VertexTM Flood-Prime Solar Spa Heating System -- Installation and User Manual

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Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
© Copyright 2019 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved.
EcoOnline - Vertex Flood-Prime
Solar Pool & Spa Heating System
Installation & User Manual – Revised 24/08/2019
Optex Solar Pty. Ltd.
ABN: 88 128 228 884
www.EcoOnline.com.au
email: info@EcoOnline.com.au
© Copyright 2019 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 2019 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved.
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Contents Click Heading Titles to Navigate Up or Down
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
© Copyright 2019 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved.
Page 4
1 Key Terms
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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 info@EcoOnline.com.au no matter how trivial.
Refers to useful information for the optimal operation of the system
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.
Refers to critically important information related to the correct functioning of the
system.
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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Page 5
2 Pre-Installation Suitability & Safety Checklist
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Potential flooding resulting from the failure of the Vertex systems 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.
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.
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.
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.
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
© Copyright 2019 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved.
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3 Warranties
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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 our Terms and Conditions page for further details: www.EcoOnline.com.au/terms-and-conditions
4 System Sizing Guarantee
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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.
The Vertex System is not self-priming and requires the installation of the pump outside
of but below the waterline of your pool/spa.
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:
with a pump height greater than 3.5m (per pump for dual pumps)
or installed above the waterline or without the protective bypass line,
or with inappropriately sloped or non air tight suction line,
or with the suction line tee’d into the mains pump filter line without independent
suction ports installed,
or without the Vertex strainer.
The Vertex System requires the installation of an independent suction line; Teeing into
the mains pump filter circuit is not allowed.
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
© Copyright 2019 Optex Solar Pty Ltd. All rights strictly reserved.
Page 7
5 Collector and Solar Pump Sizing Guide
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An interactive collector and pump sizing calculator,
for vinyl covered spas pools can be found on our website:
www.ecoonline.com.au/covered-spa-heating-system-sizing-calculator
for uncovered or blanket covered pools or swim spas please use the calculator here:
www.ecoonline.com.au/uncovered-swim-spa-heating-system-sizing-calculator
6 Spa Chemistry Compatibility Guide
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Incompatible Chemistries
Alternatives Chemistry
Bromide Based Chlorination
Any other Chlorination or Sanitation
Hydrochloric Acid
Sodium Bisulphate Acid
Acidic Water (pH less than 7.2)
Water pH greater than 7.6
7 Roof Type Compatibility Guide
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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 close to 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 40mm.
2) Panels should have adequate clearance from roof edges.
3) Panels on roofs should not be mounted on tilt frames.
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 required Sodium Bisulphate acid can be used to keep the pH down.
For maximum pump and system longevity we strongly recommend a non-chlorine/bromide
based sanitation method.
Vertex Solar™ Pool & Spa Heating System -- Installation & User Manual
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Page 8
Roof Type
Air Gap Distance
Recommendation
Standard Corrugated Iron roof (Custom Orb)
17mm
Okay
Relatively Flat Tile roof
Less than 25mm
Okay
Spandek Iron roof
24mm
Okay
Modulated Tile roof
Greater than 25mm
Region A Only
Trimdek Iron roof
29mm
Region A Only
Klip-lok Iron roof
43mm
Region A Only
Flatdek Iron roof
45mm
Not Recommended
8 Wind and Climate Considerations
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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.
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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9 Included System Components
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Panel Kit (if purchased)
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
12V Solar Pump Kit
1 × 20/40/60W 12V Solar pump with electrical
connector (max 3.5 pump height)
1 × 40W or 60W Solar panel with PVC wire, connector
and under-temperature thermostat
Vertex Base Plumbing Kit Components
1 × Vacuum (and
positive pressure)
air release valve
1 × Vertex Strainer, flex line
outlet & by-pass line kit
1 × PVC non-return and
25mm bubble chamber kit
2 × 40mm hose barb to
25/32mm PVC glue
socket/take off
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Safety Over-Temperature Thermostat Kit
2 × 25mm ID Armaflex pipe insulation
1 × 60mm ID Armaflex pipe insulation
1 × Aluminium U-channel
1 × Twin 40°C thermostats with 2m cord and positive disconnect connector
3 × 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 = 112mm,C = 60mm
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10 Additional Required Components (Not Supplied)
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10.1 Ground Mounting Support Frame
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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)
10.2 Roof Mounting
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If installing the panels on a roof you will also require the following extra items.
