building regulations vary from state to state and MUST override any instructions supplied in
the Vertex system manual. It is the responsibility of the purchaser/installer to check that
installations comply with any relevant state laws and regulations.
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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Page 4
The Vertex System is not self-priming and requires the installation of the pump outside
of but below the waterline of your pool/spa.
3
Warranties
EcoOnline™ offers the following Warranties



20 year return to base Warranty on all MOTECH cell solar PV panels
5 year return to base limited Warranty on all Vertex system HDPE collectors
1 year return to base limited Warranty on all Vertex system pumps
See EcoOnline.com.au Terms and Conditions page for further details.
Customer please note: Collector warranty is VOID if collectors are installed:


without a vacuum release valve on the inlet line,
or in a manner that prevents collector from fully draining when the pump stops.
Such installations will expose the collectors to strong fatiguing positive/negative pressures,
and/or stagnant hot chlorinated water on hot days. These situations will have detrimental
effects on the collectors which will limit lifetimes and can also result in significant
shrinkage of the collectors which would put strain on roof attachments means.
Pump warranty is VOID if pumps are installed:



4
without a protective bypass line,
or with inappropriately sloped or non air tight suction line,
or without the Vertex strainer.
System Sizing Guarantee
Sizing systems is difficult involving a lot of factors which we could get wrong. Hence in addition to the above
Warranties EcoOnline offers a System Sizing Guarantee as follows. If we sized your system (or you use our online
calculator) and you took our advice and you aren’t happy with the systems performance (heat output), then you can
purchase up to 25% more panels originally supplied by EcoOnline up to two years after your original purchase and
we will ship the items free of shipping charges.
5
Collector Sizing Guide
An interactive collector sizing calculator can be found on our website at,
http://www.EcoOnline.com.au/product-information/solar-pool-heating/sizing-guide
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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Page 5
6
Pump Sizing Guide
An interactive pump sizing calculator can be found on our website at,
http://www.EcoOnline.com.au/product-information/solar-pool-heating/sizing-guide
When installing this system it is imperative to check whether the pump will provide a
sufficient water flow rate at the pump height of the installation.
7
Spa Chemistry Compatibility Guide
This system is not compatible with bromide chlorination, hydrochloric acid use and/or acidic
pool/spa water (pH less than 7.2). Sodium Carbonate must be added to protect the system
from acidic pH (<7). pH should be maintained between 7.2-7.8 for maximum system longevity.
If absolutely required Sodium Bisulphate acid can be used to keep the pH down.
Incompatible Chemistries
✘ Bromide Based Chlorination
✘ Hydrochloric Acid
✘ Acidic Water (pH less than 7.2)
Alternatives Chemistry
✔ Any other Chlorination or Sanitation
✔ Sodium Bisulphate Acid
✔ Water pH greater than 7.6
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Page 6
8
Roof Type Compatibility Guide
The average air gap distance between the mounted collector and roof structure has a strong
influence on wind loadings. If panels are to be installed on a roof then the following should
be observed to limit wind uplift potential.
1) Installed panels should lay flat touching the roof structure. It is recommend the air
gap distance between the bottom of the installed collector and the valley points of
the roof corrugations should be no greater than approximately 25mm.
2) Panels should have adequate clearance from roof edges.
3) Panels on roofs should not be mounted on tilt frames.
Roof Type
Standard Corrugated Iron roof (Custom Orb)
Relatively Flat Tile roof
Spandek Iron roof
Modulated Tile roof
Trimdek Iron roof
Klip-lok Iron roof
Flatdek Iron roof
Air Gap Distance
17mm
Less than 25mm
24mm
Greater than 25mm
29mm
43mm
45mm
Recommendation
Okay
Okay
Okay
Region A Only
Region A Only
Not Recommended
Not Recommended
Panels installed above the roof structure with 50mm or greater underneath air gaps
experience much higher wind loadings and are now subject to the Australian wind loading
standard AS/NZD 1170.2.
9
Wind and Climate Considerations
It is the responsibility of the installer to consider wind loading factors, see “wind proofing”
section below. If the installation site is within strong wind speed areas then the extra
stainless steel guide line must be installed across each row with the in-between panel
anchor points. Do not assume supplied components are sufficient.
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10 Included System Components
Panel Kit
2 × 40mm reinforced silicon joiners
4 × Stainless steel hose clamps
1 × HDPE collector panel
6 × 316 stainless straps (black)
1 × 25cm length perforated 316 stainless band
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12V Solar Pump Kit
1 × 40W or 60W 12V Solar pump, with
pump enclosure and electrical
connector.
