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FAQ

  • Q 1. Is solar water heating a viable alternative to gas or electricity?

    A

    Solar should not be seen as a alternative to gas or electricity, but rather a supplement. Solar cannot totally replace the need for gas or electric heating as there are sometimes days when there is little sunlight. When averaged over a year, a correctly sized solar system can provide 60%-70% of a household's hot water needs. Providing more than this is unadvisable, as too much heat will be produced in the summer. The hot water system system can easily be automated so hot water is guaranteed regardless of sunlight levels.

     
  • Q 2. How long will it take to recoup my investment?

    A

    Apricus solar collectors are much more affordable than many other solar hot water heaters. For a household of 4, the price of a full system may be similar to that of a new electric or gas system. Depending on you location (solar levels) and current hot water usage, the annual electricity or gas saving will differ. However in a normal household that spends 25% of its electricity bill on hot water heating, the full cost of the purchase may be recouped as quickly as 4-5 years in reduced bills. You will definitely make considerable savings during the life of the solar hot water heater. Federal and local rebates and incentives can provide an accelerated return on your investment. Visit www.dsireusa.org for more information.

  • Q 3. Can Apricus solar collectors be used in cold conditions?

    A Yes. Apricus evacuated tube solar collectors can be used in temperatures as extreme cold temperatures, with systems installed in regions of Canada that reach -45oC.  Suprisingly even at these temperatures the system is able to product hot water with good efficiency due to the vaccum properties of the evacuated tube. 
  • Q 4. What happens if one of the evacuated tubes is broken?


    A Apricus evacuated tubes are very strong and not easily broken, but if the worst should happen, solar tubes are very easy to replace. Although Apricus Solar Collectors have the ability to operate with several broken tubes, it is recommended that broken tubes be replaced immediately to retain efficiency. Replacement tubes are available through your local distributor at a very reasonable price.
  • Q 5. Will water be heated on a cloudy day?

    A Yes. Although the heat output of the solar collector is reduced on overcast days it will still be able to provide significant heating. If it is a heavily clouded day or raining, then more gas or electric boosting may be required to maintain water at the required temperature. This system will be automated so you don't have to worry about running out of hot water on a rainy day.
  • Q 6. Can I use a solar collector with my existing hot water system?

    A Normally yes. Simple retrofit valves can often be used to allow solar to connect to your existing cold water inlet. If your tank cannot accept the solar input directly, an additional storage tank can be installed to pre-heat the cold water prior to entering the existing tank.
  • Q 7. Are the solar collectors noticeable on the roof?

    A If only the collector is mounted on the roof it should blend into the roof design quite well. Apricus Apricus solar collectors are very thin and can be flush mounted on a roof. From a distance they look somewhat like a skylight. You may have to check with your local council regarding building restrictions when installing your solar collector. Click here to view installation photos.
  • Q 8. Can Apricus solar collectors be mounted on a flat surface?

    A Yes they may be mounted on a flat roof, or on the ground by using a stainless steel Flat Roof Frame. The collector should be installed at a minimum of 20o angle to ensure optimal heat pipe operation.
  • Q 9. How do I protect my solar system during subzero temperatures?

    A If you have a system that is operating in areas with subzero temperatures then freeze protection must be implemented. The easiest means of preventing freezing is to use a controller with a low temperatures setting, so when the manifold temperature drops below a certain pre-set temperature (5oC/40oF), the pump will circulate, warming the collector with water from the bottom of the storage tank. The pump will run periodically, the frequency of which will depend on the outside temperature. In extremely cold areas, a closed loop using a glycol/water mix may be appropriate.
  • Q 10. Will the Apricus solar collector be a fire hazard during hot, dry weather?

    A No. The Apricus solar collector's components are all high temperature rated and non-flammable so even during strong sunlight with the circulation pump turned off (stagnation), the system will not catch alight or ignite dry material such as leaves.  The evacuated tubes are cool to touch even during the summer. 

Founded in 2003 by Australian Mick Humphreys with a specific focus on solar thermal solutions, Apricus has since grown into a global company with distribution and support offices worldwide. 

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 Email: service@apricus.com

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