SOL-Perpetua™ Solar Water Heating System Installation Instructions and Operating Manual For Series "A" Pumps
Components of a SOL Perpetua™ System - Bubble Pump
The bubble pump is a glass cylinder 48 mm (1 7/8") in diameter mounted vertically in a 60 mm (2 3/8") diameter PVC base. The total height of the pump is 760 mm (30"). A 70mm (2 3/4") acrylic sheath insulates the glass cylinder with a layer of air and helps protect it from breakage. The pump is mounted at the top of the solar collector panel(s). Its transparency means you can see when it is working. When it is pumping, splashes of the working fluid can be seen gushing out of the bubble tube. Food coloring has been added to the working fluid to increase its visibility. (When an electrically pumped system breaks down you may not know it for months because the auxiliary heater makes up for the loss of solar energy). (Note: BAPL also makes an all copper bubble pump for those who prefer it to the glass and plastic version).
The bubble pump is supported by four copper pipes, two connecting it to the collector(s) and two leading to the heat exchanger. If hard copper pipes are used, further support for the bubble pump is usually not needed.
Mounted on the side of the bubble pump is a gauge which measures the difference in pressure inside the pump from the pressure outside. Except at high altitudes, the pressure in the pump when it is operating is less than the pressure outside. This condition is commonly known as a vacuum. The purpose of the gauge is to indicate to the installer whether he or she has achieved an air tight installation. Next to the gauge is a shut-off cock, then the "mushroom" valve, so called because of its shape.
A hand pump not unlike a bicycle pump, except that it creates a vacuum instead of a pressure, slips onto the bubble pump to create a vacuum at start-up and is used occasionally during the life-time of the system to remove air from the working fluid (the hand pump comes with your order).
The label at the base of the pump states the place of manufacture, the maximum area of solar collectors it can handle and our telephone number which you can call for assistance.
Before leaving Bubble Action Pumps Ltd. the bubble pump is tested for vacuum tightness. The inlet and outlet pipes are sealed and air is removed by means of the hand pump until the gauge reads approximately - 15" Hg. When the gauge indicates that this vacuum is maintained permanently, the unit is ready for shipment. (See comments under Receiving Your Order).