1 × 40W or 60W Solar panel with
PVC wire, connector and undertemperature thermostat (if supplied)
1 × PVC 316SS mesh Strainer
Vertex Base Plumbing Kit Components
1 × Vacuum (and
positive pressure) air
release valve
2 × 40mm hose barb to
25/32mm PVC glue
socket/take off
1 × PVC clear bypass line
kit - includes 3mm
constriction
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1 × 20mm PVC Nonreturn valve (non-spring
loaded)
Page 9
Safety Over-Temperature Thermostat Kit
2×
1×
1×
1×
3×
25mm ID Armaflex pipe insulation
60mm ID Armaflex pipe insulation
Aluminium U-channel
Twin 40°C thermostats with 2m cord and positive disconnect connector
PVC coated stainless cable ties
1 × 5m PVC Extension Wire
Roof Mounting (Solar roof hook supplied only if requested and purchased)
1 × 304 Stainless solar roof hook (height adjustable)
Dimensions: A = 47.5mm,B = 117.5mm,C = 60mm
11 Additional Required Components (Not Supplied)
11.1 Ground Mounting Support Frame
You may need to build a support frame for your collector array, if so you may require the following:




Two 70mm x 35mm 1.3m treated pine length per collector (lengths depend on mounting preferences)
Two 70mm x 35mm 1.1m treated pine length per collector. (Preferably, if transport is available these
horizontal lengths should span the collector array or be as long as possible, see section 6.1 below)
60mm galvanized timber screws.
Black outdoor paint (optional)
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11.2 Roof Mounting
If installing the panels on a roof you will also require the following extra items.
32mm x 32mm x 3mm Aluminium angle
4mm stainless steel cable & four cable ties per row
These are available in any plumbing store. The aluminium angle is available from Capral Ltd. or Ullrich Aluminium
Pty. Ltd.
11.3 Additional Plumbing Components
You also require some of the following extra items depending on your system. These should be available in any
spa/swimming pool supplier.
PVC 25mm
piping
PVC 20mm
piping
PVC 20mm barrel
union join
20mm “Spa flex”
flexible PVC hose
(recommend for frost
prone areas)
Other 20mm or 25mm
PVC plumbing bits
We recommend AS 1477 compliant PVC 20mm piping with PN9 pressure rating or greater
and matching PVC fittings be used for all plumbing. We also recommend 20mm “spa flex”
flexible PVC hose for suction line pump plumbing. (Do not use any irrigation fittings as they
are not compatible with chlorinated water).
12 Required Tools
- Battery powered hand drill with 8mm Hex socket
- Clear silicon
- PVC glue (Green pressure)
- Soldering iron
- Screwdriver with 8mm socket fitting
- Hack saw (metal blade to reduce PVC filing size)
- Level
- 3mm drill bit
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13 Safety When Working at Heights
WHEN WORKING AT HEIGHTS - SAFETY COMES FIRST. A person can easily fall off a ladder
or roof and be seriously injured. For installations on a roof pitch greater than 22° and/or a
double story house we strongly recommend a highly competent professional installer install
your solar collector array. The installer MUST use an appropriate safety harness.
The installer should always take the necessary safety precautions:








Choose an appropriate day: cool, dry, calm and partly cloudy.
Plan out your install: make sure you have all required components, tools and have plenty of allocated time.
Only work at heights when you are well rested and alert.
Never work alone, always work with at least one other person.
Always use a safety harness or fall arrest system attached to appropriate roof anchor points.
Wear clothes that fit well but that do not restrict movement.
Use proper non-slip shoes.
Use sunscreen.
13.1 Ladder Safety
The chance of a falling from a ladder should never be
underestimated. Use only solid industrial grade ladders in good
repair that have been checked for faults.
Note: even a small unexpected movement of the ladder, such
as a small slip, can cause loss of balance and result in a fall.
The ladder should be placed on solid ground and should
ALWAYS be securely anchored at the base and secured at the
top to prevent slipping.
Solar panels should not be mounted in windy or gusty conditions; a panel can easily be caught
in the wind and cause a loss of balance and result in a fall.
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14 Choosing A Place to Install the Collector Array
When choosing a location for your collector array you should consider the following in order of importance:
1. Shading - the collectors should receive no shading between the hours 10am to 4pm.
2. Wind - the collector array should be mounted in a relatively sheltered location or with appropriate wind
proofing.
3. Direction - collectors should face NNW for maximum heat collection, however acceptable directions face
between NE to W only. Systems facing other directions will have significantly impaired performance.
4. Distant to pool/spa - collectors should be as close as possible to your spa (or pool), or have insulated lines.
5. Mounting elevation - flatter elevations (< 45°) collect more heat in the summer while installations closer to
vertical (> 45°) produce more heat during spring/autumn.
For ground mounted arrays, under no circumstances should a collector array be mounted in
anyway so as to compromise the effectiveness of a pool or spa Child Safety Barrier.
The figure to the left shows an example of a Child Safety
Barrier marked with a dashed line. A collector array
should not be mounted near the Child Safety Barrier both on the inside and outside of the Pool Area unless
proper clearances are observed. Consult your Local
Government, The Building Commission or SPASA for
details regarding pool safety barriers in your state.
Please keep up to date with regulations as they change
over time. For more information see, AUSTRALIAN
STANDARDS 1926.1 2007 AND 1926.2 2007 FOR POOL
SAFETY BARRIERS.