These are available in any plumbing store. The aluminium angle is available from Capral Ltd. or Ullrich Aluminium
Pty. Ltd.
10.3 Additional Plumbing Components
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You also require some of the following extra items depending on your system. These should be available in any
spa/swimming pool supplier.
32mm x 32mm x 3mm Aluminium angle
4mm stainless steel cable & four cable ties per row
PVC 20mm &
25mm piping
Spa suction and
return adapters
P-type PVC
cement & primer
20mm “Spa flex”
flexible PVC hose
(note: requires
special flex cement)
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 for frost prone areas. (Do not use any
irrigation fittings as they are not compatible with chlorinated water).
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11 Required Tools
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- Battery powered hand drill with 8mm Hex socket - Screwdriver with 8mm socket fitting
- Clear silicon - Hack saw (metal blade to reduce PVC filing size)
- PVC glue (Green pressure) - Level
- Soldering iron - 3mm drill bit
12 Safety When Working at Heights
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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.
12.1 Ladder Safety
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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.
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.
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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13 Choosing A Place to Install the Collector Array
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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.
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.
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.
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14 Pump and Solar PV Panel Test
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1) On a minimum 18˚C sunny day, place the solar panel in full sun and wait 15 minutes for the panels under
temperature thermostat mounted inside the junction box to warm up to 40˚C. If required warm with a hair
dryer.
2) Place the pump inside a bucket of water (the pump is submersible).
3) Connect the solar PV panel; the pump should start in 3-4 secs.
14.1 What if the Pump Won’t Start?
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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) If it still won’t start please contact us at info@EcoOnline.com.au for
technical support.
During the following test DO NOT allow the pump to run completely dry as this will damage
the pump.
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15 Collector Array Configurations
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15.1 Array Configurations Not Recommend
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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.
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16 Roof Attachment Options
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16.1 Tile Roof Mounting Frame
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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 must allow for thermal movement of panels.
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 Corrugated Metal Roof Aluminium Angle Mounting Options
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17.1 Aluminium Angle Mounting Options
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17.2 Thermal Expansion Gaps for Aluminium Channels
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For metal roofs we recommend using a minimum screw fixing space of 600mm when fixing
the aluminium angle. Depending on your wind loading (see “Wind Proofing” section), angle of
install, you may require a higher density of fixings and/or a stronger Aluminium angle, if
unsure please seek advice.
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17.3 Metal Roof Screw Selection and Method
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18 Collector Mounting Procedure
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It is strongly recommended that the top straps be applied while cool pool/spa water is
flowing through the panels.
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.
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
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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.
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.
Insert silicon joiners and moderately tighten the hose clamps using with
an 8mm hex socket. Do not glue in silicon joiners. If there is a pin hole
leak, a small amount of silicon can be used to seal. Note: You’ll need to re-
tighten these with cool water running through the collectors at a later
stage, as HDPE has a high thermal contraction.
The barb end of inlet/outlet PVC adapter should be glued into the 40mm
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 clamp pressure. HDPE on the other hand will not
soften significantly at the maximum roof stagnation temperature of ~80˚C.
The non-barb end of inlet/outlet PVC adapter should be glued into 25mm
PVC piping.
Laceration hazard: Always cut away from your
body and ensure no parts of the body are in front
of the cutting blade. Plastic can be softened by
heating.
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20 Roof Fixings
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20.1 Application of the PVC Coated Stainless Steel Straps
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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.
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 or Multi-Row Metal Roof Fixings Wind Region A
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20.3 Single or Multi-Row Metal Roof Fixings for Wind Regions B & C
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NOTE: For single or multi-row arrays in wind regions B or C, aluminium L-angle MUST be
run for the top and bottom of each row.
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20.4 Single or Multi-Row Tile Roof Fixings for Wind Region A & B
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20.5 Perforated Band Under-Tile Anchor Point (For Region B or Two row arrays)
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For single or multi-row arrays in wind regions B, aluminium L-angle MUST be run for the
top and bottom of each row.
