The Apricus solar collectors used by PAREI have some unique installation requirements, as fully explained in their manual. The systems have a proprietary rack for the collectors, which is a straightforward assembly in most cases. The collectors are manufactured to be assembled in a modular fashion, allowing for easier installation and smaller crews compared to larger flat-plate collectors that typically require more hands and extra equipment to lift them to the roof.
After the rack is assembled, the header assembly is attached to the rack and the tubes are installed one at a time. Prior to the tube installation, the condenser at the top of the heat pipe in each tube is “gooped” with a heat-transfer paste supplied by the manufacturer. Each heat pipe contains a small amount of copper powder that helps heat transfer and provides protection from freeze damage. To ensure the powder is in the bottom of the heat pipe where it is needed, the tube is turned upside-down, and then right-side up and shaken, then inserted into the header. With several people involved in the installation, such as at an energy raiser or workshop, the tube may be passed hand-to-hand, like a bucket brigade, leading to a quicker installation. Anyone handling the tubes should wear gloves to protect from injury in the event a tube should break.