 Do not install the collectors leaning against the
outside of a Child Safety Barrier so as to create a
climbable object for children to access the pool or spa.
 Collectors installed inside the pool area in front
of a boundary fence must be offset away from the
boundary fence with the proper clearance from the top
of the fence so as not to provide a foothold for a child climbing into the pool area.
Do not install the collectors too close to the inside of a Child Safety Barrier so as to provide foot or
handholds from the outside of the barrier.
For spa pools and above ground pools do not lean the collector array against the side of the spa or pool so as
to create a ramp or climbable object.
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15 Pump and Solar PV Panel Test
During the following test DO NOT allow the pump to run completely dry as this may
damage the pump.
1) On a sunny day, pour water into the pumps inlet and block the
pumps outlet.
2) If you have a panel with an under temperature thermostat you
will need to bring it up to temperature with a hair dryer.
3) Situate the solar PV panel away from sunlight. Connect the panel
to the pump using the electrical connector. Pick up the solar panel
and angle toward the sun, the pump should start in 3-4 secs.
4) Check to see that the pump is working for a few seconds.
5)
Familiarize yourself with the noise characteristics of a fully primed and partly primed pump. You will need to
diagnose potential air locks in your pump. (Note, pump can run partly primed for a few seconds without
damage.)
15.1 What if the Pump Won’t Start?
1)
Check that there is sufficient sun and that no cell of the panel is shaded.
2)
Check that the under-temperature thermostat is ON and that the panel is
producing power (if a multimeter is not available, insert an old 50W halogen
globe into the panels electrical connect – do not do this is full sun, angle panel
to sun to reduce power).
3)
Check that the wires in the connector aren’t twisted internally and the
positive and negative connections line up.
4)
Check the polarity in the solar panel junction box, see section 26.
5)
If it still won’t start please contact us at [email protected] for a
replacement pump.
Sometimes an air locked mode can arise in the pump when a sufficiently large air bubble
makes its way into the inlet of a working pump. In this state water cannot be pushed higher,
nor can the column of water above the pump make its way back through the spinning rotor.
In this mode the pump can overheat and burn out within 15mins.
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16 Collector Array Configurations
To make sure all air bubbles are evacuated upon filling, collectors MUST be installed
with a minimum recommended pitch of 5˚. Also ideally the top header pipe should
have a 1 or 2° upward slope toward the top outlet return, such that the top outlet
return corner of the collector array at the highest point.
16.1 Array Configurations Not Recommend
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17 Roof Attachment Options
Note the high thermal contraction and natural relaxation of HDPE:
Collectors will contact (in length) by up to 10mm over time and 12mm thermally across
temperature extremes. Hence any fixing means must account for an ultimate contraction of
22mm in length per panel.
Key design principles when choosing a roof mounting means:
1) Consider the high thermal contraction of HDPE
2) Panels should be as low down on the roof as possible to prevent the wind from
catching the underside of panels.
3) The stainless steel straps should not be used to support loads, only as security against
excessive wind speeds.
17.1 Tile Roof Mounting Frame
For tile roofs we recommend using a minimum roof hook spacing of 600mm in the top and
bottom row. Depending on your wind loading (see “Wind Proofing” section), angle of install
and the dead weight of the collectors, you may require a higher density of roof hooks and/or
a stronger Aluminium L-angle, if unsure please seek advice.
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17.2 Corrugated Metal Roof Mounting Frame
For metal roofs we recommend using a minimum roof hook spacing of 600mm in the top and
bottom row. Depending on your wind loading (see “Wind Proofing” section), angle of install
and the dead weight of the collectors, you may require a higher density of roof hooks and/or
a stronger Aluminium L-angle, if unsure please seek advice.
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Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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18 Collector Mounting Procedure
Collectors will contact (in length) by up to 10mm over time and 12mm thermally for an
ultimate contraction of 22mm in length per panel. For a two row array strapped between
a top and bottom aluminium rail the total ultimate contraction is then 44mm. The top and
bottom strap must have sufficient play to account for this ultimate contraction.
It is strongly recommended that the top straps be applied while cool pool/spa water is
flowing through the panels.
The collectors can be walked on without damage. For tile roofs with solar roof hook care
should be taken not to step on or near a roof hook as you may crack a tile. Take extreme
care to use non-slip shoes and never walk on wet collectors. HDPE material is slippery and
waxy. If the collectors need to be walked on for mounting purposes, ALWAYS use a safety
harness and fall arrest system.
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19 Collector Array Plumbing Connections
Laceration hazard: Always cut away from your body and ensure no parts of the body are in
front of the cutting blade. DO NOT perform this task when you are tired or in a rush.
BEFORE CUTTING - put aside two
collectors per row with undamaged end
caps. For all remaining collectors cut the
single end cap off using a sharp blade.
Plastic should be softened with a hair
dryer to make cutting much easier.