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21 Wind Proofing
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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 info@EcoOnline.com.au
21.1 Ultimate Peak Wind Loadings per Panel
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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) Panels are mounted on (touching) the roof structure - or no more that 20mm off the roof surface
2) Panels are situated away from a roof edge or corner
3) Installation is on a first story roof
4) 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 info@EcoOnline.com.au for alternative loadings.
Ultimate Peak Uplift Loadings Per Panel in Wind Region A (Kg)
Region A
< 10˚ Roof Pitch
12.5˚ Roof Pitch
15˚ Roof Pitch
17.5˚ Roof Pitch
> 20˚ Roof Pitch
Terrain
Category 1
120 Kg
110 Kg
95 Kg
90 Kg
80 Kg
Terrain
Category 2
100 Kg
90 Kg
80 Kg
70 Kg
65 Kg
Terrain
Category 2.5
90 Kg
80 Kg
70 Kg
65 Kg
60 Kg
Terrain
Category 3
85 Kg
75 Kg
65 Kg
60 Kg
55 Kg
Ultimate Peak Uplift Loadings Per Panel in Wind Region B (Kg)
Region B
< 10˚ Roof Pitch
12.5˚ Roof Pitch
15˚ Roof Pitch
17.5˚ Roof Pitch
> 20˚ Roof Pitch
Terrain
Category 1
195 Kg
175 Kg
150 Kg
140 Kg
130 Kg
Terrain
Category 2
160 Kg
145 Kg
125 Kg
115 Kg
105 Kg
Terrain
Category 2.5
150 Kg
130 Kg
115 Kg
105 Kg
100 Kg
Terrain
Category 3
135 Kg
120 Kg
105 Kg
95 Kg
90 Kg
Ultimate Peak Uplift Loadings Per Panel in Wind Region C (Kg)
Region C
< 10˚ Roof Pitch
12.5˚ Roof Pitch
15˚ Roof Pitch
17.5˚ Roof Pitch
> 20˚ Roof Pitch
Terrain
Category 1
290 Kg
255 Kg
225 Kg
210 Kg
190 Kg
Terrain
Category 2
240 Kg
215 Kg
185 Kg
170 Kg
160 Kg
Terrain
Category 2.5
220 Kg
195 Kg
170 Kg
155 Kg
145 Kg
Terrain
Category 3
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.
21.2 Frequency of Extra Fixings for Different Regions
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For ultimate wind loadings
(see Tables above):
Extra Fixings Required
Less than 70Kg per panel
Stainless guide line is not required (but still recommended)
Greater than 70Kg per panel
Stainless guide line is required across each row
Greater than 120kg per panel
Stainless guide line is required with in between anchor points
21.3 Wind Region Definitions
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Coastal region boundaries are smooth lines set in from a smoothed coastline by 50km, 100km or 150km lines.
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 info@EcoOnline.com.au for ultimate wind loadings based on your details.
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21.4 Terrain Category Definitions
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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
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Note: Collector installations within a roof edge high wind loading zone will require 2 X the
fixing strength in that local area. Collector installations within a roof corner high wind loading
zone will require 3 X the fixing strength in that local area.
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22 Plumbing Diagram
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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.
We strongly recommend a metal hack saw when cutting PVC pipe to reduce shaving size as
the pump has a very fine rotor clearance.
The Vertex System requires the installation of an independent suction line; Teeing into
the mains pump filter circuit is not allowed.
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23 Suction Line / Pump / By-Pass Line / Bubble Chamber Configuration
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23.1 Installation of the By-Pass Ports and Line
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The below suction/pump/by-pass line/bubble chamber mounting configuration MUST be
followed exactly. Take particular note of the pump and strainer water level and orientation,
the slope in the suction line and the position of by-pass line under the 25mm PVC pipe.
Why? If air traps are present, air bubbles will accumulate in the system when the system
drains down through the suction line. Air in the suction line can lock the pump. The below
configuration is nearly impervious to air-locks and will prevent the pump from overheating by
allowing cooling water flow via the by-pass in the event of a major air lock.
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Cut the by-pass line to length so that there are no loops in the by-pass line (sagging is okay) and connect to the
6mm barbs on the strainer and bubble chamber as shown. Silicon lubricant can be used on the by-pass tube and
locking collar ONLY – DO NOT use silicon lube on any part of the grommet - water lubricant only.