Check all collector pipe connections for
raised edges or grooves on the weld lines
which could channel water and cause
leaks. Shave any edges or grooves flat
with a blade being careful not to cut into
the pipe.
After inserting silicon joiners and hose
clamps moderately tighten the clamps
using a hand screwdriver with an 8mm
hex socket. Do not glue in silicon joiners
as this allows for some collector
contraction movement over time. If there
is a pin hole leak, a small amount of
silicon can be used to seal.
Do not over tighten hose clamp at this stage - HDPE has a high thermal expansion. You’ll
need to re-tighten these with cool water running through the collectors at a later stage.
Make sure all nuts are accessible for future tightening.
The inlet/outlet adapter PVC barbs should be glued into the silicon joiner with
any neutral cure silicon. A flat spatula type surface should be used to push
silicon into the barbs indentations (as shown).
Why? PVC barbs can soften at extreme roof stagnation temperatures and
contract sightly with clamps pressure. HDPE will not contract significantly at
maximum roof stagnation temperatures.
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Page 20
20 Roof Fixings
When working with power or hand tools always follow the safety instructions.
 Wear the recommended personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety
glasses, respiratory and hearing projection.
 Make sure electrical cables are kept away from any water and from foreign objects
which pose a potential cable severing or crushing hazard.
 When using glues, solvents or sealing agents make sure you know and seek the
proper first aid in case of an accident.
20.1 Application of the PVC Coated Stainless Steel Straps
IMPORTANT: DO NOT over tighten
stainless steel strapping. Strapping must
have sufficient play to allow for collector
contraction. For the installation of two rows
between two aluminium channels top and
bottom strapping should be loose enough to
insert your little finger between the
strapping and the header pipe. Why? Over
tightened straps can experience tension and
continual flexing of the metal due to the
thermal contraction of the collectors. This
can result in metal fatigue of roof fixings
over time.
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20.2 Single Row Metal Roof Fixings
For single or multi-row arrays in wind regions B & C, aluminium L-angle MUST be run for
the top and bottom of each row.
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20.3 Single Row Tile Roof Fixings
For single or multi-row arrays in wind regions B, aluminium L-angle MUST be run for the
top and bottom of each row.
20.4 Perforated Band Under-Tile Anchor Point (For Region B or Two row arrays)
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21 Wind Proofing
Note, roof installation of these panels in Wind Region D is not recommended. This section provides general advice
on wind loadings. If you have any doubt about your wind loadings please contact [email protected]
21.1 Ultimate Peak Wind Loadings per Panel
The following Tables specify the ultimate peak uplift any single panel can experience in a 1 in 500 year extreme
storm or cyclone event according to Australian Standard 1170.2 - 2011 (Amend 2 Dec 2012). These tables assume:
1)
2)
3)
4)
Panels are mounted on (touching) the roof structure - or no more that 20mm off the roof surface
Panels are situated away from a roof edge or corner
Installation is on a first story roof
Shortest side length of the building is more than twice the average building height (i.e. flat building)
If your installation falls outside of these assumptions please contact [email protected] for alternative loadings.
Ultimate Peak Uplift Loadings Per Panel in Wind Region A (Kg)
Region A
Terrain
Category 1
Terrain
Category 2
Terrain
Category 2.5
Terrain
Category 3
< 10˚ Roof Pitch
12.5˚ Roof Pitch
15˚ Roof Pitch
17.5˚ Roof Pitch
> 20˚ Roof Pitch
120 Kg
110 Kg
95 Kg
90 Kg
80 Kg
100 Kg
90 Kg
80 Kg
70 Kg
65 Kg
90 Kg
80 Kg
70 Kg
65 Kg
60 Kg
85 Kg
75 Kg
65 Kg
60 Kg
55 Kg
Ultimate Peak Uplift Loadings Per Panel in Wind Region B (Kg)
Region B
Terrain
Category 1
Terrain
Category 2
Terrain
Category 2.5
Terrain
Category 3
< 10˚ Roof Pitch
12.5˚ Roof Pitch
15˚ Roof Pitch
17.5˚ Roof Pitch
> 20˚ Roof Pitch
195 Kg
175 Kg
150 Kg
140 Kg
130 Kg
160 Kg
145 Kg
125 Kg
115 Kg
105 Kg
150 Kg
130 Kg
115 Kg
105 Kg
100 Kg
135 Kg
120 Kg
105 Kg
95 Kg
90 Kg
Ultimate Peak Uplift Loadings Per Panel in Wind Region C (Kg)
Region C
Terrain
Category 1
Terrain
Category 2
Terrain
Category 2.5
Terrain
Category 3
< 10˚ Roof Pitch
12.5˚ Roof Pitch
15˚ Roof Pitch
17.5˚ Roof Pitch
> 20˚ Roof Pitch
290 Kg
255 Kg
225 Kg
210 Kg
190 Kg
240 Kg
215 Kg
185 Kg
170 Kg
160 Kg
220 Kg
195 Kg
170 Kg
155 Kg
145 Kg
200 Kg
175 Kg
155 Kg
145 Kg
130 Kg
As an example if you are in Wind Region B and Terrain Category 3 and have a roof pitch 12.5˚ then any single panel
in your collector system could experience momentary peak uplifts of ~120Kg per panel. You should make sure your
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panels and fixing components can withstand your relevant loadings. See below for Terrain Category and Wind
Region definitions.
Note: Installations involving a second story roof or higher, or houses on hills, or panels
mounted 50mm or greater above the roof structure have higher potential wind loadings.
Please contact [email protected] for ultimate wind loadings based on your details.
21.2 Frequency of Extra Fixings for Different Regions
For ultimate wind loadings
(see Tables above):
Less than 70Kg per panel
Greater than 70Kg per panel
Greater than 120kg per panel
Extra Fixings Required
Stainless guide line is not required (but still recommended)
Stainless guide line is required across each row
Stainless guide line is required with in between anchor points
21.3 Wind Region Definitions
Coastal region boundaries are smooth lines set in from a smoothed coastline by 50km, 100km or 150km lines.
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21.4 Terrain Category Definitions




Terrain Category 1: Open terrain few obstructions. Example flat, treeless, poorly grassed plains.
Terrain Category 2: Open terrain with scattered obstructions having heights from 1 .5m to 5m, with at least
two building type obstructions per hectare. Example farmland and cleared subdivisions with isolated trees.
Terrain Category 2.5: Averaged intermediate between Terrain Category 2 and Terrain Category 3
Terrain Category 3: Numerous closely spaced building obstructions having heights from 3m to 10m with at
least 10 house-size obstructions per hectare. Example fully developed suburb or light industrial estates.
21.5 Roof Edge Exclusions Zones
Note: Collector installations within a roof edge exclusion zone require 2 X the fixing strength
in that local area. Collector installations within a roof corner exclusion zone require 3 X the
fixing strength in that local area.
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22 Plumbing Diagram
The installation of at least two Australian Standard approved suction outlet adapters,
600mm apart connected by a T-piece PVC plumbing is mandated for pools and spas.
Make sure all PVC saw shavings are cleared prior to gluing and that lines are flushed clean
before connecting pumps. PVC shavings can block the impeller of the pump resulting in
burnout. We recommend a metal hack saw when cutting PVC pipe to reduce shaving size.
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23 Installing the Vacuum Beaker Valve & Avoiding Potential U-bend Air Locks
There should be no U-bends in the return line or suction line – in other words water in
the return line should never be forced to travel uphill while conversely, when the pump
is running water in the suction line should never travel downhill.
If any part of the return line plumbing or return outlet port is installed far below the
water line (greater than 0.5meters) then an extra Vertex vacuum beaker valve should
be installed at the water level to minimize the extra pump height created.
The Vacuum Breaker valve should face vertically upward. Unscrew black air intake
nozzle.
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24 Protective Bypass & Drain-Down Line
A protective bypass line (15) with 3mm constriction must be installed for the system. The
bypass line should be placed at not more than 1 to 2m pump height.
Why? Solar power is an intermittent power supply. In part sun the pump may not be
supplied with sufficient power to reach the pump height. Without a bypass line this will
result in a running pump with no cooling water flow which can overheat a pump.
Secondly, with a non-return valve in place the by-pass allows the system to drain down.
24.1 Installation
The drain tube should be installed on the supply and return solar lines leading up to the roof approximately 1-2
metres from water level. To install, drill into the PVC pipe using an 8.5mm drill. Note: PVC plastic should be
preheated to 40˚C using a heat gun or it may split when drilling. Insert the rubber grommet into the hole tapered
end first.
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25 Suction Line and Pump Mounting Configuration
The pump should be supported such that there is a minimum amount of stress on the
pump’s inlet and outlet piping. The pump should not be suspended in the air by its inlets
and outlets without support.
Use only the supplied non-spring non-return valve (or flap valve).
Why? A small pump will have trouble pushing against a spring loaded valve adding to the
pump height. This will reduce flow and can overheat and damage the pump.
The pump should be installed in a way which allows easy access dismantling for
maintenance. Connection of the pipe work to the pump should permit the removal of the
pump without the need to cut the pipe work.
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25.1 Allowed Suction Pipe Configurations
All piping from the suction points to the collector array MUST be sloped upwards. There can
be no air trap sites in the suction line.
Why? Small air bubbles can accumulate in the suction line when the system drains down
through the suction line. Air pockets in the suction line can release large air bubbles which can
air lock a pump no matter how far the pump is below the water line. This leads to zero flow,
overheating and pump failure.
All suction line connections must be made with air tight PVC glue sockets. Pink Teflon tape
with silicon grease should be applied to any threaded connections on the suction line and
pump connections.
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25.2 Allowed Mounted Pump Orientations
The pump must be mounted as shown above, so that it automatically flood primes without
needing to force water through. See “Pump Enclosure Assembly” section to understand the
internal orientation of the pump within the enclosure.