23.2 Suction Plumbing Configurations Not Allowed
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The by-pass line comes with a 3mm inner constriction encased in a clear PVC line. This
may need cleaning at some point. Warm the PVC around the barb with hot water and
twist, for easier removal from the barb
The guiding principle here is that all suction lines must automatically, fully and completely
flood prime, evacuating all air. It is not sufficient to clear an air trap in the system by forcing
water through. Air can be reintroduced when the system drains down through the pump.
No air traps in lines are allowed, except for the inverted strainer which automatically self
purges air via the installed by-pass line.
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24 Different Plumbing Situations
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24.1 From Spa to Roof Collector Plumbing Setup
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The Vacuum Breaker valve should face vertically upward and be mounted just off the
roof on the vertical supply line. Unscrew the top black air intake nozzle.
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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 on the return line to remove the extra pump height created.
The Vacuum Breaker valve should face vertically upward and be mounted just off the
roof on the vertical supply line. Unscrew the top black air intake nozzle.
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24.3 From Spa to Ground Mounted Collector Plumbing Setup
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Below water level mounted collectors are allowed only in frost free areas, otherwise all
collectors and plumbing lines must be frost tolerant. Collectors should not be mounted such
that the lowest part is lower than 1m below the water line.
Below water level mounted collectors are subject to much harsher conditions than collectors
that drain down. These conditions include constant positive pressure, 75˚C stagnation
temperatures in summer combined with constant exposure to hot chlorinated water and frost
conditions. Extra maintenance to check collector and plumbing connection health must be
carried out. Extra care must be taken to ensure pH is non-acidic, i.e. greater than 7.5.
For below water level mounted collectors there is an increased risk of potential flooding
resulting from the failure of the systems below water level plumbing connections or from
extreme weather events. Extra care must be taken by the purchaser/installer, such that flood
water from such a failure at any point of a Vertex system will drain safely.
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.
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25 Allowable Plumbing Variations
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U-bends in the supply line will not drain fully and hence prevent air communication
between the vacuum release and the pump assembly and should be avoided if at all
possible. Preferably, all parts of the suction line should be mounted and sloped such
that water empties fully up to the bubble chamber when the system stops.
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25.1 Dual Pump Setups
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If your system came with dual pumps you can plumb them in vertically as shown or in a 45˚ configuration as shown
in the previous section. For such dual pumps you’ll also need to purchase 3 extra PVC bits; you can use 2 faucet take
offs with a 20mm straight joiner or 2 faucet sockets with a 20mm PVC pipe for the interconnector between the
pumps.
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26 Solar PV Panel Mounting
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26.1 Solar PV Panel Location
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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.
26.2 Extending the Electrical Wires
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The 5meter extension lead can be used to extend any of the three leads, i.e. the 1m pump lead, the 2m over-
temperature 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.
The solar PV panel acts as a power source AND sun sensor for the thermal OKU collectors.
Hence, the PV panel should be mounted at the same compass direction as the collector
array, with the following exceptions:
1) For West or East facing thermal collector installations it is preferable that the PV panel
face closer to NW or NE respectively.
2) For steep pitch thermal collector arrays it is preferable the PV panel be mounted on a
shallower pitch to get more sun.
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27 Installing the Over-Temperature Thermostat
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1)
Important: If the area of your collector array is oversized for your pool/spa and/or you have a
highly insulated/covered pool/spa - 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.
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2)
3)
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.
27.1 Adjusting the Spa Temperature
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If you require a lower spa temperature, we recommend you use ball valve (16) to constrict flow slightly. This will
increase the temperature differential across the collector array and turn the system OFF faster.
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.
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28 Connecting the Inline Over-Temperature Thermostat and Extension Wire
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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.
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.
Before turning ON the pump for the first time please refer to section 29 Switching the
System ON for the First Time.
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.
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29 Switching the System ON for the First Time
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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 for a few mins.
3. Reconnect the system and check that the pump starts smoothly, if not re-perform the above again.
If the pump does not start perfectly smoothly during this third start up, then air is getting into the pump and/or
suction line during drain down. Check for air leaks or air traps.
29.1 Check for Balanced Water Flow through All Collectors
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1. 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.
2. 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.