25.3 Allowed Mounted Strainer Orientations
The strainer must be mounted so that it automatically flood primes without needing to force
water through.
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25.4 Pump Enclosure Assembly
Never carry the pump by the electric supply cable as this may damage the pump and make
it unsafe.
The pump can be fixed in place by running a perforated metal band around the plastic
base and screwing to a wooden frame.
The stainless steel hose clamps on the enclosure should be tightened AFTER the enclosure
and piping is fixed in place. This is to release any stress on the pumps inlet/outlets
connections.
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26 Solar PV Panel Mounting
Before mounting the panel, you will need to thread
the PVC wire into the junction box and solder the
brown (or red) wire to the right-hand side, or
positive terminal and the blue (or black) wire to the
left hand side, or negative terminal. (Check for the +
and – markers in the junction box). We highly
recommend a plug (made from cut wire) be used to
weatherproof seal the other wire hole. Replace
junction box cover.
Wires must be soldered to the terminal – if a loose or corroded connection develops over
time it can create a resistive load which could melt or burn surrounding material, or cause
a fire.
An aluminium angle should be attached to the back of the solar panel for mounting purposes using the back
mounting holes. If your system came with an under temperature thermostat you will need to drill a hole in the
thermostat mount and bolt to the solar panel frame such that the under-temperature thermostat with insulation fits
into the channel. Important: Wind loading should be considered.
26.1 Solar PV Panel Location
For ease of maintenance, short wire issues and a reduced chance of lighting strike - we highly recommend that the
solar panel is mounted as close to the ground as possible without running into shading issues. Generally speaking
the PV panel should be mounted at near the same pitch and azimuth (compass direction) as the collector array.
However, for west facing collector installations it is preferable that the PV panel face NW.
Your solar panel and under-temperature thermostat form the pumps control system, they should be oriented with
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respect to the main collector array such that the system comes on at the right time and switches off at the right time
for maximum system efficiency.
26.2 Extending the Electrical Wires
The 5meter extension lead can be used to extend any of the three leads, i.e. the 1m pump lead, the 2m overtemperature lead or the 5m solar lead. Please note, we do not recommend further extensions as this will create too
high a voltage drop. If a further extension is absolutely necessary we recommend you not use the 5m extension lead.
Instead splice in a much higher gauge wire wherever required. You will need to purchase an appropriate splice kit at
your local electrical supplier. If unsure we strongly recommend a qualified electrician splice wires together, as bad
electrical connections can form a fire hazard.
27 Installing the Under-Temperature Thermostat (40°C)
You may have been supplied with a 40°C under
temperature thermostat to prevent the pump from
turning on during cold but sunny conditions. This undertemperature should be attached to the side of the solar PV
panel using the components provided. The thermostat will
turn on when its internals (which are representative of the
internals of the polymer panel) come to temperature and
turn off below a certain temperature.
Thermostat Specifications 40°C

Normally Open (disconnected)
 Closes at 45°C ± 3°C
 Resets at 35°C ± 3°C
27.1 Cooling Issues on Spring Days: Adjusting the Set Under-temperature Thermostat
Time of day biasing: the thermostat should be mounted so that its flat face is rotated by about ~ 20° toward East
from the arrays mounting orientation to help lower the activation criteria during mid mornings after the spa pool
temperatures have cooled overnight. This rotation also helps to bias the system toward higher temperature in the
evenings when the spa pools temperatures are higher.
Insulation biasing: If the thermostat switches on too readily on cool days (and/or you run your spa at a high
preferred temperature) then the thermostat should be installed without the silicon insulation.
Insulation biasing: If the thermostat does not switch on readily enough (and/or you run your spa at a lower
temperature) then the thermostat should be installed with the silicon insulation.
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28 Installing the Over-Temperature Thermostat (40°C)
Important: If the area of your collector array is oversized for your pool/spa and/or you have a
highly insulated pool/spa pool - you will require a safety thermostat to prevent the potential
overheating of your pool/spa. The thermostat assembly should always be installed on the
higher temperature OUTLET (RETURN) SIDE of the collector array.
General Spa Pool Safety Notice: Prolonged bathing in hot water may increase a person’s
normal core body temperature of 37°C, which could result in hyperthermia. Persons affected by
hyperthermia may experience, weakness, fainting, nausea, drowsiness, and muscle cramps - as
a result, they may experience a failure to perceive the impending danger of prolonged
immersion and the need to exit the spa pool, and/or they may be physically unable to exit the
spa pool.
Using an accurate thermometer the spa pool owner should always check water temperatures
do not exceed 40°C before allowing people to enter the spa pool. A water temperature of 38°C
or lower is recommended for young children or pregnant women. Never use alcohol, drugs, or
medication before entering a spa pool.
As a precautious when working around a spa bath we recommend all mains power be
switched off. The Vertex system is extra low voltage safe, however if you have any doubts
about your ability to carry out electrical work on the Vertex system we recommend your
wiring is installed and serviced by a qualified electrician.
1)
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2)
3)
Over-temperature thermostat assembly MUST be installed in a sheltered location away
from rain and sun expose and in such a way that any water droplet condensation on pipes
or wires cannot run inside the assembly.
Adequate insulation of the Aluminium U-channel is required, otherwise the exposure
of the U-channel to cooler external air may prevent the U-channel and hence the face
of the thermostat from reaching the cut-off temperature.
The supplied 40°C thermostat (with secondary failsafe) will disconnect the pump(s) positive wire if the temperature
of the water in the return line is about 40 to 42°C. The temperature differential across the solar collector array will
mean that your spa temperature should be at or below 40°C during trigger.
28.1 Adjusting the Spa Temperature
If you require a lower spa temperature, we recommend you use ball valve (1) to constrict flow slightly. This will
increase the temperature differential across the collector array and turn the system OFF faster. Note, if you are
going to be using this method we recommend you drill a 3mm hole in ball valve (1) in case you accidently close this
valve fully, as this could block all flow and burn out your pump.
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29 Connecting the Inline Over-Temperature Thermostat and Extension Wire
The connectors should not be in a position such that they are continuously exposed to
splashing spa water or rain ingress which can run down the cord and make its way inside the
connector.
The electrical system of the Vertex system cannot be modified in any way, such as for
example the introduction of any alternate power supply other than the solar panel supplied.
Vertex system electrical components cannot be used as part of any other modified system.
Never run a 12-24V cable near or in the same compartment or conduit as other 240V cables
due to the chance of mistaking the two cables at some later point in time during installation
or servicing.
Before turning ON the pump for the first time please refer to section 31.1 Switching
the System ON for the First Time.
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30 Important Installation Check List
Your installation must have the following elements.
The top header pipe was installed with a 1 to 2° slope toward the outlet.
Aluminium channel was laid top and bottom of the collector array as shown in the manual.
Ultimate uplift wind loadings were considered and panels secured appropriately.
The stainless steel strapping was installed with sufficient play to allow for collector contraction.
The roof edge exclusion zone was observed.
A hot spot check was performed. All collectors are cool during full sun exposure (top of panels may be warmer).
The PV panel is mounted with at least 2cm clearance from its mounting surface for underside ventilation.
The collector array faces anywhere from West to North East.
A vacuum release valve was installed on the roof near the collector inlet line.
The outlet is submersed in the pool/spa.
A minimum of stress is placed on the pumps inlet/outlet pipe connections.
The pump and enclosure is well supported (pump does not hang by the inlet/outlet connections).
The pump and filter were installed with allowed orientations only (so as not to create air traps).
All suction line prior to the pump is air tight and slopes up toward to the pump with no air traps.
The over-temperature thermostat was installed and tested.
The thermostat U-channel and thermostat itself is well insulated from the surroundings.
PVC plumbing lines were laid at such an angle so that all water drains from them for frost proofing.
The possibility of a drain down event caused by a failure in the Vertex plumbing lines was considered.
A protective bypass line was installed, no more than 1-2 meters pump height with a minimum 3mm bypass
passage.
31 Operating Instructions
The system strainer should be cleaned regularly depending on spa use.
For pools larger than 15m2 we recommend that the filter pump run at least a short
period in the evening so as to help mix the warm water deeper into the pool otherwise the top layer of warm water will cool excessively at night.
We strongly recommend the system be switched off during pool/spa use or when you go on
holidays. The system can be switched on after use, making sure people are away from the
outlet and that the pump is still primed.
31.1 Switching the System ON for the First Time
We recommend you wait till a sunny day and follow this procedure:
1. After the under-temperature thermostat has turned ON, connect the pump which will start in 3secs. Listen
to the pump start - after an initial purge of air the pump should run smooth.
2. After 5 mins running disconnect the pump and let the system drain down.
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3. After 30 mins worth of draining reconnect the system and check that the pump starts smoothly.
If the pump does not start perfectly smoothly during this second start up, then air is getting into the pump and/or
suction line during drain down. Check for air leaks or air traps, see above section on allowed suction line angles.
31.2 Check for Balanced Water Flow through All Collectors
1.
2.
With the sun shining on the collectors and the pump operational, run your hand over every part of each
collector. Collectors should be cool to the touch while the top of each collector could be slightly warmer. Hot
spots indicate that there is no water flow through this part of the collector.
To eliminate hot spots make sure the top header pipe of the entire collector array runs straight and that it has a
slight slope (minimum 2°) with the outlet having the highest point. The inclination of the array may need to be
increased.
If there is no sun available to perform this test, do not leave the pump connected. Do not let
the system run for the first time unattended.
During full sun operation the outlet water flow should be strong with a temperature no
greater than about 5-7°C that of the inlet.
31.3 Legionaries Risk
The Vertex system must be switched off 1 hour before spa use. Disinfectant should be
introduced and the filter pump run for at least 1 hour before spa pool use. Always follow
disinfection advice supplied by your spa pool manufacture.