29.2 Air Bubbles in the Return Port
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If the eyelet return is not constrictive enough you may get some continuous bubbling into the spa while the system
is running. (Note: air purging during system start is normal). Continuous bubbling can be reduced by introducing ball
valve (16), see plumbing diagram section. Constrict this ball valve until you get less bubbling.
Constricting the flow in the system will also lower the maximum temperature the spa will get to before the over-
temperature thermostat turns off the system.
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.
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.
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.
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30 Important Installation Check List
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Your installation must have the following elements, see manual.
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 no shading and at least 2cm clearance from its mounting surface.
The collector array faces anywhere from West to North East.
A vacuum release valve was installed off the roof 750mm below the highest point of the collector array.
The outlet is submersed in the pool/spa.
A minimum of stress is placed on the pumps inlet/outlet pipe connections.
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 aluminium 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 under the 25mm PVC bubble chamber.
31 Further Operating Instructions
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31.1 Legionaries Risk
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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.
If using the Vertex system for pools larger than 10m
2
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.
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32 Service and Maintenance Schedule
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The system strainer should be cleaned regularly depending on spa use.
Maintenance Issue - Service Procedure
1
st
Month
1
st
Quarter
Annual
Checks
After
5
Years
Barb Plastic Relaxing - All the stainless steel hose clamps may need
retightening as plastic relaxes overtime.
X
X
Corroded or Fatigued Wiring – Wiring, solder connections and wire
fixings should be checked for damage and/or corrosion signs.
X
X
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.
X
X
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.
X
Mounting Frame - The integrity of the collector mounting frame and
wind proofing components should be checked for any degradation.
Replace as needed.
X
Plumbing Degradation – Plumbing lines and fittings should be checked
for signs of UV and/or chemical damage. Replace as needed.
X
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.
X
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).
X
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.
X
32.1 Collector Puncture Repair Procedure
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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.
Fatigued, weathered, loose and/or corroded wiring or electrical connections poses a fire
risk even at low voltage.
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 our Downloads Page: www.EcoOnline.com.au/downloads
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33 Trouble Shooting
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Problem
Cause
Solution
Pump is running smoothly
but no water is coming
out of the spa outlet.
* Morning light is not strong
enough to reach the pump height
* There is a blockage or the PVC
ball valve is closed
* Pump height is too high
* 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.
Pump is running loudly,
like it’s churning
air/water mixture
Air bubbles making their way
through the pump
* Check for air traps or air leaks before the filter.
Some of the collectors
are hot when the sun is
shining and the pump is
running fully
Water is not flowing evenly
through all collectors
* Make sure the header pipe is sloped toward the outlet.
* Panels should be mounted with a minimum 5-10 degree pitch to
remove surface air bubbles.
The outlet flow is strong
and the system is working
but the pool is not warm
enough
Potentially undersized system
* Check for balanced water flow through all collectors. If collectors
are coolish in full sun, then the system is undersized. Note: in
ground pools need a week before fully temperature is reached.
Consider using a solar blanket, or add more collectors.
The outlet water flow is
low and the outlet water
is very warm to hot
during operation
Potentially undersized pump
configuration, or flow restriction,
or U-bends adding to pump height
* Check for blockages or water flow 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 solar panel is in full
sun and is connected to
the pump however the
pump is not working.
* 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.
*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.
When the system is
running air bubbles do
not stop appearing at the
outlet
* Air leak in the suction and/or
array inlet lines
* Negative pressure at vacuum
breaker valve
*Check all connections on the suction, pump and array inlet line
and make sure they are air tight.
* Install a brake ball valve in the return line to increase back
pressure, constrict until bubble decrease
The system overheated
my spa/pool past 40°C
Faulty or inadequately insulated
thermostat assembly
*Check that the thermostat is working by heating the aluminium U
channel to 45-50°C (keeping the thermostat switch dry).
The system turns off
midday below my
preferred temperature
Reduced flow rate or larger panel
arrays create a large temperature
differential triggering the over-
temperature thermostat early
* Check plumbing for blockages and/or air locks. You may need a
stronger pump for more flow. Else contact info@ecoonline.com.au
on this issue.
The system is warming
my spa beyond my
preferred temperature
Too much water flow
* Temperature adjustments on the Vertex system are made via
flow restrictions, install a brake ball valve in the return line to
decrease flow and trigger the over-temp thermostat earlier.

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