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32 Service and Maintenance Schedule
Important: before carrying out any system maintenance you MUST check for any manual
and or technical service bulletin updates and download the latest installation manual
from www.EcoOnline.com.au/downloads
Maintenance Issue - Service Procedure
Barb Plastic Relaxing - All the stainless steel hose clamps may need
retightening as plastic relaxes overtime.
Corroded or Fatigued Wiring – Wiring, solder connections and wire
fixings should be checked for damage and/or corrosion signs.
Silicon Joiner Chemical Attack – Disconnect a single silicon joiner, dry
and check that the water exposed inside section has not turned grey or
become unfirm to the touch. This would indicate chemical attack from a
pH lower than 7. Replace as needed.
Stainless Strap Fatigue - Inspect all stainless steel fixing straps for wear
of PVC coating around the sharp Aluminium L-angle edge, which would
indicate fatigue working of straps. Replace as needed.
Mounting Frame - The integrity of the collector mounting frame and
wind proofing components should be checked for any degradation.
Replace as needed.
Plumbing Degradation – Plumbing lines and fittings should be checked
for signs of UV and/or chemical damage. Replace as needed.
Vacuum Release Valve – The vacuum release valve is a critical system
component. It should be checked that it is functioning correctly and that
collectors are draining properly. The collector’s facets around weld
points should never appear collapsed (concave) by negative pressure.
Collector Plastic Contraction – Collectors can relax and contract by
10mm in length over the initial first few years. It should be checked that
the stainless steel straps or fixings have not become too tight as a result.
If required straps will need to be loosened slightly. This check should be
carried out when the collectors are cool (water flowing).
Debris Accumulation – Inspect the inner of the collectors. Depending on
conditions collectors may need to be flushed with a suitable cleaning
agent for debris accumulation after many years of use.
1st
Month
1st
Quarter
X
Annual
Checks
After
5
Years
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Fatigued, weathered, loose and/or corroded wiring or electrical connections poses a fire
risk even at low voltage.
32.1 Collector Puncture Repair Procedure
Drill out the puncture using a sharp drill bit (being careful not to drill into the opposite wall). Inject chlorine resistant
pool silicon into the collector inner to create a ~10cm inner silicon disk plug. Wait one day before re-pressurizing.
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33 Trouble Shooting
Problem
Pump is running smoothly
but no water is coming
out of the spa outlet.
Pump is running loudly
Some of the collectors
are hot when the sun is
shining and the pump is
running fully
The outlet flow is strong
and the system is working
but the pool is not warm
enough
The outlet water flow is
low and the outlet water
is very warm to hot
during operation
The solar panel is in full
sun and is connected to
the pump however the
pump is not working.
When priming the system
air bubbles do not stop
appearing at the suction
inlet
The system overheated
my spa/pool past 40°C
The system turns off
midday below my
preferred temperature
Cause
* The pump configuration may
be undersized
* Morning light is not strong
enough to reach the pump
height
* There is a blockage or the PVC
ball valve is closed
Air bubbles making their way
through the pump
Water is not flowing evenly
through all collectors
Solution
* Check for blockages or open PVC ball valve
* Wait for 11am-3am sun (for a North install)
* There maybe U bend air traps in the plumbing lines which are
adding to the pump height, these should be removed.
* Failing these points a stronger pump may be required.
Wait a few seconds for the pump to clear any air bubbles. If it
continues, disconnect, check for air leaks in the suction line, and then
reprime the system.
* Make sure the header pipe is straight and sloped toward the outlet.
* Panels should be mounted with a minimum 5-10 degree pitch to
remove surface air bubbles.
Potentially undersized system
Check for balanced water flow through all collectors. If flow is
balanced and the system is working then the system is undersized.
Consider using a solar blanket, or add more collectors.
Potentially undersized pump
configuration, or water
restrictions
Check for blockages or water restrictions and the ability of the chosen
pump configuration to pump strongly up to the required height. A
larger pump configuration may be required.
* The under-temperature
thermostat may have not come
to temperature yet.
* Potentially faulty, pump, solar
panel, or thermostat switch, or
rotor blockage in the pump.
* Air leak in the suction and/or
array inlet lines
* Negative pressure at vacuum
breaker valve
Faulty or inadequately
insulated thermostat assembly
*Check the power of PV panel first by inserting a standard (GX5.3
base) 12V Halogen globe into the connector pins.
* Check the pump by connecting to a 18VDC battery
* If the pump has been exposed to potential particles in the water the
rotor could be blocked - dissemble the pump slowly on a clean table
(take note of the assembly) clean any blockages.
*Check all connections on the suction, pump and array inlet line and
make sure they are air tight.
* Install a small constriction in the return line to increase back
pressure
*Check that the thermostat is working by immersing the aluminium U
channel in 45-50°C water (keeping the thermostat switch dry).
*Insulate the thermostat switch assembly properly.
Reduced flow rate in the
system is creating a large
temperature differential
triggering the overtemperature thermostat
* Check plumbing for blockages and/or air locks. You may need a
stronger pump.
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